Markham company's 'Dirty Chinese Restaurant' video game denounced as racist
Players chase cats and dogs with a cleaver, scavenge for ingredients and dodge immigration officials. (YouTube)
Brenda Molina-Navidad, CP24.com
Published Friday, September 29, 2017 11:42AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 29, 2017 1:17PM EDT
A Markham company’s new video game called “Dirty Chinese Restaurant” is being blasted by politicians at home and across the border for being racist and exploiting stereotypes.
The game, created by Big-O-Tree Games, allows players to act as a character named Wong Fu as he tries to run his restaurant. The players can chase cats and dogs with a cleaver, look through alleyways for entrée ingredients, and escape health inspectors and immigration officers, according to the company’s website.
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti has responded to the game, describing it as “offensive” adding that he is “deeply disturbed by the game’s demeaning depictions of the Chinese-Canadian community.”
But the gaming company is defending itself, telling The Canadian Press the game “in no way is meant to be an accurate representation of Chinese culture,” and is meant to be a 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.”
The company’s slogan “because being politically correct is so…boring” is on their website’s front page and can be seen in the first seconds of their promotional videos.
Scarpitti said the Chinese-Canadian community in Markham plays an “essential” role in the city’s development and economy.
“We support and encourage innovation but there is no room for the expression of such discriminatory views,” Scarpitti said in the statement.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also sounded off on the issue, taking to Twitter to denounce the game.
"This type of racism has no place in Ontario. I know this does not reflect the values of the people of Markham."
The game will be available for Apple and Android devices, according to Big-O-Tree Games. There is no official release date yet.
New York Congresswoman Grace Meng said in a Facebook Post on Sept. 25 that the game “uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American.”
She urged platforms not to carry the games, saying “how we portray people matters.”