HONG KONG HAS been chosen as the setting for one of the hottest new computer games on the planet. After “Shadowrun” and its follow-up were massive hits worldwide, the development team, known as Harebrained Schemes, went quiet for a couple of years.

Turns out they were working on their biggest video game yet: “Shadowrun: Hong Kong”, set in the world’s coolest city.

Details are TOP SECRET but it will be launched on August 20. Word is that it will be an action game with great graphics (see pic) and a fabulous storyline.

The date is AD 2056. There is no longer any government in Hong Kong. The city is entirely run by tycoons who own mega-corporations.

Hang on a minute.

That’s not AD 2056. That’s now.

WE HEREBY NOMINATE Beijing’s internet officials for the grand title of Least Believable Announcement of the Year. When scandalous videos taken in a department store changing room went viral, officials tried to persuade the world that cheeky sex was what the internet hated most. “Internet users are highly concerned and strongly condemn the acts,” their statement said. On which planet?

FACEPALM! INSTEAD OF showing the usual picture of a boring block of flats, Hong Kong property company New World Development has chosen to advertise its new Skypark development in Mongkok as a two-dimensional abstract pattern of rainbow colors (see pic).

But here’s the funny bit. Their lawyers have added disclaimers in giant text explaining that the images are “an artist’s impression of the development concerned only” and “are not to scale”.

Clearly they assumed the Hong Kong public was so dumb they’d think they’d just spent ten mill on a vertical, two-dimensional splash of colors.

FED UP OF BLOCKS of apartments everywhere? We could all live in trees instead, according to this fabulous design (see pic) by student Kuris Ng Wing-hei of PolyU Design. Of course, if Hong Kong buildings were redesigned to look like this, the actual rooms of the apartments in the city would be incredibly small and poky. So, no change there.

ELTON JOHN’S ANNOUNCEMENT that he is coming back to Hong Kong in November neatly coincided with the news that the Chinese government gave artist Ai WeiWei back his passport. Four years ago, Elton gave a shout-out to Ai Wei Wei at a concert in Shanghai. Elton was questioned afterwards, and has not been back to the mainland since. Well, the short, camp singer may not be able to get into China, but at least Ai Wei Wei can come and see his buddy in Hong Kong. Can you feel the love tonight?

HONG KONG SCREENWRITER Lawrence Gray is basking in the glory of having won Best Feature Film at the Coventry Film Festival last month. But sadly it has not made him mega-wealthy and he is leaving Shatin to move to Johor Bahru, Malaysia. “I would have been happy to call Hong Kong home for another 24 years if in order to do so I would not have to live in a tiny apartment with lead contaminated water and live on limpets scraped off the side of the Star Ferry,” he told me.

EVERY TIME I WALK past the “Taste Better Curry” shop (see pic) in Central, I feel this urge to get out my graffiti pen and add “Pretty Much Anywhere Else” on to the signboard. The food is probably fine, but it’s just the way they have phrased it seems to imply the rest of the sentence.

THIS COLUMNIST is out of Hong Kong, appearing at a writers’ festival in Australia, but will be back in this space by the middle of August. Let’s talk then.

Nury Vittachi

Nury Vittachi failed to win the Man Booker Prize this year. He also failed to win the Pulitzer Prize. He hopes to make it a clean sweep by failing to win the Nobel Prize for literature. He does not live on The Peak with 20 cats and a parakeet called Trixy. He is not strange.