Chinese gamers are using racist terms to describe their online fortunes, with lucky players referred to as “Europeans” and unlucky players known as “Africans”.
The SCMP reports that the synonyms for a player’s prowess are so commonly used that when searching for the two terms together on Chinese search engine Baidu, a long list of results about online gaming appears. Baike, China’s answer to Wikipedia, also lists “African” as an online expression that describes unlucky gamers.
It is believed the terms entered gaming language around five years ago when the Japanese game Kantai Collection was absorbing Chinese gamers. They have since evolved, with “European emperor” describing the most fortunate of players, and “African tribal chief” describing the least. Those “stealing into Europe from Africa” have seen their fortunes change.
Gamers have also been using the stereotypes to mock themselves for their misfortunes on social media. One video shows gamers in dark makeup and leopard print costumes singing about being African tribal chiefs, the Post reports.
Although the terms have not yet penetrated outside of the gaming community, observers say they reflect casual racism in Chinese society. Niesha Davis, a Shanghai-based writer and editor, called the nicknames “microagressions”.
“When using ‘African being black’ and ‘European being white’, it perpetuates a racial stereotype ... and perpetuates a culture of negative connotations pointing towards black people, and faux superiority towards whiteness,” Davis said.
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Keywords: Chinese gamers European African
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