Toronto

Dirty Chinese Restaurant video game deemed 'offensive' and 'demeaning'

Markham, Ont., company that created game calls it satire

The Canadian Press

September 29, 2017

The game Dirty Chinese Restaurant depicts workers as immigrants on the verge of deportation. (Big-O-Tree Games)

A Toronto-area company's upcoming video game called Dirty Chinese Restaurant is being denounced as racist, but the business says the game is meant as satire. 

Big-O-Tree Games says the game — in which players chase cats and dogs with a cleaver, scavenge for ingredients and dodge immigration officials — "in no way is meant to be an accurate representation of Chinese culture."

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The Markham, Ont., company says the game is coming out soon for Apple and Android devices, but it has yet to announce a release date.

A New York congresswoman this week urged all platforms not to carry the game or any other that "glorifies in hurting any community."

In a Facebook post on Monday, New York Rep. Grace Meng says the game "uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese-American."

Denounced by premier

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also condemned the game on Twitter on Thursday, saying such racism has no place in Ontario. 

Big-O-Tree has issued two trailers for the game, which show the protagonist, Wong Fu, dumpster diving, evading tax collectors and sabotaging competitors.

The videos begin with the company's logo and the tagline, "Because being politically correct is so … boring." 

The company defended the game in a statement posted on its website.

"It has come to our attention that our small, independent game, 'Dirty Chinese Restaurant,' has upset some people due to its content," it said. "Our game is mainly satire and comedy influenced by the classic politically incorrect shows we grew up watching, such as: 'South Park,' 'All in the Family,' 'Sanford & Son,' 'Family Guy,' 'Simpsons,' and 'Chappelle's Show.' We also listen to Jay-Z." 

The company describes itself as a small independent game studio "making games no one thought possible" and says it strives "to create entertainment that we all want to experience which is fun, addictive, and hilarious."

The developer claims that 'being politically correct is so boring.' (Big-O-Tree Games)
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