Xiran Yang
 

Blind Date

A web-based interactive story about a Chinese woman’s blind dating experience.

 

 
 
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 Project Overview

 

Blind Date is a story featuring a 28-year-old Chinese woman, who is being pressured to get married and ends up blind dating with five different candidates. It takes format in an interactive web story that the user can play on a phone. The story is my own imagination of a fictional self in the future. A user plays the role of the imaginary Xiran and helps her to have conversations with different people.

This is an independent research, design and development project that I created for my capstone at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. The whole project is designed and created using Adobe Creative Suite, JavaScript, p5.js, jQuery, Node.js, HTML and CSS.

 
 
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THE STORY

Blind Date unfolds by introducing the female protagonist Xiran’s conversations with three type of people regarding her marriage; her best friend Lorna, her mom Ling, as well as five different blind dates. These conversations are distributed into 3 chapters.A user plays the role of Xiran and helps her to go through all these conversations.

 
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Ch.1 - A Discussion with A Friend

In Chapter One, as Xiran, a user will have a discussion with your best friend Lorna about a wedding of your younger friend Cici. Lorna worries about your age and your relationship with guys, and she encourages you to date different people before it is too late.

 
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Ch.2 - A Conflict with Mom

In Chapter Two is a conflict between Xiran and her mom about getting married. Your mom worries about your marriage because she is the person who cares about you the most, She believes that getting married, having family and kids will make You happy; while also being worried about you becoming leftover woman and the target of social criticism, she encouraged you to consider getting married now.

 
 
 

Ch.3 - Going to Blind Dates

In Chapter Three, upon your mom’s request, though you do not really have plans to get married, you compromised and agree to go on blind dates arranged by your mom’s friend Auntie Wang. You will be able to respond differently to each of the candidate and receives different kind of answers You wonder if one of them will be the right person for you.

 
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Character Relationship

 

Interface

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Hear me tell the story!

 

 

Experience the story!

The story experience is the best when you play it on your phone. Entering theblinddatestory.com on your phone browser to experience it! You can also click the button or scan the QR code to play it!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Background

 

I used to consider “feminism” a sophisticated term that one is able to discuss only using heavy academic quotes. It was not until I played a Chinese game called “A Gay’s Life” that I changed my mind. “A Gay’s life” is a narrative game that touched upon homosexuality. It communicates a seemingly difficult concept well by telling a story. I realized that I can also deliver ideas on feminism by creating an engaging experience.

As I am about to turn 24, I started to hear the word “marriage” much more often. My family and friends started to ask me more about whether I have a boyfriend, and what were my plans about marriage. Interestingly, I found mine not a unique experience, but a common story shared by more Chinese women. Marriage, as something all Chinese women will inevitably face, has, therefore, become my chosen topic.

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Research

To elaborate on this topic, I did my research from three approaches: Literature Review, In-Person Interview and Online Survey. These research helped my to create the script of my story, including the social background, characters and conversations.

 

01. Literature Review

 
 
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Besides journals and short essays, one of my major reference was Sandy To’s book China’s Leftover Women, whose studies are mainly based on her interviews with around 50 urban educated Chinese women.

 
 

02. In-Person Interview

 
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I also did 7 interviews in the very early stage of my project, at that time, I was just curious about Chinese women’s personal opinions on marriage and how their experience has been around it.

My interviewees were between 24 to 27 years old, all single. By using the word “single” I am specifically referring to women who have never been married before. Some of the interviewees did have boyfriends. They were top university graduate students, bank clerk, designer and professional working in the insurance industry. They were well-educated urban Chinese women who had the potential to be labeled as the “leftover women”.

In these interviews, I was most interested in understanding their own opinions of marriage. I also asked about their expectations about marriage and their future mates. I was curious if they have personally experience any type of pressure on the topic of marriage.

 
 

03. Online Survey

 

In addition, the results from my online survey with 85 people (25 males, 60 females) show that females care most about (in order of importance) personality, family background/status, education, appearance and income from the male marriage partners. While males care most about (in order of importance) the personality, appearance, family, age, and education of their partners.

 
 

Design & Development

After I finished the story, I hand sketched the characters and used adobe illustrator, photoshop, aftereffects in designing the story assets, I used javascript, html and css to build the game as a website and host it via a node server. 

 
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