War game app funds fight against Myanmar junta

The PDF game app.

By The Irrawaddy May 4, 2022

Public hatred for Myanmar’s military rule is reflected in the growing popularity of a phone game named after resistance fighters collectively known as the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) who fight the regime.

Thousands of anti-regime activists have flocked to border regions for military training with ethnic armed organizations following the junta’s deadly crackdown on protests in February and March last year. They have since been operating as the PDF and fighting the regime.

About eight months ago, expatriate game developers created the PDF game, which allows players to role-play as PDF fighters and wage virtual war with the Myanmar regime.

The game is free on iPhone and Android phones. The developers are paid by the advertiser when players click on advertisements, the profits of which are donated to fund the revolution and help displaced civilians.

The PDF game app.

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

“We received helpful feedback from players. Thanks to their feedback, the game has improved in a month but there are still a few small bugs. New missions will be included next month,” said a game developer.

A 23-year-old PDF fighter said he played the PDF game because it was reality-based.

“This game feels identical to the real world. The game begins with protests, followed by torture by the regime. Then you go to the forest and get some training before starting your missions. And the difficulties increase as the level goes up,” he told The Irrawaddy.

“In the real world, we don’t have enough guns and we can’t shoot as much as we want. But in the game, you can charge as much as you want by clicking on ads. So it’s fun. I have now completed mission 16. I am watching ads to fund click sites to donate,” he said.

The PDF game app.

“I’m playing to help PDFs get stronger through ad revenue. I want to arm everyone,” he added.

There are over 70,000 players on Android and around 30,000 on iOS.

According to the developers, 80% of gamers are male, but the number of female gamers is increasing.

“We learned that older people who have never played an online game are playing. They like it very much and try hard,” said a game developer.

Currently, the game earns more than 10 million kyats per day, and the developers hope that this amount can increase.

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