British Journal of Chinese Studies

dragon mural beijing 2018 copyright Gerda Wielander
Vol 12 No 2 (2022): Games and Gaming in China and the Sinophone World

Teaching Through the Uncanny: Red Candle Games’ Devotion

Gregory Adam Scott
University of Manchester
Katherine Alexander
University of Colorado
Published August 2, 2022
How to Cite
Scott, G., & Alexander, K. (2022). Teaching Through the Uncanny: Red Candle Games’ Devotion. British Journal of Chinese Studies, 12(2), 70-75.


On 19th February 2019, horror game Devotion (Huan yuan 還願) by Red Candle Games (赤燭遊戲) was launched on the popular PC platform Steam. One week later it was pulled from digital distribution after a satirical message was discovered in one of its graphical assets. In this essay we analyse how the immersive narrative deploys traditional Chinese religious imagery, supernatural literary themes, and sometimes gruesome experiences to explore issues of family, guilt, and redemption. We seek to initiate a conversation about Devotion as a significant cultural text that gives players a unique experience of the rich symbolism of Chinese religious culture. Additionally, we highlight how digital game media such as this can productively be used in teaching.

Image: Promotional image for Devotion (Red Candle Games, 2019)

  • Devotion,
  • pedagogy,
  • religious culture
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