Genshin Impact's Latest Controversy Shows Games Can Be Powerful Ambassadors For Art

On December 26, the voice performances for Genshin Impact’s latest playable characters were shown for the first time. This included Yun Jin, the young leader of a Chinese opera company. The reaction from the Genshin community was mixed, but the moment also became an opportunity for people to experience an underappreciated aspect of Chinese culture they’d likely never seen before.

I’m from a little-known city called Beijing, which most Americans associate with government repression and overreach. The other thing we’re known for is the Peking opera, which is the most popular regional variant of Chinese opera. I’m broadly generalizing here, but performers generally sing it in a very high-pitched voice. The outfits and makeup are extremely exaggerated, and the dance movements involve a lot of pauses. Ours is the most famous one in China, and it’s listed as a UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

These aspects of Chinese opera were front and center during the recent Genshin Impact voice performances. Some fans enjoyed Yun Jin’s singing, while others reacted negatively to how she sang “Oh, Maestro” in a high-pitched voice (including a popular Genshin streamer, who later had to make an apology video). Some fans pointed out that laughing at a traditional Asian artform is kind of shitty at best, and racist at worst, especially for a game that’s made a point of incorporating non-western cultural touchstones throughout all its updates. But that’s not really what I want to talk about. On January 13, the official Genshin Impact YouTube account posted a video about Yun Jin that made it evident that the developers created the character with a genuine love for opera as an art form.

Read the full article on Kotaku
About the game

Genshin Impact

Release date: Jun 30, 2020


Game Mode: Single player, Co-operative, Multiplayer,

Platform(s): PC (Microsoft Windows), iOS, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Android,

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Alexandru Blaga



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