“This game about a lazy crow running a seedy hotel”
Add cheap whiskey and a decent jukebox and I’m in.
sure. “just lazy”
Not meaning to presume ill-will on the part of the game designers, but is the game supposed to have racial connotations? Were they aware of the historical connotations of the slur “crow”?
I wasn’t even aware of the historical connotations. I haven’t played the game, but in the absence of any other hints in that direction, I’d be inclined to assume that any association is unintentional
Hmm. Maybe a generational thing. But it seemed pretty obvious to me. Especially when combined with words like “lazy”. I’d have thought the Jim Crow era and its terminology was well-known enough that it would cause a content creator to think twice. Worse things have been created though, I guess.
I’ve certainly heard of Jim Crow. I’m a canadian, and my grasp of american history is pretty shaky. I’ve heard of Jim Crow laws, as in racist discriminatory laws. I had no idea it referred to an actual crow, as in the bird. In my most half baked and unresearched speculations I kind of assumed Jim Crow was the name of a human
Nope, it’s a racist way of referring to blacks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Crow_laws#Etymology
EDIT: Again, I’m more looking for info here–just wasn’t sure if the designers were aware. But my guess is no.
There’s no indication (on BoingBoing or the game’s web page) of what platforms it runs on; in my experience, that usually means it’s Windows-only. Oh well…
It would be nice for us non-Windows-users if BoingBoing’s game reviews/blurbs could make it clear what the platform compatibility is, just by saying “this Windows-only game…” or “this Windows/Mac/Linux game…”
Likely, it’s just an innocent choice of animals. Maybe you are presuming ill will where none exists?
Again, I didn’t presume. More wondering out loud since the term is inflammatory. When you put those words together and make it the concept behind a game, I think it’s on the designer to do some digging.
Looking at it again, I see your concern, but I really did not notice any possible issue until now and am therefore inclined to write it off.
Exonauts, maybe you’re from a specific area of the US where this term is still in use? Or maybe you’ve put a lot of study into 19th century segregationism? But as far as I can tell this is not a commonly known epithet.
I think I’m reasonably well-educated, I read constantly and I have a large vocabulary; but though I knew about Jim Crow laws I’d never thought to research where the name came from. And I’ve never, ever heard that term, or even just the word “crow”, used as a slur. I could probably name two dozen current or historical epithets used against African-Americans, but not that one (until now.)
So I think you’re overreacting. I’m sure EA or Activision have teams of people who get paid to make sure a name they want to trademark isn’t a slur in Slovakia or Pakistan or Appalachia, but it’s a lot to expect from what is probably a one-person indie developer that’s trying to finish their game in time to pay the bills.
Just finished buying and playing it after this article. It was really enjoyable! The music is fantastic as well!
If anyone is interested, I highly suggest getting this game. It took me about 2 hours due to some difficult parts, but every save will also remove enemies/traps that you’ve defeated/triggered. (So at some parts, I had to backtrack to a save-spot just because that segment of the level was too difficult with only 4 hits.) But yes, it’s absurd and very enjoyable in the silliness.
Also: Final word on the Crow/Racial-Stereotype: While I don’t doubt that there might be some truth in US history about that connection, it’s a very outdated connection that only seems to spawn from early/mid-century animations where “crows” were used in place for “Jive, Harlmese” culture. (Which, even though it was urban, it was somehow attached to black stereotype in the south as well.)
With that said, there’s nothing in this game that suggest or even makes that assumption directly or accidently.
From the name of “Crowtel” to the residents inside (Cats, Dog, Frog, Green lizard? spoopy G-G-Ghosts?! and a rat/mole which might actually be a stereotype from 50’s-maybe-italian-construction worker), not one bit of this game seems to suggest that the crow is analogy for race or culture as what was made famous in classic (and racist in modern times) Disney/Merry Melodies cartoons and movies.
To make such a comparison from after playing the game, is to grab at straws that aren’t there. While racial issues are a REAL THING to fix and work through, Crowtel has none of that subtext in since it was never there to begin with.
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