Mike, a US video game fan, and I got to know each other playing computer games together online. We have known each other for years and played Warcraft, Red Alert, Starcraft, FIFA, NBA, all versions of Super Mario Bros, as well as DOTA, DOTA II.
Everything was okay until we started playing King of Glory.
He kept asking questions which appeared quite silly to me: Who is Zhao Yun? Wasn’t Li Bai a poet? If so, why does he carry a sword in the game? My friends say in history textbooks Jing Ke is a man. Are they joking, because she is a sexy girl in the game?
At first, I tried to explain everything. But the questions were trying my patience. Why didn’t Mike get hold of a Chinese history textbook to find the answers?
Suddenly, I realized why. King of Glory is the first Chinese computer game Mike has played, so he never thought of learning Chinese history before. Almost all the previous games we played together were European or US products, based on Western legends or history.
While playing these games, we learned the stories behind them without realizing why, which is a kind of soft power of the West, because it prompts people to learn about Western legends and history.
King of Glory, on the other hand, attracts large numbers of Westerners to play, and inspires them to learn about Chinese history and legends.
Since King of Glory does not have an official English version yet, many foreigners learn the Chinese language just to play the game. A foreigner is reported to have learned Chinese intensively for 33 days, because he wanted to understand his partners’ orders in the game.
Mike has already bought a Chinese history textbook to know the true stories of the heroes. With King of Glory becoming increasingly popular, we can assume China’s soft power will gain in strength.