Xenophobia in Discussions About Epic/Blizzard

CynicalSyndie

Member
Apr 16, 2018
524
Am I the only one who's a bit disconcerted with the amount of bashing that Asians/Chinese people are getting in certain gaming related spaces (ie Reddit, Steam, and other gaming forums) recently with the controversies around Epic/Tencent/Blizzard? I'm as opposed to Chinese authoritarianism as anybody, but the amount of times I see "Chinese are all brainwashed" or "government stooges" thrown around makes me deeply uncomfortable. Luckily I've not seen that sort of thing thrown around here and as an Asian American I'm grateful.

Once again I haven't noticed it here and I'm thankful.
 
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vestan

Member
Dec 28, 2017
11,228
It's that "Us vs Them" mentality. I don't think generalizations do us any good but you can't deny that the strict censorship and surveillance coming out of the Chinese Communist Party is all in order to control the way people think and the way they behave. China's lack of freedom of expression isn't really up for debate. You'd be surprised how many Chinese people think the same of the CCP and those that buy into their propaganda.
 
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Masoyama

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,667
Am I the only one who's a bit disconcerted with the amount of bashing that Asians/Chinese people are getting in gaming related spaces recently with the controversies around Epic/Tencent/Blizzard? I'm as opposed to Chinese authoritarianism as anybody, but the amount of times I see "Chinese are all brainwashed" or "government stooges" thrown around makes me deeply uncomfortable. Luckily I've not seen that sort of thing thrown around here and as an Asian American I'm grateful.
My Chinese born friends that live in the US and Europe throw this out all the time. They straight up say the government is amazing at brainwashing people and like 90% of their friends buy into the propaganda. Their view of their own country has really changed how I view the country.
 

SmiteOfHand

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,269
There is an undercurrent of bigotry that people use this as a convenient way to justify. It sucks shit and can be very difficult to root out. At the same time I'm not mad at things like what is going on in HK getting attention in gamer circles, but I definitely side eye some comments I see.
 

Umbrella Carp

Member
Jan 16, 2019
1,858
People in the West often have this naive belief that 80%+ or something of the population of China absolutely MUST loath this regime and are basically ready to rise up in violent revolution much like Hong Kong, when in actual fact as is with most things, it's a lot more complicated than that. Yes, even the chinese regime has its own supporters, and such a ridiculous idea of supporting such a tyrannical, authoritarian government just cannot register with them.
 

SG-17

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,254
Please quote some posts directly that you think are being xenophobic.

I haven't seen any on Era, and no, hating on the Chinese Communist Party, the overall government of the People's Republic of China, and Mainland based companies that do the bidding of the CCP is not xenophobic in the slightest.
 

Nome

Designer
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
2,427
NYC
“I don’t hate the people, just the government. Also, fuck China”
 

BDS

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,338
This controversy has united both the left and right-wing elements in the gaming community so you're obviously going to see a lot of bad faith racist arguments being disguised as criticism of Blizzard or China from the Gamergate/Trumper crowd. Just make sure to stay on target and keep the criticism pointed at the CCP and the government.
 

aSqueakyLime

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,094
England
I do agree, there are legitimate criticisms, but some people do mask it as an excuse to crap on asian people specifically. It's best to call it out when you see it, though that can be difficult at times.
 

Lesath

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
929
While China and its actions deserve criticism, a lot of people like to take the opportunity to say some low-key racist things. Hell, the other day there was talk about rounding up and deporting Chinese expats en masse.
 

Kupo Kupopo

Member
Jul 6, 2019
266
Am I the only one who's a bit disconcerted with the amount of bashing that Asians/Chinese people are getting in gaming related spaces recently with the controversies around Epic/Tencent/Blizzard? I'm as opposed to Chinese authoritarianism as anybody, but the amount of times I see "Chinese are all brainwashed" or "government stooges" thrown around makes me deeply uncomfortable. Luckily I've not seen that sort of thing thrown around here and as an Asian American I'm grateful.
imo, the '2 minute hate' phenomenon, itself, is disconcerting. multiple posts of 'fuck whatever!', or 'whoever are cowards!' are disturbingly bot-like...
 

Mullet2000

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,369
Toronto
I've got to be honest, I've been following the events in the past few days very closely and almost everything I've seen related to the controversy has been directly aimed at the Chinese Government/President or people coming out in direct support of the government, not at regular citizens or "Chinese people" as a whole.
 

Shining Star

Member
May 14, 2019
599
I think people are just bashing the government and companies that support them, not like all Chinese people.
 
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CynicalSyndie

CynicalSyndie

Member
Apr 16, 2018
524
Please quote some posts directly that you think are being xenophobic.

I haven't seen any, and no, hating on the Chinese Communist Party, the overall government of the People's Republic of China, and Mainland based companies that do the bidding of the CCP is not xenophobic in the slightest.
I never said it was.
 

Tempy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,229
I'm ethnically Chinese (but European), and I disagree with your interpretation of the discussions. Context is important.

The vast majority of posters obviously mean the Chinese government or the Chinese people living in China (either supporting the CCP or being ignorant of their oppression), and not all ethnic Chinese. But hey, if you do encounter someone making xenophobic statements, please do report it.
 

Cat Party

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,988
I haven't seen anyone attack the Chinese people. All the criticism has been leveled against the authoritarian Chinese government and people and companies in the US who are sucking up to it.
 

steviejd1

Member
Nov 8, 2017
6,966
Hating on the Chinese Government isn't xenophonbia. I hate on my own Government all the time.

With regards to the brainwashing comments, while it's not helpful it's certainly not that far from the truth and I would say the same about young people who support Trump or Brexit.
 

Claven

Game Localization
Verified
Aug 22, 2018
2,969
I've been reading all 3 (?) relevant threads since they started and to be honest, I haven't really noticed any xenophobia. A good 90% of the posts even don't concern China/CCP, just the people selling out their morals for money here in the west.
 

MP!

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,965
Las Vegas
Am I the only one who's a bit disconcerted with the amount of bashing that Asians/Chinese people are getting in gaming related spaces recently with the controversies around Epic/Tencent/Blizzard? I'm as opposed to Chinese authoritarianism as anybody, but the amount of times I see "Chinese are all brainwashed" or "government stooges" thrown around makes me deeply uncomfortable. Luckily I've not seen that sort of thing thrown around here and as an Asian American I'm grateful.
you bring up a great point... I think it's a prime example of growing up in a culture of freedoms that other cultures just don't have and really misreading the difference between them
 

John Dunbar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,228
Hating on the Chinese Government isn't xenophonbia. I hate on my own Government all the time.

With regards to the brainwashing comments, while it's not helpful it's certainly not that far from the truth and I would say the same about young people who support Trump or Brexit.
what about old people who support those?
 
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CynicalSyndie

CynicalSyndie

Member
Apr 16, 2018
524
Please quote some posts directly that you think are being xenophobic.

I haven't seen any on Era, and no, hating on the Chinese Communist Party, the overall government of the People's Republic of China, and Mainland based companies that do the bidding of the CCP is not xenophobic in the slightest.
Things like "Mainland Chinese are brainwashed" or statements that suggest the Chinese are automatons all loyally supporting the CCP.
 

saenima

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,848
I haven't seen this on Era. Hating on the Chinese government and its willing stooges is not xenophobia, just like hating on Trump and his brainwashed minions is not hating on the generality of white people.
 

Andalusia

Member
Sep 26, 2019
38
Haven't seen much if any Asian/Chinese hate. China as a state is pure filth and they need to get called out on it and hopefully eventually dealt with (sooner rather than later).

As for the "brainwashing" comments, if you're rabidly defending "your country" and it's "right" to basically genocide a group of people, violently suppress another, harvest organs etc.. and censor critic against it then what other word can you use to describe people like that?
 

Divvy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
764
I'm Canadian/ethnically Chinese and I don't think most people are being xenophobic with their criticisms. Though I do think that many of the comments are from people that are lacking in understanding of Chinese history and culture. It's not exactly that the masses are brainwashed, it's way more complicated than that. There's a great post in the NBA thread in OT that explains some aspects of it:

https://www.resetera.com/threads/rockets-gm-daryl-morey-tweets-in-support-of-hong-kong-protest-rockets-organization-denounces-tweet-update-nba-suspended-in-china.145209/page-13#post-25281281

Chinese people are aware of what democracy is, they just don’t believe it’s an effective system.

Understand that the basic ideological foundations of human liberty and self-actualization that we take for granted didn’t always exist and aren’t shared by everybody. As much as we think of history as a steady march towards progress, it’s not a given that democracy will be considered by all as the natural conclusion of human development.

China in particular has a history characterized by a cyclical pattern of rule: consolidation of power -> flourishing of society -> decay -> collapse -> conflict. Rinse and repeat. Every time a dynastic shift occurs, there’s mass death to accompany it, whether it be from famine, invasion, civil war, or natural disaster. So it’s almost been ingrained into the cultural psyche that a weak government leads to suffering.

Alongside this pattern, there’s a historical political concept, the Mandate of Heaven, from which the ruler derives his right to rule. It’s similar to the European concept of the divine right of kings, except the Mandate of Heaven is revocable. Basically, heaven bestows the mandate to rule upon a just ruler, but if that ruler is overthrown, it is accepted that the ruler became unworthy and heaven withdrew his mandate. So just as Chinese history is characterized by powerful central governments and autocracy, it’s also somewhat contradictorily also characterized by the integral right to civil unrest and rebellion.

Knowing this, the Chinese leadership is terrified of any sign of dissent, which is why we see them go to such incredible lengths to suppress the Chinese population. The populace, for their part, is mostly content to be ruled, because right now the benefits of a growing economy outweigh the prospect of the chaos that always accompanies political change in China. Looking to the 20th century, where the collapse of the Qing dynasty was followed by pretty much 50+ years of horror (the era of warlords, civil war, Japanese occupation, more civil war, starvation, revolution, etc. etc.), you start to understand how the Chinese might value stability over freedom.

Once the money stops flowing though...
That being said, the line between criticizing the government and criticizing the people is a fine one and there are plenty of racists eager to use this situation and an excuse to show their asses. I have heard increasing stories from friends and family about being harassed by random white people on the streets lately and that is pretty concerning.
 

MegaXZero

Member
Jun 21, 2018
2,786
It’s definitely getting testy, but the issue is the Chinese government is committing genocide against the uighur. Not to mention harvesting their organs while they still breathe. It’s natural for there to be a lot of heat on China.

Edit: Also the brutal oppression of Hong Kong.
 
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CynicalSyndie

CynicalSyndie

Member
Apr 16, 2018
524
It’s definitely getting testy, but the issue is the Chinese government is committing genocide against the uighur. Not to mention harvesting their organs while they still breathe. It’s natural for there to be a lot of heat on China.
Sure. There should be heat on China and I wish the whole rotten structure would collapse, I'm just wary of dehumanization in these kinds of conversations.
 

ToTheMoon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,123
I think that's definitely a portion of it.

I'm not trying to accuse people of being the r-word, but reddit doesn't care about what your internal motives are when you hit the upvote button. There's no distinction between someone who has legitimate moral concerns, and someone who is driven by xenophobia and opposition to China that runs deeper than just the moral issues.

This isn't an issue that's unique to this particular controversy. A lot of times, well-meaning movements are bolstered by people with less acceptable motives. For instance, a few years ago there was a big Smash Bros controversy because a competitor named CaptainZack did flamboyant, gay-coded taunts as part of his on-stage persona. There were a lot of people who found it disrespectful (fine), but their complaints were echoed and bolstered by people who were internally driven by homophobia (not fine).
 
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Scuffed

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,162
Everywhere I have seen this discussion occur it has been very clear that the hate being directed towards the gov't and not the people. I'm not saying their isn't bigotry but I haven't seen that in the wider discussion. I have see bad actors use it to dissuade criticism but I know at least from my part it has always been about the government.
 

mutantmagnet

Member
Oct 28, 2017
8,366
SG-17, Mullet2000, Tempy, Claven, saenima, Morrigan



Guys.

The OP is not editted and I'm seeing his last statement saying.


Luckily I've not seen that sort of thing thrown around here and as an Asian American I'm grateful.

He was talking about conversations on other social media platforms. He may even be talking portrayal in news media but that one isn't explicitly clear.

To the OP that deportation example is horrible and it concerns me too that in a decade America will be embroiled in hostile racism towards south east asians that remotely look chinese. All I can say is be careful with who you trust to have your back.
 

ToTheMoon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,123
Everywhere I have seen this discussion occur it has been very clear that the hate being directed towards the gov't and not the people. I'm not saying their isn't bigotry but I haven't seen that in the wider discussion. I have see bad actors use it to dissuade criticism but I know at least from my part it has always been about the government.
I've seen at least one poster on Era who was banned for directing criticism at the people. There are other times when the line is a little blurry, especially on reddit. I agree that the vast majority of Era posters are fine, but it definitely exists.
 

TheYanger

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,136
On this forum, it's not even a thing mostly. On others? I can happen, but I've seen FAR FAR more posts and comments coming from inside using it as a bad faith defense of the country instead (Oh you're being racist, etc).
 

Scuffed

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,162
I've seen at least one poster on Era who was banned for directing criticism at the people. There are other times when the line is a little blurry, especially on reddit. I agree that the vast majority of Era posters are fine, but it definitely exists.
I know it exists but in the discussions here I haven't seen it.
 
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CynicalSyndie

CynicalSyndie

Member
Apr 16, 2018
524
On this forum, it's not even a thing mostly. On others? I can happen, but I've seen FAR FAR more posts and comments coming from inside using it as a bad faith defense of the country instead (Oh you're being racist, etc).
That wasn't my intention. I've just noticed a trend and I wanted to see if others did too. Apparently I'm in a tiny minority on this.
 

Aaronrules380

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
9,383
Brainwashing and indoctrination happens all the time in the US as well, the difference is in China it’s all coming from the government and no free discourse is allowed to combat the indoctrination. They might be aware of concepts like freedom of the press and democracy, but they’ve never been allowed to learn about them in their formative years in a way that isn’t extremely biased and designed to make them look down on such systems. The Chinese government also explicitly bans teachings of any of their atrocities or failings, and frames mentions of these by people abroad as mere anti Chinese propoganda
 

ToTheMoon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,123
To me, it mostly manifests itself when people say things like "Blizzard is just catering to the Chinese market!" or "I guess Blizzard is just chasing that Chinese money!".

Those aren't criticisms of the government for moral reasons, and it doesn't really have a lot to do with censorship. To me, it comes off as "We expect Blizzard to be primarily catering to the Western market; acknowledging the desires of their Chinese playerbase is tantamount to betrayal of their Western players."

It's not the r-word, but it can sometimes feel like an "Our Culture vs. Their Culture" sort of thing, in a way that doesn't have much to do with actual moral concerns around the Chinese government. I've seen this with film studios as well.
 
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CynicalSyndie

CynicalSyndie

Member
Apr 16, 2018
524
To me, it mostly manifests itself when people say things like "Blizzard is just catering to the Chinese market!" or "I guess Blizzard is just chasing that Chinese money!".

Those aren't criticisms of the government for moral reasons, and it doesn't really have a lot to do with censorship. It mostly comes off to me as "We expect Blizzard to be primarily catering to the Western market; acknowledging the desires of their Chinese playerbase is tantamount to betrayal of their Western players."

It's not the r-word, but it can sometimes feel like an "Our Culture vs. Their Culture" sort of thing, in a way that doesn't have a lot to do with actual moral concerns around the Chinese government. I've seen this with film studios as well.
As someone stated above its the "Us vs. Them" phenomenon. Also, in regards to film studios I find it hilarious that anything catering towards a Chinese product or audience is a pandering change but a Coke or McDonalds product placement isn't.
 
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CynicalSyndie

CynicalSyndie

Member
Apr 16, 2018
524
Brainwashing and indoctrination happens all the time in the US as well, the difference is in China it’s all coming from the government and no free discourse is allowed to combat the indoctrination. They might be aware of concepts like freedom of the press and democracy, but they’ve never been allowed to learn about them in their formative years in a way that isn’t extremely biased and designed to make them look down on such systems. The Chinese government also explicitly bans teachings of any of their atrocities or failings, and frames mentions of these by people abroad as mere anti Chinese propoganda
The system is designed to limit freedom of information and discourse, but saying that everyone believes that is what I'm talking about. I dislike this portrayal of Chinese people as automatons who automatically believe anything the party says.
 
Oct 27, 2017
240
San Francisco, Ca
Ive not noticed much of it. I see a lot of Chinese GOVERNMENT hate, but I have not seen much directed at individuals there (and I view lots of boards all over the web).

Yes, you'll sometimes hear things like "They are all brainwashed" but I've never taken it as a slight against people of Chinese descent, its against those who support the government.
 

SmiteOfHand

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,269
That wasn't my intention. I've just noticed a trend and I wanted to see if others did too. Apparently I'm in a tiny minority on this.
You were right to call it out. The thing being lost is leaving things like this to fester in places like reddit as a non-issue, and not getting a good nose for sniffing it out allows it to develop and spread. It is the same as it happened with conspiracy theories around outlets taking money for reviews, which developed into paranoia around nepotism and ethics in journalism, to blooming into a full on harassment campaign against women.

We can criticize the fuck out of the Chinese government while also keeping an eye out for people using it as a convenient means to push their garbage.
 

Aaronrules380

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
9,383
The system is designed to limit freedom of information and discourse, but saying that everyone believes that is what I'm talking about. I dislike this portrayal of Chinese people as automatons who automatically believe anything the party says.
of course there are Chinese people who don’t believe that, their voices are just silenced and if they try to prevent that from happening their actively removed from the equation. These Chinese people aren’t posting about their feelings on internet boards though in most cases because doing so could actively get them killed or exiled
 

Sampson

Member
Nov 17, 2017
894
To me, it mostly manifests itself when people say things like "Blizzard is just catering to the Chinese market!" or "I guess Blizzard is just chasing that Chinese money!".

Those aren't criticisms of the government for moral reasons, and it doesn't really have a lot to do with censorship. To me, it comes off as "We expect Blizzard to be primarily catering to the Western market; acknowledging the desires of their Chinese playerbase is tantamount to betrayal of their Western players."

It's not the r-word, but it can sometimes feel like an "Our Culture vs. Their Culture" sort of thing, in a way that doesn't have much to do with actual moral concerns around the Chinese government. I've seen this with film studios as well.
Nothing wrong with criticism of another's culture. Lots of cultures have some truly barbaric ideals.

The problem is when people use this as code for racist stances, such as not wanting to see more Asian actors get major roles.
 

Angst

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,031
I kinda feel like this belongs in OT.

Like sure, Its about Blizzard/Activision, but the topic itself isn't really about gaming, its about xenophobia towards Chinese citizens.

I haven't seen any xenophobia from era members yet, hopefully it stays that way.