Mahjong Line: Mahjong Set Company Apologizes for Game Design


A Texas company that makes brightly colored mahjong tiles is apologizing after critics called its new look of the popular Chinese game culturally insensitive.

The mahjong line began selling its limited-edition versions of the game – with names like “The Minimal Line,” “The Botanical Line” and “The Cheeky Line” – in November between $ 325 and $ 425.

For instance, the Chiaki line replaces traditional Chinese symbols with bubbles, lightning bolts and has tiles decorated with maida bags and whoopie cushions.

The language of the design and website did not sit well with many people on social media, who said that the removal of Chinese characters erased the game’s cultural significance.

“My culture is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It is a product of thousands of years of tradition and history. My culture lacks some cheap coloring book that can be filled to the best of privileged standards and ‘beautiful’ Can be made. Teenyboppers, “wrote Jeremy Lee A tweet that had thousands of interactions.

The company posted an apology and updated the language a lot on its website on Wednesday and removed a photo of the three women who founded the company from their page. The company has not stopped selling any of its games.

“While our intention is to inspire and join a new generation of American mahjong players, we recognize its failure to pay proper tribute to the game’s Chinese heritage. The use of words like ‘refreshed’ was tragic for many and We are deeply sorry. ” The company wrote.

“It is imperative that our followers know that we have never set out to ignore or misrepresent the origins of the sport and know that more dialogue and steps need to be taken to learn and grow. We are always open to constructive criticism and are continuing to conduct. Conversations with those who can provide more insight to the traditions and roots of the game in both Chinese and American cultures. “

Why the company decided to ‘refresh’ the tiles

American Mahjong is similar to rummy, but is played with cards, according to the National Mahjong League. This is a variation on the sport made in China in the 1800s.
Kate Lazare, one of the company’s founders, decided that “the venerable game needed a respectable refreshment” because the game’s traditional tiles “did not reflect the fun they had when playing with their friends” and “changed their style” “Personality,” came close to reflecting, according to an archived version of the company’s website.

Lee, who worked for an affordable housing developer in San Francisco’s Chinatown, told CNN that he was affected by the changes.

“It’s a product with hundreds of years of tradition and culture and every piece has a meaning, and it’s just a complete disregard for any of that,” he said.

Lee said that his mother taught him how to play mahjong when he was a child.

He said, “Whenever my family is united, we take out the tiles and play.” “This is one way I keep in touch with my culture.”

Yulin Ji, a Chinese-Canadian graduate student in Toronto, PGave an open letter to the founders of The Mahjong Line on Twitter.

“I am not disappointed in the atrocities you committed. Sorry, was my trend too boring for you and not a trend?” She wrote.

He told CNN that he did not need to insult traditional sports to justify his design.

“They said, you know, ‘We’re making it based on the fact that we were bored with previous designs, we didn’t feel like they knew you, quite exciting or fresh.” “Which completely negates the fact that the original design since 1800 has, honestly, been some variant (game) of the game.”

GE thought the company’s apology was somewhat weak and said that he hoped to listen to the criticism and give a meaningful role to Asians in their leadership team.

The mahjong line continues to sell all its sets on its website.

“We stand with our products and are proud to be one of many different companies offering a wide range of tiles and accessories for the game of American Mahjong,” Lagere said in a statement. “That being said, we take full responsibility that in our quest to introduce new tiles, we involuntarily rejoin an experience that has been erased by many Asian Americans and is working to rectify this mistake.” “

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