Whore of the Orient title sparks potential Human Rights Commission complaint

Monday, 2 September 2013 03:33 GMT By Brenna Hillier

City of Monash councillor Jieh-Yung Lo has called for Team Bondi to change the title of its next game, Whore of the Orient, and will take the matter to the Human Rights Commission if necessary.

The Age reports Lo is acting privately, not in his role as councillor, in drawing attention to a case which may be brought before the Human Rights Commission on grounds of racial vilification. He has called on Team Bondi to change the title and halt development of the project, although as a gamer himself and an L.A. Noire fan, would be content with a new title.

”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,” Lo said.

Lo criticised Screen New South Wales for awarding the project a $200,000 grant from the Interactive Media Fund; he argued that “Australian institutions should be encouraged to fund projects and initiatives that cultivate mutual understanding and prosperity in the Australia-China relationship”, and that Australia needs “to build greater trust and cultural understanding rather than promote division and negativity”.

A spokesperson said Screen NSW does not proscribe the content of projects it funds, and said the title is an historical nickname for Shanghai, and does not refer to any content of the game.

Whore of the Orient was announced in late 2011 and is expected on next-gen consoles in 2015. No publisher has been announced, and all we’ve got of it so far is some allegedly leaked gameplay footage. Developer Team Bondi seems to have narrowly escaped closure.

Thanks, Kotaku.

Latest