NCKU students create ‘Oh!MyGod?’ game based on temple culture

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan–Integrating aspects of Taiwanese culture into its design, three students from the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Tainan, have created an interactive table game that they introduced at a recent digital art exhibition, MovISee, according to a press release by the NCKU on Monday. Oh!MyGod? is an interactive table game created by Liao Yu-tzu, Jiang Yi-xiang, and Yang Shao-ying, all first-year graduate students from the Institute of Creative Industries Design (ICID), NCKU. Yang said, “The idea of the game Oh!MyGod? began from our field trip to West Central District in Tainan City, where there are numerous temples and shrines, all of great historical and cultural significance.” “In Taiwan, folk religion combines aspects of art, history and culture and honoring this becomes not only our commitment to the spirit of Taiwan, but also an homage to the wisdom of our ancestors,” she added. However, it’s a pity that nowadays so few of the young generation value this kind of traditional culture, said Yang. A hand-made prototype of the table game is currently showcasing at the MovISee exhibition at NCKU Art Center. Jiang introduced the game and explained, “We made a table game based on the mythology, history and aesthetic aspects of the gods and temples of Tainan to attract young people to become more familiarized with their culture.” He further explained that it takes four people to play the game and that to start each players has to pick one god card from nine and download an app. The player will then have one piece of her or his god’s puzzle. Based on the card they’ve picked, the player will play the game as a believer of a specific god. A total of nine gods are involved in the game, including: the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝), Guan Sheng Di jun (關聖帝君), Mazu (媽祖), Zhenwu Emperor (真武大帝), Cheng Huang Ye (城隍爺), Confucius, Yen Ping Chun Wang (延平郡王), Seven Star Empresses (七娘媽), and Tu Di Gong (土地公).

Yang noted, “From project conception to field investigation and interviews, what we gained from our work was not only the creation of a table game, but also cultural knowledge relevant to (understanding) Taiwanese identity.” “After the feedback and support we received throughout the preparation and final exhibition of the game, we hope we can make our prototype into a real product available for play,” said Liao.

“Also we hope that more and more people will understand and appreciate the beauty of our own culture,” added Yang.