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10-28-2011 @ 4:16PM
"If you've ever wanted a more clear-cut, teachable moment in video game translation and localization, this is it."Is the lesson, "Make sure you appease a country's racism?"I honestly wish the myth were the truth. I'd rather know that China's problem with Pandaren was that they didn't want to see a creature they respect and love be injured or killed. Knowing that the real problem was more along the lines of, "Ew...you made our animals look like those filthy Japanese," makes me feel kind of...I dunno, like it supports hate and bigotry in a way?Is this just me, or does anyone else understand what I mean?I suppose I could look at an example that might hit more close to home. It might be weird if I saw a game that dressed bald eagles in ponchos and sombreros, since America thinks of that as our national animal. But could I bring myself to hate a developer who made that "mistake?" Would I want that game banned either on a governmental level, or even just from a consumer boycott level? Would I demand that they throw that eagle in the stars and stripes to make me feel better about it?The whole thing's just something I don't understand.
10-28-2011 @ 4:22PM
You're talking about a communist country with a history of murdering its own people when they disagree with the government. It doesn't surprise me terribly.That said, kowtowing to a government that behaves that way strikes me as tacitly approving of it, but Blizzard is a company with a large playerbase in China, and a business has to make business decisions, so I guess it makes sense.
10-28-2011 @ 4:24PM
Based on census results and the rate of population change, one could argue that a bald eagle in a poncho and sombrero's not that far off from becoming our national symbol.
10-28-2011 @ 4:33PM
I'm wondering if there might be some degree of co-opting cultures here. Coming from some white American guy with (I'm assuming) little experience in either culture doesn't help.
10-28-2011 @ 4:40PM
@MattKrotzer Leave Los Eagletarians alone.
10-28-2011 @ 4:41PM
Being some white American guy with little experience in...well, any culture...co-opting isn't really my strong suit.
10-28-2011 @ 4:42PM
I think that's...extremely simplistic. By the American standard and what we believe are our rights, then yes. To the Chinese, and this conflict of land/religion/culture that has pre-dates most of where my Asian History text books start...Lets see if I can come up with a better example for you. Lets say you're French just after Henry V came down and slaughtered a lot of your country most spectacularly. And that guy on the corner starts trying to sell you a shield that has Henry V's coat of arms painted over the Fluer De Lies.Its a bit more like that.
10-28-2011 @ 4:46PM
It's a really, -really- really deep seeded dislike between the two nations. Like, goes back a -really freakin long time- dislike between the two nations. It's racisim at it's core, but it's got countless examples of one country treating the other like not people when they war with each other up to and including the 'rape of Nanking' in WWII (That Japan only just recently apologized for, sorta kinda), and back to the Chinese doing not so nice things to Japan when it decided to reach out and bap them back when they were united under one Emperor. Neither nation likes each other. None of the major nations there like each other; Korea, Vietnam, Japan, China, Thailand...major tensions culturally between all of them. It's honestly, honestly better for Blizzard to just kind of smile and nod and not touch it with a ten foot pole and change it the way they have than to try to be some magical entertainment from the West that unites the Asian peoples under the common banner of entertainment! Im being a bit sarcastic there, but I think you can get what I mean.
10-28-2011 @ 4:47PM
Mexico never went to war with the USA. The Japanese committed some horrible atrocities against the Chinese in WWII. It might be a better analogy to dress the bald eagle in a Nazi uniform.But actually I do agree with Cutaia. People are too easily offended.
10-28-2011 @ 4:49PM
i think it's more akin to say...back in the 80's if someone decided to dress up the bald eagle in a russian outfit. along those lines. it's not so much the cross-cultural mashup they have an issue with as it is a cross-cultural mashup of two cultures that hate each other. there's no love lost between chinese and japanese. well...specifically mainland chinese. those from hong kong and taiwan couldn't give a shit (relatively). and honestly, as a chinese (taiwanese actually), i can see their perspective. the panda is indelibly a chinese icon. you see a panda and you think of chinese culture. it'd be a bit of a crotchpunch to see your icon dressed in a culture you have no love for.
Your analogy's a bit off; it'd be more like a bald eagle in an Al Queda t-shirt.If Chinese people have a problem with Japan, it's unfortunate, but it's kind of understandable. If you have to ask why, just search wikipedia for "Rape of Nanking." (provided you don't mind a crippling bout of depression, that is...)Add to that that in the minds of some Chinese people, the war crimes have never really been apologized for, and that the wound still festers thanks to things like Japanese politicians downplaying or outright denying the incidents as recently as the 1990's. There are still people alive in China today who, under the Japanese, experienced horrors as bad as anything the Nazis ever dreamed up. So it's not just pointless racism that would cause outrage; there's some really bad blood there.
10-28-2011 @ 4:53PM
Think of it as this. Somebody draws up Moses with the ten commandments and then dresses him up in Nazi gear. Maybe not as extreme, but close enough.
10-28-2011 @ 4:55PM
@Cutaia - At the same time, Blizzard has an obligation to respect the various cultures of its international customers. Regardless of what the Chinese and Japanese think of each other, it would be pretty dicked up for them to present Samurai Pandas and say "Eh, Japanese or Chinese, what's the difference? All those Asians look the same anyway."While their cooperation in the matter is an indirect form of approval, it's also not their job to be making political statements or calling cultural differences to question. Leave that for the politicians and activists.
10-28-2011 @ 4:57PM
Yeah, the bad blood between the countries has been there for a long time. The past couple hundred years have been especially bad, considering how many times Japan tried to take over China.World War II was especially horrible. More than just Nanking. There were hundreds of toxic gas attacks and multiple incidents of airdropping bubonic-plague-infested fleas on cities, causing epidemics. 20-35 million Chinese casualties vs about 2 million for the Japanese. And the Japanese still try to pretend nothing happened.I'd be a little bitter too.
10-28-2011 @ 5:01PM
@Puntable Uh, technically yes Mexico did war with the US. After we grabbed Texas from them, the US invaded New Mexico and the California Republic and actually occupied Mexico City and forced them to give us the land at it's current border where it is. Where the US bought Louisiana Territory from France and negotiated a nice simple line up north with the British, we went to freakin war with Mexico to get the Southwestern states.The whole 'Remember the Alamo!' thing was from when Texas wanted to be it's own state and was trying to succeed from -Mexico- and ended up in US hands.You made me kind of want to cry. ;.; No one knows history anymore...
@Dementron:Exactly. To me, racism is an irrational hatred of a group of people because of their race or national origin. On the other hand, hating the country that performed horrible, torturous medical experiments on your grandmother? Maybe not so irrational.
"I think that's...extremely simplistic."Oh, almost certainly. I'm, by no means, an expert in these cultural relations. I only know that on the surface it seemed odd to me. I was hoping someone would come along and explain things a bit more for me. Which leads me to..."If Chinese people have a problem with Japan, it's unfortunate, but it's kind of understandable. If you have to ask why, just search wikipedia for "Rape of Nanking." (provided you don't mind a crippling bout of depression, that is...)"Holy crap. Bout of depression and the desire to vomit, eh? Not to sound ignorant of history, but this is one of those things I definitely didn't know about."The Japanese committed some horrible atrocities against the Chinese in WWII. It might be a better analogy to dress the bald eagle in a Nazi uniform."Sure, but I hate Nazis...not Germans. :("It's honestly, honestly better for Blizzard to just kind of smile and nod and not touch it with a ten foot pole"And you're almost certainly right. It's just sad to me that we live in a world where such problems exist.Hey, thanks for the replies, all. Definitely learned some things. I'm still sad that it all comes down to hate, though, even if it is "understandable." :(
10-28-2011 @ 5:02PM
While I kind of understand your point, there is a point in national pride and mistaking cultural references. As a long time fan of both Chinese and Japanese cultures, calling MoP Asian seems a bit broad to me since it's mainly Chinese and maybe some southeastern Asian, while Night Elves got Japanese (so wow already has Asian)Basically I think the Chinese just want what Dreamworks wants: people not to be confused on their cultural references and origins. Pandas are Chinese. Samurai are not. There's already more than enough people who don't know the difference between Chinese and Japanese culture. I've even already heard one person say they thought the Night Elves seemed more Chinese than the Pandaren. I could totally see them disliking Pandaren Samurai as that muddies the waters regardless of personal racism behind it. I bet they would be just as upset if the Panda was drawn Hindu.
10-28-2011 @ 5:03PM
Something similar happened awhile ago, when a Japanese restaurant was opened with the name Geisha, and then specifically hired Korean waitresses and tried to dress them in kimonos. Guess what the word 'geisha' means and what the Japanese did to many Korean women when Japan invaded Korea during WWII. Many of those women are still alive. Many horrible things happened back then that have not been forgotten, although many of us are too young to really know or understand. That's why we study history.
10-28-2011 @ 5:06PM
Honestly, China takes it a little far, considering how long ago most of the objectionable stuff happened, but Japan has NEVER apologised for their war atrocities, and didn't really have to pay anything to the the populations they hurt, they've even removed most mention of large incidents like the Nanjing Massacre (known as the "Nanjing Incident" in Japanese textbooks, if it's mentioned at all) and Korean comfort women from their textbooks so most Japanese people today don't know about them at all. When the Japanese talk about WWII, pretty much all they talk about is the atomic bombings (which yes, were horrible) and MAYBE Peral Harbour, if you bring it up. Try to get them to acknowledge that they might have maybe possibly raped, tortured, and killed hundreds of thousands of people in East and South-East Asia. Total denial, unless they are particularly open-minded and well educated. Former soldiers who have come forward with their own accounts of atrocities they themselves did are harassed for "lying." Futhermore, Japan (it was sanctioned by the government, so I can say "Japan") enshrined convicted and executed war criminals as deities at the famous Yasukuni Shrine, and many government figures, including most Prime Ministers go there to honour the war dead. Whether they are actually honouring the war criminals, rather than just soldiers who died at war in general, is debatable, but they could make their relationship with China and Korea so much better by simply saying "yes, this happened, it was terrible and we are not those people that did those things, but we're sorry that it happened" and not having public figures visit that shrine.I mean, it was only in like 2006 (exact year ???) that Japan allowed there to be a memorial to the Koreans who died in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, because before that they wouldn't even acknowledge that there had been Korean slave workers in Japan period.Yes, part of it is racism, but it's not like Japan is doing everything they can to make their relationship with China better, in fact they have perpetually made it worse over the years.Sorry if it seems a little harsh, I don't particularly approve of China either (you probably don't even want to hear my rant on all the shit in China), but East Asia is my area of study, and I feel compelled to play devil's advocate in this case.
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