The world of comics and gaming collide with the groundbreaking Shuyan Saga. Created by Loft Sky Entertainment Inc., Shuyan Saga is a game unlike any other. In fact, it’s a graphic novel that comes to life through the action of 3D gaming while you play your way through the story as Shuyan.
Voiced by People’s Choice Award winning actress, Kristin Kreuk, Shuyan Saga has artwork by comic book artist Daxiong and a score by Aaron Tsang. Shuyan Saga is a treat in gameplay, visual arts and sound.
Geeks of Color had the chance to sit down with Kristin to talk about her role in the action graphic novel, gaming and what it means for women and diversity. Check it out below:
Britany Murphy for Geeks of Color: So, my first question would be, are you into gaming at all?
Kristin Kreuk: I am not a gamer, I admit. I’ve never been – I think because it was banned in my household, I liked to follow rules and we only did educational games.
BM for GOC: That being said, did you ever get a chance to play Shuyan Saga?
KK: I’ve not had a full chance to play the game! They sent it to me while I was working because I’ve been in Winnipeg working on a TV show. So, I haven’t had a chance yet. But I’ve seen some of it and I’m looking forward to being able to kind of move my way around it.
BM for GOC: So, what were your first impressions upon seeing so far? Because when I saw it, I was blown away by all the graphics.
KK: It’s beautiful! The graphics are gorgeous. Daxiong who did the illustrations is just a stunning artist. So, I think that stands out a lot. The music is particularly compelling and beautiful – so, it’s like this funny thing because I’ve always seen games in a certain way in my head and I think because I’m old and I don’t game, I had this limited perspective on what games are. And being able to see that the medium has shifted so much and there’s so much available, it’s really beautiful to see this thing that’s a piece of art, as well as an interactive combat game.
BM for GOC: As you were saying about how games have come so far, I was just wondering what you thought about the character? Shuyan is a female character and you typically portray strong female characters in your other work. So, I just wanted your take on the representation of females in the game?
KK: Being on the outskirts a little bit, you know I hear about all the stuff with gamergate. I think that having women, who are very much engaged in gaming now obviously, in important. A character like this one appeals to both genders and I think appeals across many ages and she is Chinese, and she is flawed but she is committed to her personal growth and overcoming certain impulses that are limiting her from being able to be the best leader she can be. And I think that’s something to aspire to. I don’t know that all of our leaders are doing such things and I think that she really does represent what an aspirational ideal of what a leader could be.
BM for GOC: As you said before, Shuyan is Chinese. So, what is your take on diversity in gaming and media?
KK: Yes, I’m half Chinese. Because I can present as Caucasian because I’m light eyed, I’ve never had to fight against a lot of the racial stereotypes but I believe heavily in diversity and I think that the more we can have people of color represented well and in complex ways in our media, the more our society will be happier, healthier, more complex, nuanced and loving. So, that’s really important with this game.
Obviously we’re existing in the realm of Chinese culture, so we’re also learning about Kung-Fu which represents some of the values of the Chinese culture. My family are diaspora Chinese – my mom didn’t come from China, she came from Indonesia. My grandmother didn’t come from China, she came from Jamaica, so it’s a different culture. But for me to be able to learn about my history in a way through engaging in a game like this is beautiful. The more collectivist values of China, as opposed to the individualistic values of North America is also something that I think we could take something from in a world where we’re so obsessed with ourselves and with our own individual narratives, it’s nice to be able to consider: ‘What’s best for our communities?’ And that’s what the game also posits.
BM for GOC: Lastly, I just wanted to know what is your hope for the game and who you wish for it to reach?
KK: I want it to reach as many people as possible, obviously – but I really do hope that young women are able to access the game and play it, and get a lot out of it! I think that it’s something that, you know, you could have a great female community banding around. But obviously, I don’t want to limit it to just that, but that’s just a personal thing I think would be great because I want all of us women to have the best we can.
Shuyan Saga is available for purchase on Steam. Check out the story trailer below: