Zhao Yihuan, best known as the Chinese Dairy Queen girl, has been making the rounds lately to promote her latest movie Qing Chunqi 3 (青春期3 which roughly translated is "Puberty 3"). While the primary focus of her latest media push has been on her movie, Zhao is also using her movie to promote the new Chinese MMO game Taoyuan (桃园 or "Peach Garden").
Taoyuanis a cute, anime-style Three Kingdoms online game. The art style for the game is almost reminiscent of Nexon's Gunbound and Disney's Mulan, with colourful, big-headed characters. The depth of Zhao's involvement with the game aside from gracing posters isn't exactly clear, but in her recent interviews, she has been tying Taoyuan and Chinese online gaming to her movie.
The Qing Chunqi made Zhao an instant online sensation. The Qing Chunqi series is a romantic comedy about Chinese youth and their struggles to find love and themselves. Originally Zhao rose to fame because her "sweet and innocent" look was apparently perfect for pitching products such as Coca-Cola and milk. Soon after her rise to commercial fame, 24-year-old Zhao became involved with film and television. It was the Qing Chunqi series that made her.
According to Zhao, this newest installation to the series will have a portion dedicated to gaming adolescences, in particular a documentary style short on players of Taoyuan, a game that only went beta last week.
"Qing Chunqi 3 is the first film that reflects the living conditions of the online population, allowing them to speak their own stories," said Zhao, a long time online gamer. "The story is based on the true story of the Taoyuan players. Gamers as a group is very large, but have always been socially neglected, demonized, and even abandoned. What Qing Chunqi 3 does is it restores the true face of the online populations."
On paper the new movie looks unremarkable and bland but with its inclusion of China's gaming youth and youth culture, it might drive some people to theatres, and maybe some players to Taoyuan. If they haven't already been seduced by Zhao, that is.