‘Yellow Umbrella’ App Lets you Play Hong Kong Democracy Protester

‘Yellow Umbrella’ App Lets you Play Hong Kong Democracy Protester

A pro-democracy activist shouts slogans on a street near the government headquarters where protesters have made camp, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 in Hong Kong. Holiday crowds swelled into the tens of thousands as student leaders met with other pro-democracy protesters Wednesday to thrash out a strategy for handling the government's rejection of their demands that the city's top leader resign and Beijing revise its plans to limit political reforms. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A pro-democracy activist shouts slogans on a street near the government headquarters where protesters have made camp, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Sean Silbert and Julie Makinen, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

 

BEIJING (The L.A. Times)—Hong Kong’s democracy protesters are fighting off their chief executive, who is dressed as a wolf, with nothing but umbrellas, incense sticks and durian fruit.

At least that’s how the conflict takes place in “Yellow Umbrella,” a free game for Android cellphones that’s become an overnight hit among demonstrators. Since the app was released on Oct. 20, it has been downloaded more than 60,000 times, according to Hong Kong-based developer Awesapp. (A version for iPhone and iPad is under review by Apple.)

The app puts players atop one of the blockades that have become a flashpoint in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s conflict over rules for elections in 2017. Characters must defend against tear-gas wielding police, thuggish Triad gangsters and the city’s leader, Leung Chun-ying, wearing wolf clothing (Leung is a near-homophone for the Cantonese word for “wolf,” which has unflattering connotations). And in keeping with the nonviolent principles espoused by protest leaders, players cannot attack their assailants but must peacefully defend using umbrellas.

 

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