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Whore Of The Orient Complaint Focuses On The "Orient" Part

You had to assume the title would cause problems. Only, you might not have guessed that the word "whore" wasn't the crux of the complaint.

L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi is currently working on Whore of the Orient, an exotic, open-world action game that is set for next-generation consoles. However, City of Monash Deputy Mayor Jieh-Yung Lo has claimed that it's "an attempt to disgrace Chinese culture, history, and traditions," and he plans to issue a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission. Basically, he believes the game's title is an example of "racial vilification."

According to a report at The Age, Lo says the offensive title "does a disservice to cultural relations."

"It's the use of the word 'Orient', more even than the word 'whore', that is the issue. The O-word is very similar to the N-word for African-American communities. It's a 19th-century racial-colonial conception, and it's especially painful for older people in the communities. That was a very bad time in China, and people don't want or need to have that dragged up."

He added that "the most shocking revelation" was that Team Bondi had received A$200,000 in funding from Screen New South Wales. Lo believes that Australian institutions should be encouraged to fund projects that cultivate "mutual understanding and prosperity in the Australia-China relationship." However, responding to that sentiment, Screen NSW stated:

"Screen NSW does not proscribe subject matter to content creators, including titles, but makes its funding decisions based on the creative integrity of a project and the expertise of the funding applicants. 'Whore of the Orient' is an historical nickname for the city of Shanghai."

Well, that sounds logical. Lo has said the ideal solution would simply be a "change of title," but do you see that as necessary? Or is this just another example of overly politically sensitive hoopla? I have to admit, I had no idea the word "Orient" had such negative connotations for Asian individuals.

Related Game(s): Whore of the Orient

Tags: whore of the orient, team bondi, whore of the orient ps4

9/2/2013 11:18:07 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (19 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 11:37:33 AM
Reply

I knew some folks weren't fond of the word orient but I didn't know it was THAT bad of a sore spot especially considering the game is set in the time when people still used that word prolifically.

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Jawknee
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 11:54:25 AM
Reply

*facepalm* I think people have it too good today if his is the kind of thing they need to waste energy combatting.

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frostface
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:35:21 PM

So with that logic, African's are wasting their time combating the 'N' word.

Just because you're not aware of the words other connotations, doesn't make the word any less offensive to the demographic taking offense to it.

Personally I wasn't aware myself of the words offensiveness, but being oblivious isn't an excuse to just brush it off as nonsense.

If Asian's, or in this case the Chinese culture find the word offensive, then just change the word out.

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FM23
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 5:09:38 PM

Frostface makes a valid point. I'm black and a game titled Whore of the N*gger would be very disturbing. Racism is still pretty big in this country even if its impact isn't reported.

Now I agree people are sensitive, but come on...Team Bondi couldn't think of a better name. The fact that the entertainment industry as a whole is dominated by white culture and the fact that they use stereotypes all the time only makes Team Bondi's choice insensitive, one sided, and just plain "politically" incorrect.

Guess you have to be a minority to understand the impact of something as "small" as this. Again I understand this isn't that big of a deal because we give these words power, but just like religion...if you don't agree just leave it be because everyone has their own opinion. As long as we respect the other ones opinion/ideals then all is fine.

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Jawknee
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 5:22:47 PM

Team Bondi is an Australian company and the word orient isn't used as a pejorative in their culture or country. Orient to them is NOT the same as ni**ar here in the states.

Grievance mongers. The both of you.


Australian English[edit source | editbeta]
In Australian English, the term "Asian" generally refers to people of East Asian or Southeast Asian descent, such as those of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, or Filipino descent. Persons of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and most other South Asian descent are referred to by their respective demonym, but without explicit knowledge, those people are indeterminately inferred as "Indian."
The word Oriental, in place of Asian, is seldom used in colloquial conversation in Australia and is understood, but considered anachronistic rather than offensive.


Last edited by Jawknee on 9/2/2013 5:27:07 PM

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Draguss
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 6:37:23 PM

Except whore of the orient is an old nickname for Shanghai chosen as the title for obvious reasons. Whore of the n*gger wouldn't mean anything aside from being used for mere shock value (or possibly a really crude way to refer to a prostitute working for a black pimp).

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 7:27:32 PM

I'm sorry, but I'm with Jawknee. This is BS. "Whore of the Orient" was the nickname of the city in question during a certain period of history. Furthermore, I know the PC cry is "intent is irrelevant" but that's completely ridiculous. If there is no intent, the so-called "perpetrators" didn't set out to offend anyone.

The definition of ignorance is voluntarily turning away from the truth, and opting to whine about the way things are instead. The truth is, nobody at Team Bondi set out to offend anyone. So it is completely unfair to level any complaint against them.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 11:54:33 PM

Except that 'orient' or 'oriental' isn't even comparable to the N word. No one uses that as a racial remark, there are other words, Ch**k, for one, that IS probably relative to the N word.

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:38:02 PM
Reply

I just hope this doesn't exacerbate to big problems for Team Bondi, they didn't have an easy ride with L.A. Norie - despite it turning out to be a superb game, they deserve better.

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Jalex
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:55:59 PM
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Wow, I didn't see that one coming. Admittedly, I was preparing to roll my eyes and sigh when somebody complained about the word 'Whore' in the title. But I really think this is even more ridiculous.
On the one hand, I'm glad somebody spoke up about this, because I had absolutely no idea it was considered offensive. But it seems clear to me that there was no ill intent, so a demand of title change is just too much.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:31:46 PM
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Normally I'm happy to defend Australian sentiment, but this is a joke. Now I'm tempted to call the Asians at work Orientals just to see what happens (they're Taiwanese, FYI) :)

I have no other workds for this unique brand of going out of one's way to be offended.

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Jawknee
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 5:33:47 PM

Well I don't know Lawless, Frostface says its racissssssst! And he obviously knows more about your own culture than you do.

Last edited by Jawknee on 9/2/2013 5:39:03 PM

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PSTan
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:36:47 PM
Reply

I think in this context "Orient" seems to be used tastefully. From the leaked footage, it seems like a high potential period piece.

But yes, "Orient" is equivalent to the N-word. Perhaps we can make an exception this time if Team Bondi delivers, but this shouldn't warrant games with names like "Gangstuh N-" in the future.

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Gordo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:59:18 PM
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Interesting. When I lived in the UK we called Chinese and Japanese "orientals". Not meaning anything derogatory... It just means "from the east" (the opposite of occidentals).

When I moved to Australia they called Chinese and Japanese folk "asians" (which we used to called Indians and Pakistanis in the UK).

You live and learn!

Still think that this game is vapourware.

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Ninja_WafflesXD
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 4:32:58 PM
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While I'm sure no ill-will was intended, I can't simply dismiss anyone for being over-sensitive due to my own ignorance of the word.

I'm not sure if steps towards changing the title is absolutely necessary, but if the word really is that offensive then some consideration should be taken into account.

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ZettaiSeigi
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 4:34:16 PM
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Last time I checked, the "Orient" is not just for China. Japan, Korea, and even us in Southeast Asia consider ourselves to be part of the Orient. Why are we only seeing such reaction from the Chinese? Besides, there are whores everywhere, so what racial vilification are they talking about?

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Teddie9
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 5:36:36 PM
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To state that it's an attempt to disgrace Chinese culture, history, and tradition is absolutely absurd. Nobody outside the developers have any idea about this vision of the game. And if it was to do something so bold it would be dealt with once the truth go out - never before.

I can't stand such a ridiculous accusation with little proof and seemingly, given the info that it's a nickname for the Shanghai, no sense to understand the context of the title.

Last edited by Teddie9 on 9/2/2013 5:37:18 PM

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Comic Shaman
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 6:57:17 PM
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My advice to Team Bondi is this: Choose your battles wisely.

Yes, you have a creative right to call your game whatever you want, and it's a historical reference... I get it. But is this where you want to draw the line in the sand for your creative vision?

Is the quality of the game impaired by choosing a different title?

My opinion is that this is a worthless fight. "Orient" rubs some people the wrong way, and "Whore" is going to give you nothing but trouble in the marketplace. Just think of a different name, and dig in to fight when you have something of significance to protect.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 4:34:01 AM
Reply

i had no idea bout any of that aye. like okay wow didn't see any of that comin but okay so they got some problems to deal with hope they can resolve this.

happy gaming =)

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