1 May 2009

Lecturer disgusted by game 'stereotyping' Pacific people

8:51 pm on 1 May 2009

A university lecturer says an i-Phone game application is racist and its characters are depicted as stereotyped savage islanders.

Pocket God is one of the most heavily downloaded games in Apple's online store. It's described by an online reviewer as a game where the player is the sadistic god of an island and can torture animated islanders to their heart's content.

The animated characters are of brown skin, wearing grass skirts, with their hair tied up in bones.

A lecturer at Canterbury University, Malakai Koloamatagi, says he thought such stereotypes about Pacific Islanders had been done away with in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr Koloamatagi says the world can do without these stereotypes.

US creator Bolt Creative say the game does not depict any particular nationality.

"Bolt Creative does not intend and has never intended to offend or marginalise any nationality, race or culture in any of its video games, including Pocket God," it said.

But Dr Koloamatagi rubbished that claim. "To claim they are not Pacific islanders is ridiculous. Everything about them is Polynesian," he said.

"How can they justify encouraging the torture of a race in this way? It's disgusting."