Another day, another overly tender asshole, this time courtesy of the land down under.
Never mind the fact that “Orient” refers to a geographical location and not a person.
Never mind that “Whore of the Orient” refers to an actual city’s actual reputation during an actual period of actual history that serves as the game in question‘s setting (1936 Shanghai).
Never mind that I don’t think I’ve ever heard a person under the age of dirt itself refer to an Asian/Asian-American as an “oriental.”
Someone on the internet is offended about a video game! Clearly, Heads must roll!
Never mind any of that! Someone on the Internet is offended about an unreleased video game! Clearly, the presses must be stopped, development must be halted, inquiries must be made. Heads must roll, because an injustice anywhere — even a perceived one claimed by a willfully obtuse city councillor looking to drum up good press by beating up on video games — is an injustice everywhere!
To be clear, this is about the principle that creators have no responsibility to censor themselves in response to critics. The game will sell, or it won’t. Let creators create. This is not about defending this particular piece of art or the artist: Brendan McNamara is a well-known asshole, whose last decent game was 2002’s PS2 hit, The Getaway. His most recent title, LA Noire, was a subpar adventure game published by Rockstar Games for multiple platforms, despite beginning life as a Sony exclusive.
The game will sell, or it won’t. Let creators create.
McNamara burned through so much of Sony’s capital and good faith during development that the company wrote off its investment rather than waste any more time with the bum. Even Rockstar — which has a habit of buying out companies it works with — couldn’t be bothered to continue its relationship with McNamara’s Team Bondi after the game’s critical and commercial success. Team Bondi went bankrupt in 2011.
Given the first word in the title is “Whore,” Jieh -Yung-Lo should clearly ally with a prominent Australian feminist organization equally willing to ignore all context of the game’s title. Together, they could join forces and form a perpetually outraged, pearl-clutching Voltron. I don’t even know how Voltron would clutch at his pearls, as I don’t believe mecha have that type of fine motor control. Still, I’m sure they’d find a way — for equality.