Video game allowing players to shoot junta soldiers online funds resistance efforts in Myanmar

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A mobile game that allows people to role play as fighters against the military junta has become popular in Myanmar, with proceeds from the app being donated to fund the resistance.

War of Heroes – The PDF Game was launched in March and has been downloaded nearly 400,000 times since.

The app developers get paid by advertisers when players click on ads and profits are subsequently donated to fund the people’s movement against the military junta and help civilians who have been displaced.

“We created the game about eight months ago to raise money from advertising. All the developers work as game developers in foreign countries and we created the game in our spare time,” the developers told The Irrawaddy.

Players say the game is popular as it is close to reality.

“This game feels identical to the real world. The game starts with protests, followed by torture by the regime. Then you go to the forest and undergo training before you start your missions. And difficulties increase as the level rises,” a 23-year-old player said.

Several players say that killing virtual Myanmar troops is a way of participating in real-life resistance to the country’s ruthless military.

“Even though I can’t kill soldiers who are brutally killing civilians, killing in the game is satisfying, too,” Sein Lin, 72, told The New York Times.

“One way or another, playing the game and clicking until I die will help the revolution.”

Several regime opponents have fled to the jungle, where they have formed the People’s Defense Force, or PDF.

There are similar numbers of fighters in urban areas as semiautonomous guerrilla units.

The fighting between rebel forces that reject the rule of the military junta which seized power in a coup in February 2021 and ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has led to the deaths of over 2,000 people with hundreds of thousands displaced, according to figures released by the UN.

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