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Monday, September 26, 2016

Future

Abstract: This article examines how various video games portray the future of Hong Kong. In summary, the game designers expect these virtual futures to inherit quite a few scenic and cultural characteristics from current Hong Kong. While there may been some changes in its political status as current opinion suggests, a few social problems remain unsolved. In some extreme futures, the currently prosperous city are put to an end by wars and disasters. These findings give us some excellent hints on what to do to bring a bright future to real Hong Kong.
Image credit: vectoropenstock.comWikimedia, opencliparts (1, 2, 3), createivesolvibrations.com

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wars and Terror Attacks

Abstract: This article goes through the wars and terror attacks faced by virtual Hong Kong, and analyses the possibility for the real city to be dragged into war.

Image credit: Wikipedia, martinixSketchArtistfacekickeryMelolzuGaming

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sports

Abstract: This article goes through the appearance of Hong Kong in sports video games. Though few in number, they manage to reveal a few characteristics of sports in the real city, including sport grounds, events, teams, anthems, flags and ratings.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Disasters

Abstract: Similar to many famous cities in the world, Hong Kong faces various disasters in the video game world. This article goes through all these disasters, including earthquakes, nuclear threat, bio hazard and giant attacks, and discusses how likely we are to see them in the real Hong Kong.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Real Businesses

Abstract: This article goes through the real businesses that appear in video games set in Hong Kong. They include Yua Hwa 裕華, Tse Sui Luen 謝瑞麟, Chinese Arts & Crafts 中藝, Tai Zan Yuen 大三元 and Xiamen Meat Co 廈門肉食公司. We will point out where you could find these businesses, and suggest possible reasons why they catch the attention of the game designers. As you will see, the stories of these stores indeed reveal quite a few characteristics of businesses of the real city.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Commercial Streets

Abstract: In video games which are set in Hong Kong, you may come across a few similar commercial street scenes again and again: a myriad of neon signs, a night market, a circular footbridge, a tram running through a wet market. They are all from the commercial streets in the real city: Nathan Road 彌敦道, Temple Street 廟街, Yee Wo Street 怡和街 and Chun Yeung Street 春秧街. This article tells you where you could find these commercial street scenes, and unveils the stories behind the scenes.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Chinese supernatural numbers

Abstract: A key component of Chinese supernatural involves numbers: 2 for Yin and Yang (陰陽), 4 for The Four Symbols (四象), 5 for The Five Elements (五行), 8 for The Eight Symbols (八卦) and 12 for The Twelve Birth Likeness (十二生肖). As a Chinese-dominated city, Hong Kong is also under the influence of this piece of Chinese culture. In this article, we will introduce these magical numbers one by one, and see how they influence the city in the real and virtual worlds.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Feng Shui

Abstract: Feng Shui (風水) is an ancient Chinese environmental philosophy aiming at improving our fortune. Well known and indeed a Chinese-dominant city, Hong Kong is where you can find this ancient Chinese culture. This article aims to spot out the Feng Shui elements that one can see in virtual and real Hong Kong. At the same time, we will decipher this Chinese philosophy, including its few key ideas, and its possible complication. Despite its complexity, at the end we will present a few Feng Shui tips, simple and effective guaranteed, to boost your fortune.
Image source: Wikipedia

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tetraphobia

Abstract: This article covers the appearance of the fear of the number "four", aka tetraphobia, in virtual Hong Kong, explains the origin of such a superstition, and finally describes practices in real Hong Kong due to this phobia. One of them got into an extreme a few years ago that the government needed to intervene.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Goeng-si

Abstract: The most well-known Chinese supernatural monsters are perhaps the goeng-sis or jiang-shis (殭屍), a stiff-corpse zombie which is usually dressed in grave caps and clothes, and moves by hopping around with their arm outstretched. Heavily influenced by ancient Chinese culture, Hong Kong cannot escape from these monsters. This article will cover their appearance in the virtual Hong Kong of various video games. Impressive is that the games cover a wide variety of topics about the monsters, including when and where they are expected to show up, how they attack people and what is most important, how one can defend himself from them.

A cartoon goeng-si. Source: pchome.com.tw

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bank of China Tower

Abstract: The Bank of China tower (中銀大廈) has become an iconic skyscraper of Hong Kong since its completion and occupancy in 1990 in Hong Kong Island's commercial district of Central. You can find it in not only those video games featuring the Victoria Harbor by which it is standing, but also some others which pick just one or two icons to represent Hong Kong. In this article, we first go through its appearance in those video games. Then we look into what make the tower that popular with the game developers and many others.
The Bank of China Tower. Source: Wikipedia

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ancient Chinese Gods

Abstract: With the majority citizens having Chinese origin, Hong Kong embraces a lot of gods from ancient Chinese culture. Video games set in Hong Kong happens to cover quite a lot of these gods. In this article, we will check out who they are, their appearance in the video games, and some interesting facts about them.
Hong Kong with ancient Chinese Gods. Image source: Wikipedia.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Kowloon Walled City

Abstract: Kowloon Walled City (九龍寨城) has long captured the attention of people around the world. Even though the slum that made the place famous was demolished and remodeled as an ancient Chinese garden in the 1990s, every year thousands of tourists still came to the site for the monuments and exhibitions that talk about the gone city.

The City's uniqueness has also made it a popular scene in video games. These games altogether cover an amazing aspects of the gone city. In this article, we will first look at these characteristic features one by one, before disclosing the one piece of historical fact that contributed to the legend.

Kowloon Walled City before remodeling. By Greg Girard and Ian Lambot.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sailors

Abstract: In a few video games set in Hong Kong, we can find sailors in uniform walking down the streets, or taking part in community activities. In this article, we will go through these presences and talk about why it is the case in the real Hong Kong.

A sailor. Source: Open Clip Art


Monday, March 7, 2016

Tiger Balm Garden

Abstract: Modeled as a fighting ground in a few video games, the real Tiger Balm Garden (萬金油花園) was regarded by many people as the "Chinese Disneyland", passing on distinct ancient Chinese amusement experience to the visitors. This article discusses how unique it is!
Tiger Balm Garden in Hong Kong. Source: J. Brandel and T. Turbeville. Tiger Balm Gardens: A Chinese Billionaire's Fantasy Environments.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lunar New Year

Abstract: Lunar New Year is the biggest ancient Chinese festival celebrated in Hong Kong. As the name suggests, the festival is based on the lunar calendar that looks at cycles of the moon phases. Preparation starts days before the festival. Three public holiday days are granted starting from the first day of the festival, which is one day more than next biggest, Christmas - Boxing Day (two days). Celebrations continue until the 15th day, also known as the Lantern festival, when the Moon first gets back to its fullest after the new year. In the following, we are going to check out traces of Lunar New Year traditions in virtual Hong Kong, and explain these practices in the real world in details.

Happy New Year! Gong Hei Fat Choy! Source: Open Clip Art

Monday, January 11, 2016

Songs

Abstract: This article describes the video game songs that are related to Hong Kong. From them you can find bits and pieces of real Hong Kong, including artists, scenery, culture and even social climate.

Source: Open Clip Art

Sunday, January 3, 2016

British Crown

Abstract: The Crown is a sign of British rule and appeared in signs of various government departments when Hong Kong was still under British rule. Since the 1997 handover of sovereignty to China, the Crown is supposed to disappear. However, it turns out that they are still around, in both virtual and real Hong Kong.
British St Edward's Crown. Source: Wikipedia

British Monarch's head

Abstract: Just like many other places which take British monarch as the head of the state, the colonial Hong Kong government printed the head of the British monarchs in quite a few government-issued stuff such as stamps and coins. This article first points you to the appearance of these items in virtual Hong Kong. Then we cover related topics in the real world including an introduction of these monarchs and their presence in the post-colonial city.

A Hong Kong coin with Queen's head. Source: pacificwestgold.com

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Minibuses

Abstract: Frequently carrying thousands of citizens in batches of at most 16 along short routes not served by much bigger buses, Hong Kong minibuses shape a significant portion of typical street scenes with their iconic cream body color and red/green top. In this article, we will see a surprisingly detailed capture of this public transport in video games.
A red public minibus. Source: wikipedia. Contributed by Wrightbus

A green public minibus. Source: wikipedia. Contributed by Wikipedia user -Wing1990hk

Monday, November 30, 2015

Junks

Abstract: The junk is perhaps the most representative icon of Hong Kong, both virtual and real. It is used by many people in the tourism and video game industries to indicate that the place that they are describing is indeed Hong Kong. In this article, we first glance through these appearances. Then we explain why the junk has becomes an icon of the city. Finally, we see the presence of junks in the city nowadays, which is by itself a legend.
Lonely Planet Pocket Hong Kong (2013 version)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bruce Lee

Abstract: This article is dedicated to Bruce Lee (李小龍), a 20th-century world-renowned martial artist who has drastically improved how the world perceives Asian martial arts. Bruce has a strong relation with Hong Kong as he was brought up and later built up his successful acting career in the city. We review how Bruce shapes the virtual video game world with his superb martial art skills and his close tie with Hong Kong.
Bruce Lee. Source: Wikipedia

Monday, November 23, 2015

Car Racing

Abstract: Just like many other international cities, Hong Kong has been selected by quite a few video games to host their formal and informal (or illegal) car races. This article evaluates all these games in terms of how well they construct the city. Then we will look at the real races in real Hong Kong, including popular illegal race courses and the development of formal races in the city.

Source: HK Formula E