An independent game studio has caused a lot of drama with their upcoming game named Dirty Chinese Restaurant. The title is in development by Big-O-Tree Games and it features a lot of racist themes, including a “sweatshop mode”, employees wearing rice-picker hats that also get deported during the game, and a Chinese chef who roams the streets hunting for dogs and cats that he needs for ingredients.
Its release date is yet to be determined and will be available for download on Google Play and the App Store.
— Big-O-Tree Games (@bigotreegames) November 14, 2016
Players take a role of Wong Fu, a man who has inherited the restaurant from his brother Wang Fu. Players have two options. You can either choose to run a “prestigious Oriental establishment” where your customers will get high-quality food or go down a gambling and tax-evading route.
The developers of this game are from Ontario, Canada and they describe their games as “games that are tongue-in-cheek, shockingly humorous, and full of satire inspired by the mad world we live in,” because “being politically correct is so…boring.”
The game is in development since 2016 but recently it got the attention of an Asian American congresswoman Grace Meng who had this to say about the game:
I wish I could say that I was shocked that there is a new video game soon to be released called “Dirty Chinese Restaurant.” This game uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American. From the names used for the characters of the game, to the types of food they cook, to the disturbing depiction of their faces, this game epitomizes racism against Asian Americans. I fear that prejudice against and othering of Asian Americans remains a form of racism that is too frequently brushed off and tacitly accepted. Racism against Asian Americans is just as harmful and pernicious as racism against any other group, and we must call it out when we see it. How we portray people matters. I urge Google, Apple, Android, and any other platform to not carry the game Dirty Chinese Restaurant, or any other game that glorifies in hurting any community.
After her post, Twitter users started requesting that the game should be taken down and forbidden.
— Karlin Chan 陳家齡 (@Karlin_C) September 24, 201
Big-O-Tree games have not responded to these accusations.