Life & Culture

Genshin Impact’s Opera Controversy Is A Big Cultural Moment

Yun Jin presents Chinese opera to the audience in Liyue Port.

screenshot: miHoYo / YouTube / Kotaku

On December 26, the vocal performances of Jinshin effectIt was the newest playable character Appears for the first time. This included Yun Jin, the young conductor of a Chinese opera company. reaction from Jinshin Society was mixed, but this moment also became an opportunity for people to experience an underappreciated side of Chinese culture that they had never seen before.

I’m from an unknown city called Beijing, which most Americans associate with government oppression and transcendence. The other thing we know about is Peking Opera, which is the most popular regional alternative to Chinese opera. I’m generalizing here broadly, but the performers generally sing it pretty loudly. The clothes and makeup are very exaggerated, and the dance moves involve a lot of poses. Our country is the most famous in China, which is included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

These aspects of Chinese opera have been at the forefront and center during the recent period Jinshin effect Audio presentations. some fans I enjoyed Eun Jin sings, while the others negative reaction How she sang “Oh, Maestro” out loud (including a famous voice Jinshin streamer, who later had to create a file apology video). Some fans have pointed out that laughing in a traditional Asian art form is a type of laughter shitty at best and Racist at worst, especially for a game that aims to incorporate non-Western cultural hubs into all of its updates. But that’s not what I really want to talk about. On January 13, the official Jinshin effect publish youtube account Video About Yun Jin who made it clear that the developers created the character with a true love of opera as an art form.

Growing up, every time I heard opera on my grandmother’s TV, I hoped my American friends would never know about it. In contrast to other Chinese cultural exports such as food and costumes, the sharp sounds of opera sounded palatable to an American audience. Thus, when I first watched Yun Jin’s video, I was one of those viewers whose reactions were negative. I tightened my shoulder, and gritted my teeth. I just wanted the song to end. You see, the cultural significance of opera has been shaky even at home. It was Chinese opera almost perished during the Cultural Revolution. Nowadays, even Chinese teenagers are more interested in Marvel movies. I was confident that opera would never become one of our cultural exports.

Well, millions of Americans discovered it through a series Jinshin trailers. And you know what? It wasn’t the end of the world. After the initial shock from hearing something unfamiliar, Yun Jin was received more favorably Twitter. Youtube changed his original opinion For her song, I saw players mention that they want to know more about Chinese opera. This was amazing to me: the single gacha character was able to change the public perception of something I’ve struggled with my whole life. Before Yun Jin, my feelings for Chinese opera were still stuck in the past decade. Some people move faster than culture. I call these people artists. for example Jinshin Society, culture moves faster than people.

As a video game critic, I would expect most major video companies to strive to follow trends. It is an electronic game It is one of the most egregious examples of how gaming content tends to follow in the footsteps of what is already popular. developers JinshinHowever, it created worldwide interest in the art that even government efforts to publish locally struggled. Popular video games should try to define the trend, rather than stay beholden to it.

And the developers were very deliberate in using Jinshincultural power. According to Xiao Luohao, a developer on Jinshin Writing team: “It is difficult to bear the deep accumulation of Chinese opera art over thousands of years. But if there is a way to use Jinshin effect, a form of entertainment easily accepted by others … to introduce people to the artistic crystallization of traditional Chinese opera, and even arouse interest in the art itself … to connect with the essence of real opera culture … We felt that if the game can serve as a simple introduction, our efforts It will be feasible.”

Yun Jin had a Chinese opera built into almost every aspect of its design. One animator explained that her smooth attack animation was based on how performers put a pose on stage and then pause. She was designed as a supporting character because of how the opera relies on multiple artists.

Her character design was also inspired by opera, such as pompoms, feather plumes, and a cloud collar. The developers had intended to release it since Liyue was conceived, but Yun Jin’s design created a difficult development problem. Her large headdress caused camera distortions, but the staff decided not to take the easy way out by compromising her determination. Instead, they’ve built custom tools to help polish her look. With a mischievous smile, character designer TT joked that his only concern was that game testers might encounter him after work.

As Writer Doe explains that she has been going to the opera since she was a child, it occurred to me that the developers were also revealing something very weak in themselves. I can’t help but feel the magic. They were bold enough to present something they love to the whole world, regardless of whether his photo was “cool” or not. This is what art should strive for. Art is not defined by the value of production or by the big names associated with it by artists. Art must present the hearts of its creators without fear and confidence.

A few weeks ago, I broadcast the main quest that featured Eun Jin. In the end, she gave a full performance of a story she was working on. I started watching it somewhat anxiously, but gradually I began to immerse myself in the song. the Jinshin Society has already moved on from her “strange music”.

With every YouTube restart, I’ll also allow myself to transform.


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