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Racist Stereotypes Run Amok in ‘Dirty Chinese Restaurant’ Game

The developers defend the game as “satire”

A game company by the name of Big-O-Tree (say that out loud, by the way) is releasing a blatantly racist and wildly offensive smartphone game called Dirty Chinese Restaurant. Judging by the trailer, the player controls a chef at a dingy Chinese restaurant full of chopstick-wielding patrons and workers wearing conical hats.

Over the course of the game, the chef must “hunt” for cats in the alleyway to serve at on the menu, and occasionally work at “sweatshop” levels to serve “unsavoury” foods while dealing with immigration officers and assorted criminals. Here are some stills from the trailer:

In a statement on its official website, Big-O-Tree — whose motto is “Because being politically correct is so... boring” — writes that the game “in no way is meant to be an accurate representation of Chinese culture.” The team also claims that Dirty Chinese Restaurant is “mainly satire and comedy influenced by the classic politically incorrect shows we grew up watching.”

But there’s a world of difference between satire, a style of fiction that typically exposes stupidity and prejudices through humor, and simply peddling negative and hurtful stereotypes without any commentary or context, which is what we have here.

New York Rep. Grace Meng criticized the game in a Facebook post earlier this week, writing, “This game uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American.” She urged Apple, Google, and other platforms to not carry the game, as well as “any other game that glorifies in hurting any community.”

I wish I could say that I was shocked that there is a new video game soon to be released called "Dirty Chinese...

Posted by Grace Meng on Monday, September 25, 2017

The Big-O-Tree crew still plans to release the game at some point in the near future, but an exact release date has not been announced yet.

'Dirty Chinese Restaurant' game blasted as racist [Toronto Sun]

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