In “Splatoon 3”, “letters of protest to the Chinese government” are posted one after another. What is this message and what is its context? – AUTOMATON

Image Credit: Li Jiaming/Nintendo


platoon 3, many protest messages in Chinese have been witnessed. This protest message seems to have been confirmed in various places, such as the Japanese region and the North American region. What is this message? I will solve the background.

The “Blank Paper Revolution”, which aims to oppose the “zero corona policy” in China, is happening not only in China but all over the world (Nihon Keizai Shimbun). The protests began in memory of the victims of the fire that broke out in Urumqi, China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region on November 24. The arguments of the members who took part in the protest evolved from “withdraw the zero-corona policy” to calls for “democracy and freedom of speech”, “the resignation of the Communist Party”, and “the resignation of Xi Jinping”. And such protests against the Chinese government are currently happening in various popular games, including “Splatoon 3”.

Examples of messages using in-game functions are “Give me rice instead of PCR tests”, “I oppose Xi Jinping”, “Retire from the Communist Party”, “I might be the next person to die”, “I would rather die if I don’t have freedom.” Content such as. In “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II”, some players have been confirmed to be active with the ID name “Stop the PCR test, give me freedom”. Furthermore, some users attach an ID called “Genocide”. As for genocide, he probably refers to the CCP’s camp captivity, torture and massacre of Uyghurs (NHK). By conveying such a message in a popular game, it seems that he hopes to catch the attention of more people.

Prohibited items for “Splatoon 3” illustrated presentation. It is subtle whether a series of posts can be said to be against the rules. However, political statements are prohibited within the Nintendo Network and Nintendo Account Terms of Use..

【UPDATE 2022/12/5 22:25】
Add and add prohibited items when posting pictures in “Splatoon 3”

In this way, this protest movement has spread to popular games. Even the Chinese people could not have imagined that many people would take to the streets to protest even in China, which is so large in size and under the strict control of the Communist Party. As a matter of fact, demonstrations and rallies have taken place not only in major cities in mainland China, but also on many university campuses and in many major cities abroad. Such a “total” protest movement is apparently the first since the Tiananmen Square demonstration 33 years ago. Until two weeks ago, I could not have imagined seeing Chinese people so rebellious. Protesting inside China is extremely dangerous. Even the smallest things can lead to arrest and police abuse. Most Chinese people are very patriotic. So, many people followed the policy of the Chinese government, but now the wind is changing.

A sense of danger “I might be the next to die”

So how did this Blank Paper Revolution develop into such a large scale protest? Let’s clarify while checking the content posted in the game.

As explained at the beginning of this article, the trigger for the recent global anti-CCP protests was the fire that broke out in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. There is a strong opinion that the human damage caused by this fire is not a natural disaster but a man-made disaster. Citizens claim that the no-corona policy blocked entrances and exits, even though there was enough time to escape when the fire started. In addition, although the fire engine rushed, the entrance was blocked due to the zero corona policy and it was not possible to enter the housing complex. Chinese authorities have announced that 10 people died in this incident, but some people claim that there are actually more casualties, citing information obtained from local officials (Sankei News).

In China, if one person tests positive, the area is locked down. If you get blocked, you can’t even step out of your house, and you can’t even buy anything. Of course, even if you have a disease other than corona, they won’t let you go to hospital (BBC).

Not only the road, but also the door of the house has a special lock. It fits the phrase “I won’t let you make a move”. Image Credit: Shinnami Kabei

In China, there have been several reports of tragedies caused by the zero-corona policy. In January this year, it was reported that a pregnant woman had a stillbirth because she could not receive treatment in a hospital because she did not have a negative corona test (NHJ). In addition, when 27 people died in a large bus overturning accident in September this year, suspicions spread that the bus was being used to transport people who tested positive for the new coronavirus to isolation facilities (Sankei News). There are a number of similar events. That is why many protesters used the slogan “I can be next”. The zero-corona policy has been widely and relentlessly followed throughout China. It wouldn’t be surprising if the next tragedy happened anywhere.

A person who appears to be a Chinese user left a comment in user Stem’s review of “Plague Inc.: Evolved”, saying, “Let’s all get on the Xi Jinping bus quickly.” By the way, right after the discovery of the new coronavirus, “Plague Inc.” was notified. by the Chinese government that it “contains illegal content” and was banned from the country’s App Store (related article).
Player message in “Splatoon 3”. “Tekken” is a metaphor for the brutal pressure of the Chinese Communist Party. He warns that pressure from the Communist Party can be brought to bear on anyone. Image credit:Bo Bo’s Chicken

China will delete whatever you write

Every time an incident due to China’s zero corona policy occurs, it becomes a hot topic on the Internet. At that time, many Chinese citizens tried to mourn the dead, but all the posts were deleted. There are often cases where accounts posting tributes are banned.

China has a long history of strict censorship. The censorship targets not only direct criticism of the government, but also any content that is inconvenient for the government or just topical content. This trend has become more apparent since the onset of the new coronavirus. Also, in China, all SNS accounts are a real name system, so the Chinese public security bureau can easily check who posted where, and those who speak out are subject to “processing” as they are. In China, it is no longer allowed to speak only in agreement.

A recent fire in Urumqi sparked anger among the Chinese. However, memorials and criticisms of the government posted on Weibo and elsewhere were deleted one after another. Chinese netizens, who used to smile wildly, saying, “You guys were working overtime again,” couldn’t help but smile this time.

On the night of the fire in Urumqi, many Chinese netizens shared articles full of positive comments like the one above. “好” is a Chinese word meaning “yes,” “yes,” and “understand.” The ultimate irony. This article has since been deleted. The “blank paper revolution” began to spread in China, where anything posted would be deleted.
A Splatoon 3 player who posted a blank image Image Credit: Bo Bo’s Chicken

China was arrested by holding up a blank sheet with nothing written on it

The first person to start the protest with a blank sheet of paper was Lee Kangmeng, a university student at the Nanjing Institute of Media and Communication. At first, she was standing there holding a blank sheet of paper, but even though the blank sheet was confiscated halfway through, she stood as if she were holding a blank sheet of paper. Gradually, other university students who had been onlookers joined in, and it developed into a large protest on the university campus. From the Reddit thread, you can see photos of how other students have gradually joined since she was alone.

University student Kangmu Lee. Now she has been arrested by the police and is missing.

After that, protests spread like wildfire not only in Nanjing, but also in Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Sichuan, Yunnan, and all over China (NHK).

Of course, China has a history of demonstrations, but for many Chinese, this demonstration was probably the first protest in their lives. But the fact that many citizens took to the streets to protest meant that many Chinese citizens were arrested. According to the testimony of a college student who has already been arrested and released on parole, after being arrested, he was beaten by the police, and his whole body was searched, and biometric information such as fingerprints, iris, and voice were recorded.

The message “Respect those who fought” that can be seen in “Splatoon 3” Image Credit : Li Jiaming

Where is the “Blank Paper Revolution”

While many protesters are chanting slogans to the effect of “resign the Communist Party,” they apparently do not believe that the mass demonstrations will lead to any revolution in China. Nevertheless, there are still many who believe that the protests should continue. Most people would probably think, “Even if it doesn’t lead to good results, it’s important to sow a small seed in people’s hearts.”

As a result, the protests seem to have had an impact. This is because President Xi Jinping has finally begun to appeal for the easing of the no-corona policy, influenced by the demonstrations that are developing at home and abroad (Nihon Keizai Shimbun).

Until now, as a “zero corona policy”, all citizens in different places are forced to undergo regular PCR tests. Until now, people were only allowed to use subways, commercial facilities and offices if a negative certificate had been issued within 24 hours (or 48 hours). In response to the recent deregulation announcement, PCR test points have been removed from some cities in China. Xi Jinping simply expressed his intention to relax, and the zero-corona policy, which had been strict until now, was easily withdrawn, although only partially. Protests may have won this change, although a negative test is still required for office use, forcing many citizens to travel to remote testing sites.

On the other hand, many citizens have been arrested for participating in this demonstration. If you look at the protests in “Splatoon 3” against this background, you may understand the weight of the meaning.

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