An Extremely Racist Canadian Video Game Was Put on Blast by a US Congresswoman

Who thought ‘Dirty Chinese Restaurant’ was a good idea?
September 28, 2017, 3:15pm
Image: YouTube/Big-O-Tree Games

What I'm about to tell you is some major bullshit, but I don't know a better way to do it than to just dive in:

There's a new Canadian-made indie video game called Dirty Chinese Restaurant and it's made by a company called Big-O-Tree Games (as in "bigotry"). It's the absolute worst. The studio is based "along the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario," according to its website and its director is one George Lambropoulos. In the game, you run a Chinese restaurant that you can turn into a "prestigious Oriental establishment" or a "real filthy dive." And yes, the game has its protagonist serving up cats and dogs.


Normally, it would be best to ignore this obviously troll-y horseshite from small-time developers whose only shot at success is to become "free speech" martyrs for easily-fleeced morons. But the game caught the attention of US Congresswoman Grace Meng, who took to Twitter on Tuesday to put Dirty Chinese Restaurant on blast.

"I urge Google, Apple, Android, and any other platform to not carry Big-O-Tree Games' Dirty Chinese Restaurant," Meng wrote. "This game uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American. How we portray people matters."

Read More: 'IS Defense' Is Islamophobia: The Game

Emails I sent to the contacts listed on Big-O-Tree Games' website bounced back (I also reached out on Facebook and Twitter, and we'll update if we hear from them). The team posted a response to the criticism on their website on Wednesday. It's terrible, but in the interest of fairness, here it is:

It has come to our attention that our small, independent game, Dirty Chinese Restaurant , has upset some people due to its content. Our game is mainly satire and comedy influenced by the classic politically incorrect shows we grew up watching, such as: South Park, All in the Family, Sanford & Son, Family Guy, Simpsons, [and] Chappelle's Show . We also listen to Jay-Z. Our game in no way is meant to be an accurate representation of Chinese culture.

So, there you have it. You can't be mad at this outrageously racist video game because its creators listen to… rap? Also, they were only trying to pay homage to some of the most tone-deaf and racist television shows ever (I'm looking at you, South Park, Family Guy, and, as much as it pains me to say it, occasionally The Simpsons).

Dirty Chinese Restaurant is part of a niche genre of video games designed to offend and then reap the rewards of notoriety, so attention is exactly what they want. I look forward to never hearing about this dumbass bullshit ever again.

Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.