Secret Morse code tune sees game removed in China
A popular mobile game was taken offline in mainland China for “rectification work” after netizens discovered that its music director had written a song containing the Morse code with a hidden pro-democracy message in Hong Kong.
According to the Chinese newspaper Global Times, the musical rhythm game Cytus II, produced by Taiwan’s Rayark Games, has been removed from the mainland China app stores.
This was done after netizens discovered a controversial song by Hong Kong music director ICE, the real name Wilson Lam, on his Soundcloud account.
The piece, Telegraph 1344 7609 2575, was actually published on its page in March, but after the netizens discovered it, it contained in the Morse code the phrase “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times”, many on the mainland asked him to be fired. .
China’s “Great Wall” online
It is unclear who was able to decipher the hidden message, and it is unlikely that anyone within the same mainland would have been able to do so, as Soundcloud and YouTube are blocked in China.
However, the discovery sparked a lively conversation about the popular Chinese microblog, Sina Weibo.
“The person who discovered this is truly incredible,” says one user, receiving more than 200 likes. Others applaud the “intelligence” and “skill” of someone who can decipher the Morse code.
Many users outside the mainland also commented on Mr Lam’s Facebook page, thanking him for his support for Hong Kong activists.
In mainland China, pro-democracy messages in support of Hong Kong activists are strongly disapproved and there has been active censorship of them. The central Chinese government has criticized Hong Kong activism as “separatist” behavior which is often “violent” and has the potential to cause harm to China as a country.
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Since then Mr. Lam announced his resignation on Facebook. In his statement, he said his song “created controversy resulting in widespread discussion among netizens.”
He said the song was his “private activity” and “has nothing to do with Rayark Games” and had offered his resignation “with immediate effect”.
Dragonest Games, the mainland company of Rayark Games, also released a statement stating that “further collaboration with the artist will be interrupted. We apologize for any impact on the incident and strongly condemn the composer’s action.”
Mr Lam’s song has also been removed from Soundcloud but there are versions on YouTube.
The Morse code was a telecommunication method invented in 1837 using a series of dots and dashes. It played a key role in early transatlantic communications and was crucial during the First World War.
Some popular British TV series programs have used Morse code in their opening themes.
Barrington Pheloung’s Inspector Morse theme included a motif based on the MORSE letters; while composer Ronnie Hazlehurst wrote the name of the comedy of the 70s with Michael Crawford on the theme of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave’ Em, a memorable musical joke that reportedly earned him £ 30.
Reporting by Kerry Allen, Alistair Coleman
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