Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum But A Video Game Ad

Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad

Earlier this week, a Chinese man was camping with friends in the Huairou region when he seems to have spotted a monster-like creature that somewhat resembled Gollum from Lord of the Rings. The man said he was "terrified". He snapped photos and uploaded them online. They spread like wildfire.

According to Taiwanese site ET Today, this monster photos racked up 16 million mentions on Weibo, China's Twitter, reports

Here are the photos in question (images via Xinhuanet):

Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad
Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad

When the photos hit, there was one net user who claimed that they were for a fantasy short film he was making with friends. The claims have since been refuted, but they continue to be mentioned online in China by some, when debunking these photos.

Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad
Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad
Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad
Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad

So, yeah, this isn't actually Gollum. How do I know this? Because Gollum doesn't really exist, that's how! Crazy, I know. But it gets even crazier: ET Today reports this is a man dressed up to promote online game Guild Wars 2. Apparently, he was mistaken for being an actual monster, whether that's Gollum or Dobby from Harry Potter or whatever.

Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad

The game's official Chinese social networking account uploaded behind-the-scenes photos to show that, yes, this is just a photo shoot to promote the game. ET Today reports that the actor was getting a drink from the stream when his photo was snapped. Though, The Telegraph reports the local Huairou government states, "The actor was taking a loo-break and was still wearing his costume".

Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad

The Guild Wars 2 Chinese social networking site added that this wasn't for a short film, but an ad for the game. It also clarified that this "monster" was Asura, a Guild Wars 2 in-game character race, and it apparently even set up a hashtag (#怪兽实为游戏平面 or, loosely, "The monster was really video game marketing material") to help control the rumours that this is a real monster.

Chinese Monster Hoax Wasn't Really Gollum, But a Video Game Ad

Wonder if this whole hoax, from start to finish, was part of the game's publicity blitz in China...

激战2 [Weibo] 原文網址: 像咕嚕的生物躲樹叢?北京懷柔驚現「怪獸」其實是 [ETtoday新奇新聞] 揭秘北京懷柔驚現怪獸:類似咕嚕 蹲在樹叢間小便 [Xinhuanet] 'Gollum' was a hoax after all [Telegraph]

Eric Jou contributed to this report.


Comments

    Jeez China, even your hoax monsters are uninspired. It's like you put Dobby's head on Gollum's body. I also appreciate that the savage woods monster was considerate enough to wear a modesty cloth. Wonder how long it took for him to put that together. Must have borrowed woods monster grandma's plastic leaf sewing machine.

      Did you read the article? Not a hoax monster, was for an advert and is an existing race from the game.
      So no idea why you are blaming the Chinese

        So the actor decided to wander off-set in his costume, alone, drink in a stream (what, there was no Evian?), and obviously saw the photographer but made no attempt to clear the confusion. It's a hoax clearly designed to be caught, then propagated online, by civilians. This is nothing new. 16 million mentions is the kinda thing marketers dream of when they craft elaborate hoaxes like that 'psychic' one a while back promoting the Carrie remake.

        I'm not 'blaming' the Chinese so much as the lazy attempt at viral marketing by this company. The creature doesn't even resemble the in-game models, but is a bizarre amalgamation of characters from other, more famous fantasy franchises.

          A lazy viral campaign that worked. Not bad for what is clearly a low budget single page advert poster.
          And excluding the body the face is pretty much spot on for an Asura.

            My point being. Cheap, lazy, obviously bogus hoax yet the populous lapped this up. The 'Asura' from what I can tell are small, cute, futuristic creatures.. yet turned into freakish, hairless Dobby/Gollum wearing a leaf loin cloth with a sword?

              It's a bloody one page photo advert, how much money do you think gets thrown at these? Of course it's cheap.
              The populous reacted like everyone else does with these things, some play in to it but the majority call it fake.

                Doubt it. Maybe I'm being optimistic but if someone caught a fake Dobby monster wearing a plastic leaf loin cloth in the outback, I highly doubt it would rack up 16M+ mentions. They let the photos stew and gain enough online traction before revealing a fabricated story that their man had just wandered off to drink and was serendipitously photographed by hikers.

                Wonder if this whole hoax, from start to finish, was part of the game’s publicity blitz in China…

                Yes, yes it was. They were never there to film an ad campaign. They were obviously in the forest to be caught in the first place. I'm not sure why they're continuing to lie about their motives at the outset.

                  Uh...yes, that's how viral marketing works. It's called a publicity stunt.....a stunt that draws publicity.

                  And who is lying now? They came out saying it was a marketing stunt and we can see the damn poster that resulted from it.

                  "But on Thursday, a more mundane explanation emerged. An actor posted more photographs of himself being made up and posing as the creature while shooting an advertisement.
                  "This was an actor wearing a costume," clarified Beijing's police "He was filming an advertisement."
                  "The actor has provided pictures of himself in the costume to prove it," added the local government of Huairou, the county where the hiker took his snap. "The actor was taking a loo-break and was still wearing his costume".

                  Not to mention that the games official Chinese site revealed all of this.
                  No one is lying about motives.

                  Last edited 30/06/14 2:35 pm

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