This morning I didn’t hear anything about how cool she was SIFU It or how fun it is to play, I’ve only heard that huge shriek of rage from culture war promotion sites reviewing “game” sites that cast a shadow as most of the development team at Sloclap are white Europeans. I am writing here to say SIFU It’s not cultural possession, and siblings get it wrong.
If any of these “journalists” had any integrity, they wouldn’t write clickbait hate articles for cheap clicks knowing full well that there is plenty of logic out there to explain the amount of research and decisions that went into creating the game, and why SIFU It is not a cultural appropriation.
If you are a content creator or a media person, chances are you have come across people in PR. in case if SIFUSloclap went with a specific PR firm to represent that title, and the team put together a backstory about creating SIFU specifically to avoid seeing pieces like those penned by Player and others. Had this article never been published, the mostly unknown corporate entity Fanbyte might not have also attempted to jump on the easy train of clicks and get their opinion back.
This is information from the team that explains why SIFU Not a cultural appropriation:
There was a lot of talk (for some reason) about how Sloclap was not used by any Chinese advisors, but they did, so I’ve included some context information below:
Pak Mi Pedigree & Full Biography of SIFU’s Fighting coordinator Benjamin Colossi can be found here.
Here’s a quick version of TL; dr (please read the website for full context): Benjamin lived in Foshan and studied as one of the selected disciples of Zhan Yao Man and then Lao Wei San. Together with Chan Yao Man’s son, Lao Wei San, he owns and operates one of the two Pak Mi Kung Fu schools (Paris, the second in Foshan.). He is the vice president of Foshan Sports Association. He has a relationship with Sloclap that preceded Sifu, and lead designer Jordan Layani studied Pak Mei Kung Fu under Colussi. He is one of the world’s leading experts in studying the Pak Mei style of kung fu in which all battles are centered in Sifu
Several developer advisors in China have contributed to Sifu during development in the following areas through Sloclap’s partnership with Hong Kong-based Kowloon Nights and Kepler Interactive: Animation, character art and design, environment design, and localization (a future patch entirely in Mandarin is currently registered. In China), narration, writing/dialogue
Literally all of this was submitted to these guys to go along with their review codes for the game, and while the team at Sloclap did everything they could to create an authentic and culturally respectful storyline, it just isn’t enough just because they didn’t. You were born in the right race.
We saw similar accusations and more anger Ghost of Tsushima – The game that has been highly acclaimed by the people it is built around has made the development team honorary ambassadors for their city. Japanese game developers have amazed how much attention to detail and how much westerners pay attention to the Japanese game, about ancient Japan.
The nice thing about video games is that they aim to escape reality. People of all races, genders and skin color should be able to portray and tell any story they want regardless of their personal background. If a team of black developers wanted to play a game about the Holocaust, they should be allowed to. If the Jewish development team wanted to create a game about life struggles in inner city ghettos, they should be allowed to do so. Point.
Stifling someone’s creative outlets is meaningless nonsense and only serves an agenda, not really allowing freedom of expression. In an ideal world, people would create games that show respect for the topics they depend on – but even if they don’t, you can interrupt that simply by not buying or playing the game. In fact, it is not difficult.
The fact of the matter is: It doesn’t really matter what you think about cultural appropriation, because without cultural mixing we wouldn’t have the melting pot of the things we have now. So many things are inspired by other things and it’s impossible to keep trying to separate them by getting upset over definitions of someone’s identity or race.
If a transgender person makes a game and you don’t like it, don’t play it. We had this same discussion on blood borne demake article a few days ago – just because someone doesn’t identify in a way that you agree with doesn’t remove the advantage that that person has made something fun or unique. As gamers, we must constantly demand unique experiences told from all kinds of different points of view, so that our favorite medium is taken as seriously as a movie or book.
SIFU And cultural appropriation should not even belong to the same sentences. It’s long overdue for people to put their culture war bullshit aside and let themselves check things out, even if based on initial appearance, these things might not appeal to you.
I went to Deathloop I expected it to scold me and make me feel guilty for being white, and it ended up being so much fun and bringing back some of my favorite genres of movies and comedy. Put your prejudices aside and give things a chance – you may actually discover that you have more common ground with people than you realize.
While writing this article, once again, popular ‘games’ website The Gamer published this piece from an Asian man living in Singapore complaining about how SIFU The Chinese aesthetic is simply sprinkled on to make the game pretend to be diverse. Complains that the graffiti is in Chinese and English, which is actually quite common since there are a lot of English speaking people in Hong Kong.
Despite this, the facts never matter when there is an effort to get the money. Acting is important, until you get it – and then inevitably someone of that race will complain about not being good enough – because there is absolutely none. This is why the culture war must die in a fiery car crash, so we can get back to just enjoying the entertainment at face value.
Sevo It launches on February 8th, release date 2022 across Windows PC (via the Epic Games Store), PS4, and PS5.
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