Canadian developer Big-O-Tree games has cancelled a mobile game called Dirty Chinese Restaurant after receiving online backlash led by a US congresswoman.
In a Facebook post last Thursday, Big-O-Tree (a not-so-subtle play on the word ‘bigotry’) said that it had decided “it’s not in anyone’s best interest to release Dirty Chinese Restaurant” and apologised to the Chinese community.
Big-O-Tree, whose slogan is “because being politically correct is so boring”, has said that it is in the process of taking everything pertaining to the game offline and in the meantime, we should “respect their privacy.”
But nothing can ever really be taken off the internet, so the trailer for the horrifically racist Dirty Chinese Restaurant is still out there.
The premise of the game is that you are the owner of a Chinese restaurant who survives by gambling, hunting cats and dogs for meat, and making your staff work at ‘sweatshop’ speed. Oh, and you better hide if the immigration officer shows up. Because Chinese restaurants are all dirty and illegal! Get it?
Although the first rule of trolls is ‘don’t feed them’, US Congresswoman Grace Meng – herself of Taiwanese and Chinese descent – heard about the offensive game and slammed it in three concise tweets.
Big-O-Tree originally tried to defend the game, saying that it was satire in the same vein as politically incorrect shows such as South Park and Family Guy.
However, since the Apple and Google app stores both have specific rules that prohibit mean-spirited content that advocates against groups based on their race, Dirty Chinese Restaurant was doomed from the start.
Big-O-Tree probably envisioned some media attention that would convert into sales. Fortunately, justice was served and the game got cancelled. Bye bigotry!