4 min read

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai

Too busy to get your daily dose of RADII? We got you every Tuesday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week.

  • Set in Shanghai pre-lockdown, the game follows a drunk expat who must hop from one nightlife venue to the next in search of his belongings.
  • A Chinese blogger published a viral video roasting Brandy Melville for its discriminatory hiring policies and the brand’s one-size-fits-all BS.
  • Both a charity project and a means to stay productive during Shanghai’s lockdown, ‘Stay Negative’ taps into NFT art’s global accessibility.
  • A study with a 4,000-strong sample size has proven that Chinese youth are more vocal than active about their right to ‘lie flat.’

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

New Video Game Makes Us Nostalgic for Shanghai Nightlife Pre-lockdown

A landmark in the lives of all concerned, Shanghai’s lockdown has become a new time marker, with many alluding to periods of their lives before, during, and after (whenever that may be) lockdown. The new indie video game Once Upon A Time In Shanghai harks back to better days in the not-so-distant past.

Released on May 4, the free online game perfectly captures Shanghai’s vibrant nightlife prior to lockdown. From heavy metal jams at Inferno to smoky DJ sets at C’s, these familiar scenes make us ache for freedom and the companionship of friends.

Created by Inferno’s event manager, Jason Schaller, the game follows the adventures of Tim Boudeogne, or ting bu dong — Mandarin for ‘I don’t understand.’ A recurring inside joke in the game, the phrase is arguably one of the first, and perhaps the most practical, Mandarin sentences that expats who don’t speak Chinese pick up in China.

As his name implies, Tim is an expat who has drunk a little too much on a night out and has lost his wallet, keys, and phone (oof, what a night). He, therefore, embarks on a quest to find his personal belongings before having to catch a flight the following day.

Hopping from one iconic nightlife spot to the next, Tim must raise his fists against a colorful cast of villains who haunt Shanghai after dusk — think English teachers, drunk exchange students, and daddy’s money (aka spoiled rich girls).

It is up to you, the player, to make sure that Tim pulls himself together and catches his flight as planned.

True to life touches in Once Upon A Time In Shanghai only serve to increase our affinity for the game. For instance, the only place where Tim can seek solace and restore his energy is FamilyMart, a 24/7 convenience store with a ubiquitous presence in Shanghai.

UCLA Graduate’s New Documentary Unpacks Anti-Asian Hate During Covid

To say that Covid has changed our lives would be an understatement — ‘disrupted,’ ‘upset,’ or ‘wrecked’ would be more apt verbs for many people. Asian communities, in particular, count among Covid’s disproportionately impacted (DI) groups, no thanks to a rise of anti-Asian sentiment and targeted hate crimes.

For Nox Yang, an alumni of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Chinese international students are a subset of Asian communities in America who are overshadowed in public discourse. As a sociology major and film studies minor, she felt compelled to foreground them by making a documentary.

Yang’s upcoming documentary sheds light on how Chinese international students navigate life in a nation full of hostility towards them. The film is in its post-production stages and will be released before the year’s end.

In an interview with the young storyteller, RADII learns more about pandemic life through the eyes of Chinese students studying abroad in 2020.

Join RADII for a behind-the-scenes panel discussion about the recently released documentary ‘Way of the Warrior.’

We sit down with top UFC Bantamweight contender Song Yadong, UFC Color Commentator Peter Zheng, Combat Sports Reporter Nicolas Atkin, and RADII host Wesley Chen to discuss the differences between MMA training in the US and China, how MMA bridges cultures and both countries’ shared love of the sport.

  • Henry Robinson (aka Cruel Buddhist) has a new mixtape, ‘Lockdown Loops,’ which embodies the aimless joy of creation over forced intention.
  • Kids will no longer be able to lavish gifts upon livestreamers or become livestreamers themselves without parental consent.

Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions:

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