INTRODUCTION

Throughout the generations that has passed in this beautiful world we call ‘Earth’, the diversity of human races and religions is what makes our planet unique amongst the other in our solar system. For a diversified place such as New York City of America, you can barely walk 5 steps without encountering people of every skin color. Realistically, no race is either superior or inferior to another, all races are equal. Even in the Bible it is written, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:27-28, NIV). When the world was created, there was no specific race that first set foot on this land, for all we know the God in Christianity could be Asian.

Racism has been in this world for centuries, sometimes people may not even be aware if they make a subtle racist remark. Simple exclamations such as “Where do you really come from?” or “Wow you speak good English for an Asian”. Racism normally starts when people starts associating stereotypes of a culture with a skin color. In this Essay, I will be discussing different examples of racism shown towards Asians on the internet. The first topic is regarding Cyber-racism responses towards Chinese due to Coronavirus; secondly, I will be explaining on the misrepresentation of Asians in video games and finally examples of social media platforms created as a place that allows the expressions of belonging to the Asian community.

ONLINE RACISM TARGETED TOWARDS CHINESE BECAUSE OF COVID-19

The first topic in this essay will be regarding the current global pandemic, COVID-19. Previously called the Wuhan Virus, is a virus that believed to originate from a city in China. Because of how accessible and quickly any information can spread worldwide from social media, the entire country of China quickly became a victim of Cyber Racism. According to the Washington Post (Timberg & Chiu, 2020) ‘Fears of the coronavirus have fueled rising anti-Chinese sentiment online as a combination of traditional slurs and new terms such as “kung-flu” conflate the pandemic with ethnic and national identity’. Fortunately, there are several advances in preventing the unnecessary associating of the virus with China. On February 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘announced the official new name of the disease to be COVID-19’ (Forbes, 2020). There were a number of reasons on why the virus was renamed to COVID-19, but the main reason according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of WHO was to ‘find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people’ (Forbes, 2020)

In America, several well-known politicians have also fueled this wave of online racism towards China. It first started on March 8, when Paul Gosar a Republican representative tweeted about the ‘Wuhan Virus’, later that day Kevin McCarthy also from the Republican tweeted about the ‘Chinese Coronavirus’. To further add salt to the wound, the President ‘Donald Trump was seen tweeting about the ‘China Virus’ (Kozlowska, 2020). As these comments are coming from respected American politicians, it somehow shapes the perception towards any Asian-Americans currently residing in the States. This unnecessary racism towards Asians could have been easily prevented such as using “neutral and scientific language like “coronavirus” and “Covid-19” (Kozlowska, 2020). Furthermore, the increasing amounts of ‘China-centered conspiracy theories’ (Kozlowska, 2020) and ‘hateful speeches towards specific ethnic groups, Asians in particular’ (Schild et al., 2020). An example of anti-Asian extremist is taken from Instagram, where there was a post about “shooting ‘every Asian we meet in Chinatown, that’s the only way we can destroy the epidemic of coronavirus in NYC!” (Timberg & Chiu, 2020).

Another contributor towards this cyber-racism problem comes from the online forum 4chan, ‘an influential and extremist Web community’ (Zennettou et al., 2020) that uses memes, inside jokes and coded images to ‘promulgate violence and conspiracies’ (Zennettou et al., 2020). In a research conducted on 4chan using a software called Contextus, which monitors hostility shown towards specific identity such as hateful associations and creates a graph listing the frequency of the most common associations.

In Figure 1, the graph shows that since mid-January there has been nearly a 250% increase in post regarding the terms ‘China’, ‘Chinese’ & ‘Virus’ on 4chan. Other common associations with anti-Asian propaganda shown on the online forum includes conspiracies connecting the racial slur ‘Chink’ with the infamous Chernobyl disaster, a nuclear accident in Ukraine on 1986. The ‘chinobyl’ conspiracy a combination of the words ‘Chink’ and ‘Chernobyl’, revolves around how there was an ‘accidental release of a designed bioweapon, from a ‘lab’ in ‘Wuhan’ (Zennettou et al., 2020).

MISREPRESENTATION OF ASIAN CULTURE IN VIDEO GAMES

Moving on to the second topic of this essay, How the Asian culture has been misrepresented in Video Games. This topic bears a lot of similarities with regarding to film because it is centered around the industry first being led and pioneered by the western culture. Even till this day, the video game development is still largely consisting of white, according to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), ‘73% of game developers still identify as White’ (IGDA, 2015). Because the majority is predominantly white, they will then presume that they are catering to an audience that they imagine to also be white males. Even if that game agency has a some people of colors working in their midst with designing and programming; the environment and world that they are working in still operates around White being the majority skin color.

My first discussion will be regarding the mis portrayal of Middle Eastern characters and Islam in video games. It is unfortunate that Islam religion is often accompanied with a negative image, ‘and it’s not just recent world events that have led to an undue level of scrutiny and prejudice’ (Lee, 2018). The media has always portrayed the religion as being an ‘enemy’ of the world. In video games, middle eastern people would be stereotyped by having the woman in a hijab and long dress down to the ankles, and the males would always have a full-grown beard. They are almost always portrayed as being aggressive and violent. And that the main goal of any games that include these Middle eastern characters would be and objective for the players to shoot or kill. In an interview with Dr. Romana Ramzan, some asked her regarding what her comments were regarding the Muslim characters in games such as Tekken 6, Dr Ramzan (2016) replied ‘Muslim doesn’t look like any one particular person.’ And that it is not necessary to associate Arabs with always being Muslims, and that not all Muslims are of Arabian heritage. Dr. Ramzan (2016) added “why do we need to be represented by our faith?”, “Why can’t we be represented by our nationalities?”.

What she said was true, that everyone is so diverse in this modern time and that no one really sits down and wonders on how a Christian game character would look like. Dr. Ramzan recalled when she visited Morocco, and that she saw ‘women who were fully clothed from head to toe, and those who wore backless dresses and miniskirts’ (Lee, 2016). In the same interview Rami Ismail added, “Muslim is no single race, but rather it is formed out of 1.6 billion people across the world with various nationalities, backgrounds, languages” (Lee. 2016). The largest Muslim nation is Indonesia, a country thousands of Kilometers away from the Middle East.

Another misrepresentation of Muslims is found in the famous Call of Duty franchise. In Modern Warfare 2, the location of the game is set in Karachi, Pakistan. In the game Arabic writing can be found written on the walls of the streets, but funny enough Arabic is not even spoken in Pakistan, but rather the most common language is Urdu & English. A Palestinian-Iraqi game developer from New Zealand said that ‘she would wish games would depict Middle Eastern cities as they really are, instead of barren sandy deserts’ (Lee, 2016). Games such as the Counter Strike franchise, a Terrorist vs Counterterrorist first person shooter involves 10 players controlling the avatars of what looks like American soldier forces combating against Muslim Arabic terrorists. Games like these are only going to cause more negative associations between an Arab and the word Terrorist. This view is only further reinforced by the media, whenever there is news about a recent terrorist attack, without even reading into the story, most people can already somewhat imagine how the suspect looks.

The media has done it in such a way that, whenever we hear the word terrorist attack, we assume that the suspects would be of Muslim Middle Eastern descent. Even if there is not a description about the terrorists, audiences would have already come up with an assumption regarding the terrorist’s race.

Other forms of misrepresentation towards Asians are in arcade styled fighting games, these game generally associate East Asian men with the stereotypical roles, notably ‘Kung Fu Master and Japanese Ninjas & Samurai’ (Phi, 2009), and there will always be that one character in every fighting games that is inspired after Bruce Lee, with the identifiably signature bowl haircut and shirtless muscular body filled with scratches and always wearing some form of long pants or his signature yellow tracksuit. Not forgetting Bruce Lee’s signature high pitched screams accompanied with flashy and unrealistic moves. It is good that fighting games still pay homage to the Late Bruce Lee, but when this character is overly used that it’s getting to a point where even he is being cemented as being a stereotypical meme in fighting games. Examples of such characters inspired by the late martial artist includes Maxi in SoulCalibur, Fei Long in Street Fighter, Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat and Marshal Law in Tekken.

EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS AS A PLACE OF BELONGING TO THE ASIAN COMMUNITY

The final topic of this essay is regarding different examples of Facebook groups or YouTube channels created for the sole purpose of providing Asians on the internet with a place to feel emotionally attached and a sense of belongingness with its contents.

On Facebook, there has been a sudden rise towards the popular page ‘Subtle Asian Traits’. Previously created amongst the social circle of several Asian-Australian friends in Melbourne, the page later went viral with it currently boasting nearly 1,800,000 members worldwide. What made this Facebook group grow so rapidly? It’s the sense of belongingness it gives towards Asians living in western countries, the page features ‘memes, jokes and posts reflecting on the Asian experience in Western countries, usually focusing on the experience of children of immigrants’ (Zhu, 2019). According to Caroline Zhu (2019), “the ‘subtle Asian traits’ sensation has been attributed to the fact that many Asian immigrants have never been able to connect with the rest of the community on this scale”. This new page has allowed the Asian Immigrant community a place of comfort, with memes and post reflecting our daily life experiences.

Outside of Facebook, where Asians born in western countries are often made to feel as-though they do not belong in the country they grew up in, the Facebook page gives them a platform where they can experience testimonials of other Asians who faces the same daily struggles of racism and victims to alienation. Members of ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ can ‘resonate with over a million people who go through the same experiences, no matter how big or small’ (Nadya, 2019), as the group serves as an ‘invaluable hub to reconnect with one’s culture, allowing many to “become much less apprehensive in opening conversations about their own Asian upbringings” (Nadya, 2019). The Facebook page also functions as a platform to help develop the Asian identity in Western countries.

Tony Zhang, a member of ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ previously commented “It’s a place where Western Asians can find a common ground for their identities almost”. For Asians living in Western countries, growing up they never really had people to share their culture with other than with their own family. But with the help of pages just as ‘Subtle Asian Traits’, it eventually helps such people to develop their own identity, building confidences in accepting their own culture rather than trying to hide it just to blend in with the majority western lifestyle.

For the group, there is an unintentional effect when portions of the content featured often refers to members having the inability to understand their current Asian culture or feeling distant from it. In the words of Zhu (2019), ‘While this distance is an inevitable consequence of emigrating from a country, the divide feels more accepted when other Asian immigrants also publish content of feeling foreign towards their own Asian culture’. Unfortunately, one of the main criticisms of the Facebook page is that it has the tendency to exclude Asians who are currently living in Asia because ‘most memes and jokes on the page refer to the East Asian experience in Western countries’ (Lee, 2019). But this divide also presents ‘an opportunity for growth and reconnection’ (Zhu, 2019), between Asian immigrants with the Asian community residing in Asia.

To sum it all up ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ does more good than harm, by ‘providing a public space to define the Asian immigrant experience caused by the merging of Asian culture with Western norms’ (Zhu, 2019). Hopefully in the future, it may evolve into a space for Asian immigrants to reconnect with while growing with the current Asian culture.

CONCLUSION

To conclude this essay, there will always be racism shown towards any ethnic groups out there. Even in a multi-cultural country such as Malaysia, when different cultures are exposed to one another since birth, there are always instances of racial discrimination between one another. I hope that through this essay, I have effectively shared on my three topics regarding Asian racism on the internet. In a time where racism is shunned upon, there will always be those few rebels who still believe that they are entitled to superiority because of their skin color or social status.

In the words of Martin Luther King (1963)

“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and before the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the mount with.

Reference

Kozlowska, H (2020) How anti-Chinese sentiment is spreading on social media, QUARTZ.com. https://qz.com/1823608/how-anti-china-sentiment-is-spreading-on-social-media/

Zennettou, S., Baumgartner, J., Finkelstein, J., Goldenberg, A., Farmer, J., Donohue, J. & Goldenberg, P. (2020) A Case Study on COVID-19, Bioweapon Myths, and the Asian Conspiracy Meme, WEAPONIZED INFORMATION OUTBREAK. Retrieved from https://ncri.io/reports/weaponized-information-outbreak-a-case-study-on-covid-19-bioweapon-myths-and-the-asian-conspiracy-meme/

Timberg, C & Chiu, A (April 9, 2020) As the coronavirus spreads, so does online racism targeting Asians, new research shows, The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/04/08/coronavirus-spreads-so-does-online-racism-targeting-asians-new-research-shows/

Schild, L., Ling, C., Blackburn, J., Stringhini, G., Zhang, Y., & Zannettou, S. (2020) “Go eat a bat, Chang!”: An Early Look on the Emergence of Sinophobic Behavior on Web Communities in the Face of COVID-19. Retrieved from

Forster, V (2020) Coronavirus Gets A New Name: COVID-19. Here’s Why That Is Important, Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/02/11/coronavirus-gets-a-new-name-covid-19-heres-why-renaming-it-is-important/#74528feb548e

Srauy, S. (2019) Professional Norms and Race in the North American Video Game Industry, Games and Cultures, 14(5), 478 – 497. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/1555412017708936

Mou, Y (2007) GENDER AND RACIAL STEREOTYPES IN POPULAR VIDEO GAMES, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, 1-48

Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/304850078?accountid=10382

Lee, N (2016) Shooting the Arabs: How video games perpetuate Muslim stereotypes, Engadget. Retrieved from https://www.engadget.com/2016-03-24-shooting-the-arabs-how-video-games-perpetuate-muslim-stereotype.html

Phi, T (2009) Game over: Asian Americans and video game representation, Transformative Works and Cultures, 2. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2009.084

Lee, S (2019) Subtle Asian Traits discussion reflects on criticisms of group, impact on A/PIA community and identity, University Wire. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/2206902012?accountid=10382

Zhu, C (2019) “Subtle Asian traits” brings Asian immigrants together, but questions relationship with current Asian culture, University Wire.

Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/2168184089?rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo

Nadya, S. R. (2019) Wuss poppin’: Subtle asian traits and its unsubtle controversy. University Wire.  Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/2316652816?accountid=10382

25 replies on “Cyber-Racism and Misrepresentations of Asians”

Nicholas Ng, Thank you for your paper, it has been very informative and I agree with you that racism is a hot topic for many ethnicities around the globe who have faced harsher treatment by others. Born in South Africa, many ethnicities were faced with harsh treatment #apartheid, so I can relate to the Asian context you are referring to.

We are aware that racism is still present from times past and as much as technology like the internet amplifies these issues and seem to promote it do you not think that the internet and its tools also help voice out the victims’ point of view and create change. Also to add, do you not think that social networks and communities help embrace humanity’s differences.

I say this because, in times past, media was one way directed and messages passed on, generally came from one source and people often believed because they were less exposed. However, the internet and its tools have removed these barriers and allow for that two-way conversation, with communities in all its diversity coming together to fight for peace.

Thank you once again for an interesting piece of work, I would like to add that I do think that each one in all their difference is merely trying to fit in. In the paper I explore teens and I would like to invite you to have a read https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/teens-in-social-networking-spaces-and-what-community-means/

Could this be what happened in times past where some people were trying to fit in or belong and with that negative backlash gave birth to racism?

Regards
Tyrone

Hey Tryone thanks for your wonderful comments. It means alot to me! I’ve never been to South Africa but I heard it’s a beautiful place

I think racism generally starts when people of different culture starts living together. And then the differences arise mixed with frustrations of like lack of job opportunities and whatnot.

Hi Nicholas,

I’ve just finished reading your paper. Your paper is very insightful and it has helped me to have a greater understanding of cyber-racism and misrepresentations of Asians.

I agree that there are misrepresentations of Asians in video games, as there are many stereotypes of Muslims, Chinese, and Japanese people in video games. Sadly, Asian characters are often accompanied by a negative image.

I am also a member of the ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ Facebook group. It indeed helps to develop the Asian identity. There are lots of funny posts about how Asians are brought up like it often has posts about a typical Asian mum.^

A question for you is:
What could be done to reduce racism on the internet?

Thanks for sharing your paper and I look forward to hearing your opinion! 🙂

Agnes

The theme of my paper is quite different from yours, it talks about how social media encourages young people to participate in political movements, but feel free to check it if you are interested 😉
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/social-media-encourages-young-people-to-participate-in-political-movements-as-demonstrated-by-the-recent-political-movements-in-hong-kong/

Honestly to reduce racism. It starts from the person themselves. If they truly change, be accepting to the cultural differences of other races. I think racism occurs when someone has a lack of exposure to other races maybe becasue they havent been out alot of hung around with other races. Like I have to admit, I myself have stereotype before coming Australia.

And for online racism. It will always be there. Keyboard warriors where people just say anything they want anonymously at the safety of their home. I’m sure most would act differently if they encountered an asian in real life versus online

Hi Nicholas,
That’s a really interesting and insightful piece of work, I really liked reading your paper. I totally agree with you that even in multi-cultural countries, racism is still very much prominent. Although, people have seen every skin colour within 5 steps, there are some who will still make racist comments. Being in Mauritius, with a population of 1.3 million in which there is a very small % of Chinese-Mauritians, I have encountered several racist comments while walking on the streets. People with their fake Chinese accents speaking ‘Chinese’ (people don’t know what Mandarin is), making slanted-eye racist gestures along with our infamous creole swear words. Some ask whether we practice Kung Fu or Karate because they saw ‘Chinese people’ do it on TV or in games. Meanwhile, like you discussed, online platforms have given way to many racist and stereotypical comments. With the COVID-19, it is getting worse especially on TikTok. Again in Mauritius, there is a Mauritian TikTok user who said not to open packages from China because there is the Coronavirus in them. The Asian community has received so many backlash and continues being misrepresented that they become immune to such remarks and are being told that they should take it as ‘this is just a joke’ perspective. But what do you think about people saying ‘why are you so mad when the Black community are having racist remarks and not when it is towards the Asian community?’ I have seen online that people are fighting against such mindset which helps the community to find some hope.

Thank you for sharing your paper and on an ending note, I am inviting you to read and comment my paper on how online gaming is an escapism from reality.
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/online-gaming-on-a-quest-for-escapism-from-reality/

Hi Nicholas,
I truly enjoyed reading this piece of work and found it incredibly discerning. I had a feeling of connectivity with this piece, maybe more than others I have read, as I myself am an Asian-Australian. Being biracial I have struggled with certain aspects of my identity growing up, wondering what parts of each ethnicity I had to take on, if there was one better than the other and so on. I can also admit that racism, even in this day and age is still prevalent and I have experienced it on some way or another even through I have lived in this country for around 15 years now. I must also admit that the confusion and misrepresentations of Asians in the media have led me to participate ignorantly in some ways due to the normalisation of these actions, occurring as I was growing up and being influenced by those around me. It took a lot to filter through my head and realise that I had to stand up to the oppression and misrepresentations to try and help break stigmas that surround the Asian community.

I did not previously know of the ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ Facebook group however your paper has made me curious to check it out and connect with like-minded people.

Once again, thank you for sharing such an enlightening paper and if you would like to view my own I will share the link down below. It’s about how social media had led to the creation of deceptive and inauthentic online identities. Looking forward to your feedback 😁
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/social-media-has-helped-in-manufacturing-deceptive-and-inauthentic-identities-online/?unapproved=522&moderation-hash=98ed042261cad70c902683a478e72994#comment-522

Hahaha welcome to the Subtle Asian Cult. Hope you enjoy your time in the Facebook group.

Sorry to hear that you have to experience racism. I know everyone has instances of racist experience, but it still sucks to hear when someone shares about how they experience it.

Hi Nicholas,
I truly enjoyed reading this piece of work and found it incredibly discerning. I had a feeling of connectivity with this piece, maybe more than others I have read, as I myself am an Asian-Australian. Being biracial I have struggled with certain aspects of my identity growing up, wondering what parts of each ethnicity I had to take on, if there was one better than the other and so on. I can also admit that racism, even in this day and age is still prevalent and I have experienced it on some way or another even through I have lived in this country for around 15 years now. I must also admit that the confusion and misrepresentations of Asians in the media have led me to participate ignorantly in some ways due to the normalisation of these actions, occurring as I was growing up and being influenced by those around me. It took a lot to filter through my head and realise that I had to stand up to the oppression and misrepresentations to try and help break stigmas that surround the Asian community.

I did not previously know of the ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ Facebook group however your paper has made me curious to check it out and connect with like-minded people.

Once again, thank you for sharing such an enlightening paper and if you would like to view my own I will share the link down below. It’s about how social media had led to the creation of deceptive and inauthentic online identities. https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/social-media-has-helped-in-manufacturing-deceptive-and-inauthentic-identities-online/

Looking forward to your feedback 😁

Hi Nicholas,

I found your paper very interesting. It made me consider a point of view which I really have no experience with.

From reading, it seems to me that the trends in online gaming are simply reflections of what we see in the greater society. The games you mention aren’t recent, and I would like to think they wouldn’t be as warmly received if released today. I think that video games can also become somewhat of an echo chamber as there is certainly the (incorrect) idea that gamers are all young white men, therefore that is who people assume they are playing with. Any deviation from the accepted behaviour of a young, white man places an immediate target on that individual’s back.

In terms of representation, it is my hope that through the internet, the inequalities faced by non-white individuals can be brought to light. Though some may argue that a site such as Twitter is toxic (partially true – it has an enormous user base) I think it is valuable for discussion as I have personally seen issues brought to light from communities I am not a part of. Through this, we can have honest discussions about what is done right in the media and what still needs to be worked on. I think Twitter is a good platform for this as opposed to Facebook as while it might be less personal, there is an increased chance for a tweet to go viral.

Thanks again for sharing.

Rebecca

Hi Nicholas,
I really enjoyed reading your paper as an Asian-Australian. I completely agree with your view on racism targeted towards Chinese due to COVID-19. The fact that well known politicians in America have gone out of their way to use language such as “Wuhan Virus” and “China Virus” for the purpose to incite hate and encourage discrimination and violence has been saddening, hurtful and disgusting.

Your reference to the Facebook group Subtle Asian Traits as a place for belonging is completely true. I am a member of this group and I definitely find a sense of community and relatability here. Living in Australia for more than a decade, I have struggled sometimes with my personal identity and cultural identity. The inside memes, jokes and posts that you mention are emotionally comforting for me as an asian person living in a Western country. I never thought about the flip side where asians living in Asia are excluded to some degree because they do not relate to the main content in the group.

Unfortunately, we have seen some racist actions towards asian people in Australia too. Do you think that our politicians cautious use of language and proper scientific language (calling the virus COVID-19) has decreased the level of violence and discrimination? Do you think that the use of racist language by American politicians has been excused because of their ‘Freedom of Speech’ amendment that Australia does not have (as strongly)?

I wrote my paper about Web 2.0 affordances on Instagram has enabled performance of different identities – feel free to give it a read and leave a comment 🙂 https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/communication-and-collaboration-through-web-2-0-affordances-on-virtual-online-communities-for-expression-of-identity-performance-of-identity-on-instagram/

Thanks,
Amy

Honestly to reduce racism. It starts from the person themselves. If they truly change, be accepting to the cultural differences of other races. I think racism occurs when someone has a lack of exposure to other races maybe becasue they havent been out alot of hung around with other races. Like I have to admit, I myself have stereotype before coming Australia.

And for online racism. It will always be there. Keyboard warriors where people just say anything they want anonymously at the safety of their home. I’m sure most would act differently if they encountered an asian in real life versus online

Hi Nicholas,
What an insightful paper! I was drawn to the topic because I am Asian too and wanted to delve into something that maybe I could also relate with. As someone who has grown up in a predominantly caucasian community, online communities definitely help me feel a sense of belonging. Whilst I do love all my friends, they simply cannot relate to my culture and this can be isolating at times since I cannot fully discuss aspects of my identity to others. Online communities have helped me with my Asian identity as it allowed me to discuss topics and share stories with people that could relate to my experiences. Do you similarly feel a sense of belonging to these online communities?

I believe that online communities are now an integral aspect of identity building for many different minorities. My paper delves into queer identity building through online communities and discusses similar topics of belonging and prejudice. Give it a read if you have a spare moment as I would love to hear your opinion on it.
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/the-importance-of-online-communities-in-queer-identity-building/

Thanks for an engaging paper!

Hello Nicholas,

First of all, you chose such an interesting topic for your conference paper and I really enjoyed reading it. Moreover, you have backed up your points with very good examples and good research. Well done!

Indeed, with the current worldwide pandemic, racism towards Asians has worsen and the fact that the virus before being named ‘covid-19’, did not have an official name and was called “Wuhan Virus”, has been one of the main reasons of this ‘tsunami’ of hate and discrimination towards these people.

It’s good that you decided to end your paper with a positive final topic of discussion. I think that it is very important for Asians living in western countries to feel a sense of belonging online and the ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ page on Facebook is a great example. It is a way for the Asian community to have comfort as well as support from others in the same situation thus reducing this feeling of ‘alienation’.

My paper is quite different from yours and I wrote on the ASMR community challenging the society’s misconception on ASMR videos so if you are interested, feel free to have a look at my paper 🙂 Here is the link:

https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/the-asmr-community-challenging-societys-misconception-on-asmr-videos/

Regards,

Anne-Sophie

Thanks Anne-Sophie for your warm comments about my paper. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it, as i’ve wrote it with the intention to inform others about the experience i myself have encountered throughout my life. Yea im glad that there are pages such as Subtle Asian Traits where Asians living in Western countries are given the chance to expose themselves to other cultures and also embrace their own

Hi Nicholas,
Thank you for this insightful piece of work. I enjoyed it from the beginning till the end. In a conference paper, we tend to focus mainly on academic sources, so like how you referenced the Bible as a book, and quoted Martin Luther King. As for your argument, I totally agree with the misinterpretation surrounding Muslims, Chinese, and Japanese people in video games. In popular games like Assassin’s Creed, Deus Ex: Human Revolution or Street Fighter IV. They are characterised in a stereotypical way- the bad guy, the fighter, the one seeking revenge. The prejudices that comes along might also lead to violent behaviour towards those communities in real life, which is why muslims around the world face a lot of terrorism attacks as we’ve seen in the US, London, Italy, or Germany in the past few years.
As for the term Asian itself, it is essentialised. People often associate it with either physical features like the slanted eyes, or the brown Indian skin. But there is more to it. There are mixed race, and many more countries than just China and India in the continent. It’s good to see that you talked about Japanese as they are usually grouped as ‘Chinese’ along with Koreans due to their physical traits.
Once again, good work!

I’d like to invite you to share your opinions on my paper
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/the-online-community-of-instagram-a-tool-promoting-self-acceptance-in-young-females/

Hey Bibi Noor Farheen Dhonye,
Thanks for the insightful and wonderful comment that you’ve left. I truly appreciate what you’ve said about my essay.

I’ll definitely give your essay a read too. Have a great day and stay safe during this global pandemic

Hi Nicholas,

I really enjoyed reading your paper, it was on an interesting subject which I’ve never put much consideration into before, and it’s written really well.

My question for you surrounds your second point of discussion, where you spoke of the misrepresentation of Asian culture in video games. I was curious as to what you believe the intent of this misrepresentation is – do you believe it’s malicious, or stereotyped to entertain the target audience, or do you believe it’s simply the ignorance of a Caucasian-dominated field?

Thank you for reading my comment, I look forward to reading your response.

Hey Aiden,
Thanks for your wonderful comment, i’m really glad you enjoyed my paper. Hey everyone learns a new thing each day, and i hope you got something out of my paper.

To answer your question, i would like to believe that the developers are just trying to suit their target audience by creating stereotypical content that is relatable and accepted by their consumers. Sometimes these developers do not have a choice on what they want to put into the game, whatever the media says is in trend or what is deemed a social norm would most likely be put in the game regardless whether it may offend other cultures.

Hey Nicholas,

What a very detailed and insightful read. As a white person its often too easy for me to miss trends in the general gaming community. Your paper really helped to highlight the race climate to me and was very educational. I agree that there is a lot of mis-representation in video games today and i liked your choice of example. Coming from a country like Canada i am very fortunate to have built a diverse online group of friends. Games like Call of Duty that miss represent races have always given me a very odd feeling because i live with people of that race and that religion and they were nothing like what was being shown in the game.

I wanted to share a video i found very interesting about race and racism but in regards to movies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAFMXrMl23c&t=638s In this video the writer talks about how to write a racist using the example of Ip Man 4 and i think he makes a lot of good points in the video. Id like to know you thoughts on it if it interests you.

Kind Regards,
Oliver

Hi Nicholas,

This was a fascinating read! As a white person, I intellectually know there is often a bias against Asian people but I feel we tend to accidentally miss the more subtle ingrained discriminatory things in society.

Coronavirus is obviously a topical and poignant example of racism and the casual way people spoke about “blame” and “revenge” as well as increased fear on social media specifically was truly horrible. When leaders and prominent figures also tweet in casually racist tones, it seems to have a trickle down effect and make it seem ok for regular people to speak like this. I suppose that is a feature of social media; as the modern public forum, whatever the tone and theme of discourse that is discussed and trending is normalised, no matter if it’s good/true or not.

I don’t really play video games so I had never known about the Pakistan/ Arabic language disparity in that specific game. It seems like such a lazy and easily preventable mistake if they were more inclusive in their production staff or did not find Asian identities interchangeable.

Great work in your multi-faceted analysis!

Thanks,
Melissa

Hey Melissa,
thanks for your kind comments on my paper. There is no fault in any specific race towards racism to anyone in this world. If there is someone to blame, its the media! The media has subconsciously placed false associations with many things in this world and since we grew up being exposed to such content that sometimes we might think that its a normal and acceptable thing to assume regarding someone or something.

I also agree that notable leaders and prominent people certainly has an effect on how their followers and people who look up to them think. I mean even if we remove this whole racism thing from the picture and replace it with a harmless object such as shoes. What first strikes the interest in a person to want a certain pair of shoe? It might be that J.Lo owns a pair and that a fan wishes to dress like their idol. Any famous person has an effect on their followers, in the end its just what we choose to accept into our daily lives.

Hi Nicholas,

As an African that has lived in both Englad and Australia, this issue of not being able to identify with your culture and not really being accpeted in the place that you grew up in is very real for me. And I resonated with so many points that your paper brought up. I recently had a conversation where someone described this experience as being a ‘third culture kid’ and I couldn’t agree more.

I think your paper was incredibly relevant and insightful. You spoke with clarity and also without reservation and more conversations like this need to be had in order for racist sentiment and behaiviour directed at minorities to be dismantled. Thank You.

My paper discusses cultural appropriation within my own culture and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this!

https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/black-bodies-on-white-women-destructive-identity-play/

Kind Regards,
Tatenda

Hey Tatenda, i’m sorry to hear that you have had the feeling of not being accepted in a culture that you grew up around. I think its times like this where we need someone who knows who we feel and just destress all your worries to those people. I’m surprised that you could find relevance in my points eventhough we come from different backgrounds, how interesting.

Thanks for such kind comments about my paper and ill love to give your paper a read aswell!

Hi Nic!

Thanks for the amazing, very well-written, informative, thoughtful paper. As a muslim asian myself, this topic hits me in a way that it is sadly true and keeps happening. And the worst thing is each and every race have to deal with “their” stereotypes, it’s like a non-stop cold war between races. I totally feel that “your english is so good for an asian”, people might say this as a means of giving compliment but this is not how you compliment people, not with some racial background. I know that this also happens on Tinder where asians are ‘complimented’ with some racist sayings such as “wow you’re so attractive/beautiful/handsome for an asian” even though it started with a compliment yet what they’re basically saying (more like mocking) is that most common asians are unattractive or ugly. It’s just too sad to see that we humans are apart from each other just because of our different skin colour, religions, and overall culture. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I see that this world full of racists for too long that when they see little kids from different racial backgrounds get along (which is supposed to be how it’s supposed to be) and media make it viral? why? this just shows how abnormal or even broken the world we live in that something normal is considered a miracle. This is only my opinion, it sounds like I’m triggered, I am, it seems negative, it is, but it’s unfortunately accurate. Let me know what you think.

Kira

Yes i totally agree with you about the way how those comments might come off as if they we’re mocking other Asians for being stereo typically bad in English, or even to speak with a heavy Asian accent.

I would neither agree nor disagree with the world being ‘broken’, i strongly believe that people need to step out of their comfort zone and experience another person’s culture and just me immerse with the beauty of the difference between each culture. What make this world unique is how diverse and colourful humans are, the technological differences are what gives us something to marvel over. Example, a City boy who’s never experienced a country lifestyle might first shun upon the thought of living in a cabin with no air-conditioning or WIFI, but when that City boy accepts the challenge and experiences the country life, he will soon discover that with the absence of the Air-condition he is able to breath fresh country air that will never be found in the city. And without WIFI, that boy is able to enjoy activities such as milking a cow, riding a horse, swimming in a lake and fully indulging in the country life. Same goes to the online racists’, i believe that when they start to experience the Asian culture, they will realised that we are all not so different after all, that the difference in language can rather be seen as though different types of birds chirping. Why can humans enjoy another person’s language as though we are listening to a song bird sing. We can’t understand birds but yet we accept their chirping.

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