Romance of the Western Chamber
Object Play
Educational Game
13th -18th centuries

An interactive, educational game that retells a Chinese literary classic, Romance of the Western Chamber invites players to explore the multifaceted culture of Wang Shifu’s thirteenth-century drama. In Wang’s Romance of the Western Chamber, textual, visual, and material histories intertwine. After the drama’s debut, numerous scrolls, albums, prints, manuscripts, and artifacts responded to Romance of the Western Chamber across the centuries that followed.


Based on in-depth historical research of the cultural history reflected in Romance of the Western Chamber, this educational game constructs a problem-solving adventure within a multi-universe structure.

Immersed in an architectural complex modeled after premodern Chinese gardens, the player interacts with traditional artifacts and literary puzzles to decipher the storyline as they traverse time and space. As the original dramatic narrative unfolds, the player is situated in different contexts of cultural history and views the romance from different historical perspectives. Bringing together game design and historical research, the project creates an engaging educational experience for modern audiences, enabling them to dive into the drama’s deep philosophical,religious foundations, and receptions across history.