Whore of the Orient taken to the human rights commission

WhoreOfTheOrient

Whore of the Orient is a videogame being developed by Team Bondi, the company behind L.A. Noire. The very company that has often been accused of mistreating staff by treating them like pieces of meat…

Anyway moving on, so I saw this morning that someone has decided to take the game to the Human Rights Commission (in Australia) over its name.

Now personally I fully agree; I think it’s a terrible name that is simply trying to be sensational and get those all important headlines and I for one hope it comes back to bite them in the ass when real stores refuse to give the title any shelf space. People may think it’s cool and edgy but when my kids are walking around the videogame store looking for a new game I don’t want them reading that and I also would hate to see game stores being forced to put certain games further up the shelf.

It’s a line I don’t want crossed so I hope Jieh-Yung Lo wins his case against it….

Wait… maybe I should have read further down the article before climbing on this podium.

Lo is taking the game to court but not for the use of the word Whore. No Mr Lo is actually offended by the word Orient.

”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,”

Now I’m unfortunately not up to date with all the racial epitaphs but I would never have guessed the word Orient could be offensive.

I wonder if the Oriental Express is also offensive?

So while I don’t understand the actual problem here I do hope he wins so we can get a decent name for a game that is looking quite awesome.

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Author:Gavin Mannion

I'm cranky, arrogant and ever so amazingly annoying but when you get to know me you will also realise I'm honest and incredibly good at describing myself... now pass me that beer
  • RinceThisNintypoo

    Mmm, never had any of my Asian mates say the O word is bad…

    • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

      XD

    • Sageville

      Ugh, now that the word is bad we’ll be seeing hundreds of Asian rappers using it in their lyrics. Wait for all the Gangnam Style O-style remixes.

      • SaintsRowLee

        So are we now in for a slew of “Whassup my Oriental Nigga?”

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    The word itself isn’t offensive, unlike the N-word or the K-word, but it does carry negative connotations. To understand why, you actually need to consider it in historical context. For instance, at the turn of 19th century, the ideas behind orientalism were fuelled by the perceptions of the West of the East. So, the ideas of the subservient Asian, or the opium-addicted easterner or even the view that China (prior to the Boxer Revolution) was culturally and intellectually inferior to Western countries.

    • SaintsRowLee

      But see here: When I read Whore of the Orient, I thought of a Chinese lady/man/person of negotiable moral values. And not of a well, person that is beneath me because of race.

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        Of course, from a purely literal sense, but sadly, terms and phrases tend to be entrenched historically and culturally. Take Kevin Smith’s Clerks 2, and the hilarious subplot where Randall wanted to “take back” the phrase “Porch Monkey”.

        Porch monkey has no real significant meaning in South Africa, but the word definitely carries a very real and hurtful meaning in the US.

        • SaintsRowLee

          Yes, but at what point do we start seeing things in context of what is said?

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            We actually do that all the time. Most of the time we’re not too worried about the broader meaning of phrases or words, but I think for something like “The Whore of the Orient”, it’s nearly impossible not to delve deeper (no dirty pun intended).

            Even on face value, the Whore of the Orient conjures up an image of a dodgy Asian lady, with loose morals, and even that’s problematic, given the prevalence of prostitution in some southeast Asian countries, or the perception of such – just take any Vietnam-era movie for instance… “I LOVE YOU LONG TIME GI”.

          • SaintsRowLee

            But see, that is just it. You see the word Whore in a title and that is where we all get up in arms. Because we take it at face value. But a creative mind will ask why is it called Whore of the Orient?
            Is there a justification to the usage of the word Whore in this context? How does it tie in to the story being told? Is the title meant to degrade a certain section of humanity, or is it (and here I am taking a bit of a creative leap) part of the story? Part of some adversity that the main character had to endure?
            Rocky could easily have been called “Bum of Philadelphia” for instance, and that would have tied in perfectly with the story being told.

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            Is creativity a justification for racial insults? The answer is no. It would be like a white girl wearing the shirt “white girl love BBC”. What about the title “incest is great”? Is it creative? or is it provocative? To me, it is against human decency, and that is enough to ban the title. Perhaps glorifying “genocide” is ok as well, if it is creative.

          • SaintsRowLee

            You just did not get what I was trying to say here, did you? Ok. I’ll tell you a story then.

            Once upon a time there was a chinese girl whose father hated her for no reason other than her being born. He so despised her, he would find wrong in anything she did.

            One day, he found her innocently kissing a boy. “You are nothing more than a whore of the Orient!” he yelled as he slapped her about.

            That night, nursing her bruises, she packed her meager belongings in a bag and left. She worked hard, paid her own way through school, married a good man and had two children. She spent the rest of her days happy and content.

            Never again to be called ‘Whore of the Orient’

            The End.

            See what I did there? By letting the dad call his daughter a whore, I created a character that is evil, and if you are in sound mind, would make you dislike the man to the point of hate.

            It also motivated the girl to leave her abusive father and seek a better life for herself. Now, am I as the author of this little tale glorifying abusive fathers, or have I sketched him as the bastard he is?

            And what about the message that there are better alternatives than the crappy life you are living now?

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            The title do have a context, and that context in its broadest possible meaning means something very insulting to Chinese, and east Asian people. it is like the expression “chink in the armor”, It means something complete different for non-Chinese, but it is very hurtful for Chinese people, because of the connotation of the word “chink”.

            The word “whore”, combined with “orient” in the title, both would have this negative connotations for Chinese people. What is the broadest context that title would mean to Chinese people? What is the boardest possible interpretation?

            What I am afraid is these games have an effect on kids. I don ‘t want the title to be weapon for the white kid in the school playing ground using it to insult the Asian kid in the playground’ moms. This is not artsy, but real life. Beyond the artistic context, there is an element of power, and racial dynamics to maintain some type of racial hierarchy. Does the title give the impression that Chinese are “less than” in the broadest, simplest interpretation/context? The answer is yes.

          • Rags

            What nonsense. Would whore of America be insulting to Americans? Or Whore of South Africa be insulting to me? No.

            Oh but the kids, them kids. Lets sensor everything, to protect them kids! Because a title of a mature video game will teach kids to be racists scumbags and all that. Ha! Get real.

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            The terms whore of the orient refers to a period in history of a particular city, and not to a person. So, yes, it is offense to Shanghai in the 20 s, and yes, it is offensive to China. The two examples you give show how incompetent your knowledge of the title means. Pathetic.

          • Rags

            A lot of thing in this world is offensive to me. Does that give me the right to shut others up? That is why I am telling you to move to Saudi Arabia, because to them women who are not covered in a Burka are tempting the males. For them an uncovered female is against ‘human decency’. And you have the same position on those who want to name a game whatever damn title they want.

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            In real life, If you disturb my peace, I will have the cops come, and lock you up. Similarly, the title is offense to Chinese people, and so I will use the full extend of the law to stop the transgression. You still don ‘t get it? If you think being offensive, people in the real world will see your aggression, and they will not tolerate your aggression to harm them. They will come, and kill you. This is why we have laws. To prevent people from massacring others, we have laws to prevent the initial transgression, and the court to mediate when a transgression in committed. Don ‘t be racist, because it is good.

          • Rags

            Lol are you even serious?! You just go out of your way to prove my point that perhaps Saudi Arabia is the perfect place for you, North Korea even. You are not secretly Yusuf Islam? How do you hurt someone with mere words?! How does this harm someone? The law protects me to speaking my mind, well maybe not totally with our backward hate speech laws, but at least in America where this title being published. Imagine if any criticism of Zuma is deemed offensive and could get you locked up. Then you have a situation where it is just a small step away from totalitarianism.

            1984 is not an instruction manual.

            EDIT: Blah, I am going to have to watch some Jimmy Carr videos just to get back to reality.

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            LOL…. are you some ideological southern redneck that fcuks dogs? The “freedom to be an ass” have limits, and this is the price to pay in living in civilization, and that is just how the world works.

          • Rags

            My ideology is to have freedom of speech. You are the conservative that wants to limit the rest of us freedom because of your sensitivity of being offended or offending someone.

            The difference between you and me is, is that I will defend your right to say that I am ‘an ideological Southern Redneck that fucks dogs’. I may not agree with it or be offended by it, but that should not give me the right to sensor you. I will even go further and defend you to say “Fuck Rags, I am going to kill that bastard.” I’d rather have a warning before the act, no?

            You on the other hand not only want to decide what others are allowed to say, but also what other are allowed to hear. As if you are some prime primate that knows where to draw the line for the rest of us. Just like the damn backward Middle Eastern ideologies where people are killed daily for saying something unpleasant about those in charge or doing stuff which is against ‘human decency’ as is though being offended justifies killing a person.

          • SaintsRowLee

            Would you let a video game do your parenting for you? Please. If someone cannot teach their kid that racism is not cool, then there is a problem with the parenting skills.

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            The Issue is not about parenting. It question is if the title is acceptable, and the answer is NO. The acceptance of which will lead to a slippery slope where everything such as incest, and girls fcuking dogs would be ok. It is offensive, so stop doing it.

          • SaintsRowLee

            Put a doctor in front of me and I’ll see him. I am not blind.
            Look, let me be blunt. If this game is nothing more than a beat down of Asian people, then I will add my voice to the condemnation of it.
            Until then, I will reserve my judgement.
            Does that mean I am okay with racism? No, I am not.
            Just for the record: There is nothing the F wrong with me. I am just a person that believes in not judging a book by its cover, or as in this case, a game by its title.

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            Look, you must have mental problems. The broadest possible meaning for the title is offensive to Chinese people, or east Asian people. if you don ‘t see it as offensive to Asian people, you must be wrong. One way is to ask what asian people think? They will tell you it is offensive. That should be the end of the matter, but not you. You want to convince people who are offended to not being offended, because you obvious know better, right? Obviously, you are mentally ill.

            I am not asking you for some crazy, narrow, artsy interpretation of the title. I am asking what would simple minded folks( general people) think, and you obvious fail to see it. This is why I doubt your sanity.

            Perhaps if someone say ” you son of bitches” to you, you would try to rationalize about the son, and his mothers? This is how insane you are. Really, you really need to have your brain check.

          • SaintsRowLee

            If I admit I am mentally insane, will you go away?
            Ooooohhh. I get it. You are my conscience, taking shape as words on my screen. Neat.
            I have never had my conscience manifest like this before. I had it manifest as a purple chicken before, but not as comments on Lazygamer. My shrink is going to have a field day with this!
            Oh, I have been called a son of a bitch before. I refuse to be offended by it. Especially after the conversation I had with my dog of the female persuasion. She just looked at me, said: “But you refer to us as bitches all the time” before going on licking her arse. So if it does not offend my dog, it does not offend me!

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            dude, I am not your conscience. You need F-ing help. You are insane.

          • Rags

            What is racist about “white girl love BBC”? I find that slightly amusing. And what has “incest is great” have to do with racism?

            Against human decency? Off to Saudi Arabia with you too, enjoy your Sharia.

          • The unfolding pattern of the W

            Is anything not allowed for you? The title is racist, and that should be enough, no? Remember, this is racist for Chinese people, and for the most part, non-Chinese don ‘t generally care, since it effects people concerned, that should be the end of discussion, because people are hurting.

          • Rags

            Agreed and it does not need a justification.

    • Sargon

      Someone an Anthro major? :)

      Fully agree, though. Oriental is just a popular way to say ‘other’ and it isn’t new that people have a problem with this. The term almost certainly tries to highlight the Easts exoticism at the expense of ordinary folk. I hope you win, sir!

      Also.. Have an up vote!

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        Pfft Anthro? :p Please, I’m a scientist baby! :p None of that liberal arts nonsense for this Banana!

        • Sargon

          Physical Anthro then? :P

          Seriously though. Which field?

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Nope Earth sciences.

          • Sargon

            Haha. Same.

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            You’re also a rockhound? Holy crap! LOL

          • Sargon

            Not in the pure sense. Arch. ;)

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Nothing wrong with Arch (a fine field it is). I actually went to varsity to study history and archaeology, but then changed majors in my first year.

          • Sargon

            Ah well, whatever bites bites. We do what we love! :) How far you go? Still busy? Or Dr. Banana?

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Almost became Dr Banana, but then life threw a curve ball. But, will return to the studies in the not too distant future. Yourself?

          • Sargon

            Am currently trying to become a Master. Then… the dreaded long haul to being awarded a degree for officially knowing very very little. Or… Dr… as they call it. Haha.

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Hahaha, it’s true what they say, the more you learn the less you know.

          • Sargon

            Amen, sir. Sometimes I.. just cry. Lol.

          • Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

            So if you study Earth sciences, does that mean you like rock?

            (To lazy to find a picture of the Philosoraptor)

          • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

            Heh, upvote nonetheless, made me giggle

          • Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

            I know it was lame :P It’s Monday, do you blame me?

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            I did sit in on an Anthro lecture once, but that was only because I was trying to impress a girl… :/

          • Sageville

            I believe the other 6 guys in that lecture had the same motives.

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Hahaha so true!

          • Sargon

            Lol.

          • RinceThisNintypoo

            You disgust me! I thought you had more moral fibre, you’re a banana for hell sake!

          • Sargon

            Wait.. Bananas are fibrous? O.O

          • RinceThisNintypoo

            Yip, a very good source actually!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            “Bananas for everyone!”

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            HEY EVEN THIS BANANA HAD URGES AND NEEDS!

          • RinceThisNintypoo

            HAD? 0-O

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Uh… wait what?

          • RinceThisNintypoo

            What happened man… Let it out. This is a ‘safe’ zone… (Readies trolling rifle 9000+)

  • Uberutang

    By the time kids can read the word “WHORE” is the last of the things you need to be worried about.

    • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

      really? My kid could read it at 6… how dumb were you as a kid ;)

      • Sargon

        LOL

      • Uberutang

        Smart enough to use a dictionary.

  • HvR

    Time for BT games to get a seedy adults only “gordyntjie section” we’re they can keep games with offensive names, sexual offence Japanese games and dog fetish CoD games.

    • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

      Lolimaru for gordyntjie section……too funny

    • Uberutang

      80% of the games that BT sells is not meant for people under 18 anyway…

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      90% of statistics are made up on the spot :P

      • Weanerdog

        87% actually but what would an earth scientist study person know

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          Less than 5% apparently :P

  • LOL-Machine

    Freedom of Speech. Ever heard of that?

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Perhaps, however in most countries freedom of speech is limited by hate speech. So, anything that can be considered hate speech isn’t covered under Freedom of Speech. It’s the same principle as libel and slander. You can’t slander someone and then say “Oh Freedom of Speech, bitches”.

      • Rags

        Well at least in America it is protected under freedom of speech. Other countries will just have to deal with it in their own way I suppose.

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          Not really, since in the States while it might not be a criminal issue, it can become a civil issue. So while hate speech is allowed to some extent, you can open yourself up to costly civil lawsuits.

    • Sargon

      Freedom of speech should not be confused with freedom to be a wanker and offend just about anyone you want because of archaic stereotypes.

      • JHN

        Well said! Freedom of Douchebaggery does not excist

    • Sageville

      Freedom of Speech sometimes directly contradicts other rights, such as the right to not be slandered, or copyrighting.

      So you could call me a cock as per the freedom of speech, however that would infringe my rights not to be slandered. In court they would say your actions hurt me more than restricting your freedom of speech would hurt you.

      …so in general your can use this rule:

      Freedom of Speech is not a License to be a Dick.

      • Rags

        Actually it is. In America at least. And that would be a pathetic court if that was ever the case.

        It seems as if all the carebears secretly want live in Saudi Arabia. :)

        • Sageville

          What about those Kids who talk in a chat group or in email about getting back at other kids who torment them in school, they can be arrested, tried, convicted, and jailed, as happened recently to teens in Virginia and other states.

          They did nothing but talk.

          They were taught they had free speech.

          Ya just gotta Love Murica, hypocrisy’s playground!

          • Rags

            That is bullshit too. But shifting the goal posts a bit there eh? You still have the right to offend others. You may not physically harm them. :)

          • RinceThisandCochon!

            Afraid that is nor quite correct. Case in note. A teenager from Texas could spend the next eight years in prison if a court decides that the sarcastic comment he made during an online argument is enough to convict him of issuing a terroristic threat.

            Justin Carter was only 18 years old when he and a friend got into
            an online spat over Facebook back in February with another
            person. They were arguing about the computer game “League of
            Legends,” his dad told a local ABC affiliate, but one snarky
            remark made by the teen was apparently enough to raise suspicion
            in one woman who was watching the conversation unfold all the way
            up in Canada.

            “Someone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re
            insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’” father
            Jack Carter told KKVUE News, “to which he replied ‘Oh yeah,
            I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school
            full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.’”

          • Rags

            Both cases here involve calls of physical harm to others. That is a far stretch from calling someone a cock or deciding between what is the offending word oriental or whore. On a federal level the US does not have libel laws and actively protect is citizens against libel laws from outside like the protection of Salman Rushdie.

            I am objecting to people who are offended by mere words. And who are saying your freedom of speech stops when you are becoming a wanker or just want to offend others. It should never stop there. For when you do you end up with a lot more people being criminally pursued for much less than the kids in the above cases.

            Some just wish to make a rod for their own back it seems.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I’m sure the use of the word “Orient” is occidental. ah hah ahaha :/

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    It is a pretty tactless name for a game. I’m guessing the first thing you’d have to do after telling someone what you’re playing would be explaining that it’s not a porn game.

    • Sargon

      There are porn games? Why no reviews, Lazygamer?

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        I tried to get my hands on a few, but apparently, Geoff has first dips… ho ho ho!

        • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

          So are you Mr Sloppy Seconds?

          • SaintsRowLee

            EEEWWWW!!!!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            EWWWWWW!!!

          • Admiral Chief Assassin o’Kings

            You implied it, I just asked

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Just eeew! :o EEEEWWW!

          • Admiral Chief Assassin o’Kings

            Banana and condensed milk for you?

      • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

        Because I honestly have no idea what to stick what in where in these damn games. Confound them!

        • Sageville

          …and yet you have Platinum’d all said games….curious…

        • Sargon

          You need to hire.. an um.. professional? Lol.

  • house_hero

    Orient is racist?? Wow… growing up is SA you think we would have heard it all before.

    • Sargon

      Wub wub wub wub wub (drop)

    • Weanerdog

      No orient is lacist

      • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

        XDXD

  • Sargon

    Also.. shouldn’t header read “Whore of the Orient taken to the…”
    Or am I just mad? It is Monday..

    • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

      Damnit.. stupid editor

  • Weanerdog

    “East Asian with negotiable affection”, doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. How about “What’s yellow and goes Cheap, Cheap?” Oh wait that is also probably offensive.

    • Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

      • Weanerdog

        Hey Frik that’s a nice chick you got there.

        • Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

          A bit too young for my taste…

  • Tarisma

    So murder on the Orient Express is a racist book?

    • SaintsRowLee

      Yes. Also, I hear that Danny Glover has been called in to redo some of his lines from Lethal Weapon 2.

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        Man oh man, Lethal Weapon 2…

        Our censor board gutted that movie to pieces back in the day. They absolutely stripped it down.

        I recently saw the un-edit version and it went from my worst Lethal Weapon movie to the most awesome Danny Glover/Mel Gibson buddy cop movie. Of course, it still has the funniest pronunciation of Afrikaans ever captured on film.

        krrrraaaayyyyyyyyy fffuurrr oooohhhmmmmmm!!!

        • Skyblue

          “What are you doing man?”
          “I was just checking to see if I was standing on plastic”

          I still laugh every time I watch that.

          • Sageville

            That security guy was the doppleganger of my accounting teacher in high school, scary stuff.

          • SaintsRowLee

            Funny you mention accounting teachers: Mine was the ugly clone they made of Dolph Lundgren: Black Belt in karate, tall… In fact, every time I see Dolph Lundgren on screen, I have this uncontrollable urge to recheck a Trial Balance…

          • Sageville

            lol

        • Sageville

          How can I tell if I watched the censored version?

          I remember the heinously bad afrikaans, a few K-words and alot of cringe-worthy SA references.

          Oh and there was a cat too.

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Yep, as is Mickey Rooney’s caricature of a Japanese landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

  • OVG

    I thought Team Bondi was the offensive word.
    Shakes fist at silly director who told ROCKSTAR to shove it and shakes fist at the person who cut all that DLC so the main story made no sense when they talk about events that are not in the game. LA Noir was great and I am probably the only person who finished it more than 5 times.

    BUT YOU CAN ALL SHOVE YOUR DLC shit

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