Manchu Eight Banners Game Proposal Abstract

The Manchu are an interesting minority in that they managed to rule China for nearly 300 years. During that reign they publicly wore a “Confucian face” when dealing with the public, and they professed that Han and Manchu were equal. This can make it seem as if there was very little difference between the two groups, but that is not so. The Manchu view themselves as very different from the Han. Looking at their policies from their reign during the Qing dynasty that is made apparent.

The game being proposed is to be based on the Eight Banner system as it is one of the most distinguishing legacies of the Manchu. The Eight banners system was not only a military structure, but a social structure as well. All Manchu were bannermen, and by the 1950s all bannermen were considered to be of the Manchu Nationality by the Chinese state regardless of being born Manchu or not. The Eight Banner system is a social structure culturally distinctive to the Manchu that has far outlasted its military application. Thus the game to be proposed will be one based on the military aspects on the surface, but in truth will be on how the Eight Banners system impacted Manchu thinking and interactions with other ethnic groups.

The Han are the ethnic group who has arguably the most important interactions with the Manchu so they will be the primary group the Manchu rulers in the game interact with. Bannermen soldiers that were sent to garrisons were given living quarters behind walls that separated them from the local Han. The Qing emperors were very careful to prevent Manchu “naturalization” and  made sure that the placement of bannermen troops during the Qing dynasty reminded the Han of who held the political power. During the entirety of the Qing dynasty Manchu-Han relations were strained and the game should reflect that.

The setting would be a fantasy based upon the later Qing dynasty with modern technological aspects. This should be acceptable as the intent of the game is to inform the player of the challenges the Manchu faced while trying to please the Han minority and keep their cultural identity strong at the same time. The game is not intended to be an accurate recounting of historical events at all so a fantasy setting should work well.   

The game would be a turn based strategy game that would take gameplay inspiration from Civilization series. In this game though it would be focusing on maintaining power as the player would take the position of an already established Manchu emperor. The player would the have to make decisions on troop(bannermen) placement, deal with navigating Manchu-Han relations, preserving Manchu culture, and making economical decisions to maintain the costly Eight Banners military system.

Most of the game play would take place on a map that takes heavy inspiration from landscapes created during the Qing dynasty. Characters would appear on a separate window in game during dialogue and would be rendered in a more realistic style. Clothing and patterns would draw upon what was worn and used during that time period as well.  All this will be done in order to enhance the relation between the fantasy setting and reality.

4 thoughts on “Manchu Eight Banners Game Proposal Abstract

  1. Matthew May

    This is an interesting topic to read about, especially after taking China 20/20 course this semester. I cant recall a single mention of the ‘Manchu’ Chinese descent but am very familiar with the ‘Han’ descent, which seems to be a cop-out these days. Interesting take on the idea and it makes sense when comparing to what i’ve learned about China and implementations of power in my 20/20 class. I like the idea of the game and it would be interesting to see an actual implementation of the game completed. Im assuming there was a level of corruption involved in keeping dominance internally and externally in regards to the 8-banner militia. It would be interesting to see how they maintained assertion of this militia during the time period.

  2. Scott Nickerson

    Also being in the China 20/20, we would here about all of the different groups and decents of Chinese people. The Manchu people were talked about very little when it came to the different groups that were discussed. I’m curious as to why they took a backseat in the discussions and what made them less significant historically to talk about. When also taking the class Jordan’s Cultural Mosaic, certain diaspora groups would also fall towards the back of certain conversations and seem less important. I know that there are a lot of different groups of people to talk about and it may be hard to talk about all of them, but how do you decide which ones take the forefront of the conversations and which ones are talked about less. Putting this into the context of a game is very unique and I think is a great way for people to learn. Learning with hands on is good at making sure people have it sink into their heads. As China is well known for, I am sure there was corruption and paying of the ‘officials’ so putting that aspect into your game would be really fun to see and add another element to the game to really immerse yourself in the culture, history and overall experience.

  3. Nicholas Margetic

    I find this is fascinating, by taking aspects from the Civilization series and creating something based upon such a specific timeline. I feel that having this based on a game would definitely help in understanding the idea of management of government or whomever is in a position of power. I find it interesting how some of the groups later on are practically assimilated, regardless of former affiliation. In my Jordan’s Cultural Mosaic class, I see the how this is relates to the diasporas within Jordan, and how there are some of them who are deemed more important than others. The different aspects that the game can have I feel can have either minor or major impact depending on how in depth it goes.

  4. Matthew Saccoach

    I like the way you chose to write your paper. Creating a game idea is a cool unconventional approach to handling history. How would you include futuristic aspects in the game without removing the authenticity of the subject matter? Do you think this alternate timeline would provide an accurate parallel to real life? The situation you described between the Manchu and the Han is similar to the Syrian refugee situation in Jordan. The Manchu are better off than the Han and are held less highly in society. In Jordan Syrian refugees are only given a half citizenship and are forced out of many societal roles.


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