Wed, Feb 07, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Not just a game; cracking a murder with a smartphone

An augmented reality game released last week featuring a Taiwanese-American detective has players running all over the city trying to solve a decades-old White Terror murder case

By Han Cheung  /  Staff Reporter

“It’s not just the change in political atmosphere,” Yu says. “Raid on Taihoku was a commercial success. That means there is a demand.”

BEHIND THE SCENES

Yu kept the production as Taiwanese as possible, hiring a local artist to create the artwork — which his team chose for the style that falls somewhere between Western and Taiwanese, which is in turn influenced by Japanese manga but is developing into something unique.

Danny Lin is voiced by DJ Joey (周恩承) of ICRT, while popular Internet singer Hsueh Nan (薛南) lends her voice to second lead Naomi Oshiro, whose mother was a witness in the murder. Other guest stars include notable YouTuber Guaji (呱吉, real name Chiu Wei-chieh, 邱威傑). Hsueh also sings the theme song for the soundtrack, which is comprised of original tunes by local indie vocalists.

Ed Lin tries to be inclusive of the forces that have shaped modern Taiwanese society and history — Oshiro’s grandfather was born in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial era but had to leave after World War II. However, he missed it so much that he later returned and settled. Danny Lin’s grandfather’s friend, who meets up with him in Taiwan, is Aboriginal.

Despite living in the US for his entire life, Ed Lin has plenty of material to draw from as he’s done much research since 2012 on Taiwanese history and launched a new detective series based in Taiwan in 2014. But he had little help from his family.

“I don’t know how this works in other cultures, but if you want to find out about your own family’s history, they won’t tell you. They’ll just talk around things,” he says.

Many events he read about, including the attempted assassination of Chiang, were “shocking.”

“It’s not something you hear about,” he says. “It’s not big in US history. I don’t even know that they would teach it in Taiwan.”

Lin adds that whether he intends to or not, anything he writes about Taiwan will inform someone about the country which many Westerners are still ignorant about.

“Most people are still like, ‘Oh Taiwanese. I love Pad Thai,’” he says, noting that as recent as 2014, the Canadian newspaper Metro misprinted Thailand as Taiwan in a headline.

“When you look at other island countries like Ireland and Jamaica … everyone knows a little bit — you have leprechauns, you have reggae ... Why can’t Taiwan have something like that?” he says.

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