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U.S. congresswoman outraged by Canadian-made video game ‘Dirty Chinese Restaurant’

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WATCH ABOVE: A video game made by a Markham-based developer is stoking debate on both sides of the border. A U.S. congresswoman says it epitomizes racism against Asian-Americans. The developers say it is satire and not meant as a real-life depiction. Shallima Maharaj reports – Sep 28, 2017

A video game invented by Ontario developers has led to outrage in Canada and the United States.

‘Dirty Chinese Restaurant’ revolves around a character named Wong Fu. The job of the player is to pay the bills and keep the restaurant stocked.

The game was created by Markham-based Big-O-Tree Games.

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From cutting costs to cutting corners, participants can dumpster dive for food or hunt cats with a meat cleaver. There are also visits from an immigration officer.

New York Congresswoman Grace Meng posted her thoughts on Facebook

“This game uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American. From the names used for the characters of the game to the types of food they cook to the disturbing depiction of their faces, this game epitomizes racism against Asian Americans,” she wrote in part.

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“I fear that prejudice against and othering of Asian Americans remains a form of racism that is too frequently brushed off and tacitly accepted.”

The developers declined an opportunity to be interviewed by Global News and sent an email statement.

“It has come to our attention that our small, independent game, Dirty Chinese Restaurant,has upset some people due to its content,” the statement read.

“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.”

READ MORE: Canada is 150 and still needs to face its racism problem: advocates

Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism Michael Coteau, Minister of International Trade Michael Chan, MPP Soo Wong and MPP Han Dong issued a joint-statement Thursday afternoon condemning the game.

“Our government condemns racism in all its forms, including negative and demeaning stereotypes that perpetuate racist attitudes and beliefs,” the statement said.

“Ontario is home to over 700,000 Chinese Canadians who make our province and our country strong. This trailer is a reminder that racism and stereotypes are real, and can have extremely harmful consequences on individuals and communities … Ontario will never support a company or brand that builds its reputation on racism and narrow-mindedness.”

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The trailers can currently be viewed on YouTube.

Big-O-Tree’s tag line on its website is “Because being politically correct is so……boring.” The website said the game is available on the iPhone App Store and the Android App on Google Play.

Google Play told Global News the game is not currently available on their platform. They also said if the game is ever submitted, there is a review process to ensure it follows the developer program policies.

Apple didn’t issue an official statement, but said they have no knowledge of the app. The company also has their own set of developer guidelines, including a section on objectionable content.

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