A game developed by an Ontario-based studio called Big-O-Tree (a play on the word ‘bigorty’) called Dirty Chinese Restaurant’ has been widely denounced as offensive and racist.
Players chase cats and dogs with a cleaver, scavenge for ingredients and dodge immigration officials in this “satirical” title that “in no way is meant to be an accurate representation of Chinese culture,” according to the game’s developers.
This type of racism has no place in Ontario. I know this does not reflect the values of the people of Markham. https://t.co/7VjeqyLLcD
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) September 28, 2017
The development studio — which is located in the Toronto suburb of Markham, Ontario — plans to release the game for iOS and Android devices. However, it’s unlikely that Apple will approve such an offensive title to be listed in its app store, given the digital storefront’s various approval policies. Google will most likely remove the game as well.
New York congresswoman Grace Meng has condemned a trailer for the game, stating that it “uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese-American,” according to the
Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne has also spoken out about the game on Twitter, stating that “this type of racism has no place in Ontario.”
Two trailers released about the game show its protagonist, Wong Fu, dumpster diving, avoiding tax collectors and sabotaging competing restaurants. The game’s first trailer also starts with the tagline, “because being politically correct is so… boring.”
In a statement posted to the game’s official website, the developers defend the project in a statement, saying that it’s satirical and should be compared to well-regarded satirical shows like South Park and The Simpsons, while adding that they “also listen to Jay-Z.”
“It has come to our attention that our small, independent game, Dirty Chinese Restaurant, has upset some people due to its content,” reads the statement in full.
“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, The Simpson, and Chappelle’s Show. We also listen to Jay-Z.”
Big-O-Tree games claims the studio was founded in August 2012, though it has never released a title, which could indicate the game doesn’t actually exist and is a ploy to create controversy. Along with the offensive game, the creators of the title — who seem intent on remaining nameless — have also released a series of equally offensive web comics based on their as-of-yet unreleased game.
Update 09/10/17: The studio behind the game has cancelled the project and stated that after “careful consideration and taking the time to listen to the publics opinion.” The creators behind the project also stated that they “would like to make a sincere and formal apology to the Chinese community.”