China develops games and apps to preserve culture

BY: Mary Mensah & Seth J. Bokpe

Chinese game and app developers are designing games and applications that seek to preserve the country’s cultural heritage and increase interest in its tourist sites.

The designers integrate the country’s many iconic tourist sites, including the Forbidden City, in games, as well as design emojis with its ancient heroes, which are used daily on social media.

The Chief Researcher of Tencent Company, one of China’s biggest internet companies, Mr Wang Yi, said since the introduction of the innovation last year, there had been an increase in visits to the various tourist sites.

China’s tourism

Statistics from the China National Tourism Administration showed that in 2016, 138 million tourists visited China, particularly from its Asian neighbours Vietnam, Burma and South Korea. In the same year, Chinese tourists made 4.44 billion tourism trips.

“Although every country has its share of history, tradition and culture, such things are not in the life of our young people. We have, therefore, partnered game developers and software engineers to preserve the country’s culture, heritage and heroes,” he stated.

“Tourists are going to the tourist sites to see in real life what they experience in games.

“In the case of the emojis, because they say hilarious things, they are very popular with young people. Millions have been downloaded.

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“There are also apps that easily make it possible to match people with ancient terra cotta figures. So our young people are increasingly getting interested in our past,” Mr Wang stated at the 2018 Seminar for All Media Reporters in Beijing, China.

The seminar brought together more than 50 journalists and communication officers from 14 countries in four continents.

It sought to equip the participants with insights into China, its media and development to help them understand the Chinese society, as well as tell China’s story from an informed perspective.

Online population

China's online population, the largest in the world, had touched 772 million at the end of 2017.

A total of 753 million Chinese use mobile phones to surf the Internet. In rural areas, 209 million out of the country’s 576 million rural population were connected to the Internet.

Mr Wang said the internet penetration was high in rural areas because of the government‘s investment in infrastructure.