How Sleeping Dogs Tried To Avoid Chinese Stereotypes

How Sleeping Dogs Tried To Avoid Chinese Stereotypes

Set in Hong Kong, Sleeping Dogs didn’t just look to the city’s rich cinema tradition for inspiration. It also tried looking to the city itself.

But when you are mixing fact and fiction, you must be careful not to stereotype. Here’s Sleeping Dogs producer Dan Sochan to website CVG on attempting to overcome that challenge:

But to capture all that as a western developer without trying to play on stereotypes? It was a challenge. There were a lot of times we thought ‘We want to do this, because this is what we think of’ when we think of Hong Kong and Chinese culture. We had several people on our team who are from Hong Kong and we would check with them and they’d be like ‘no that’s a stereotype.’

I have to say in some cases we were pretty disappointed, because that would be amazing, some people may expect it. But we tend to always err on the side of realism in that case and we had several Hong Kong natives go through all of the signage all of the dialogue and make sure that things were correct, were accurate, were true to the city itself.

Check out the full CVG interview for more on the game. If you missed it, here’s the Kotaku review.

Sleeping Dogs interview: ‘Open world is by far the most challenging genre’ [CVG]


  • I think it’s good they put in a conscience effort to avoid stereotyping, but sometimes it is rather funny (assuming it’s done in a comedic way).
    One of the best parts of GTA is the racial stereotypes of blacks, whites, chinese, italians, irish, mexicans, native americans etc. Even things like taking the Mickey out of gays, homophobes, workingclass, white collar workers, politicians, shock jocks. Its all funny – when done right.

    • I agree. The best thing about GTA is that it takes ALL races equally and takes the piss in absolute equal measure. Sleeping Dogs seems to take the asian culture and treat it with normality, unlike a lot of games where they’re always seen as the oh so mystic chop socky culture who are kung fu wacky or just NINJAS NINJAS NINJAS!!!!! SD definitely sets itself apart by coming across as fantastic in its interpretation in areas such as the gangsters, Winston was wonderful in his appeal, Jackie is brilliantly realised and Dog Eyes I just applauded when his, well, you know. The best thing I find about Sleeping Dogs is that race is incidental. Everyone just happens to be white, or asian. It doesn’t really matter. Race is no issue, and that’s how it should be 🙂

  • Didn’t you guys show a video from SD that featured the most stereotypical Chinese person ever? (The Kung Fu teacher?)

    • He’s not very stereotypical. He’s a pretty standard Sifu. I know one like him here in Brisbane, believe it or not, right down to the statues he has. (Tho the statues are around a third the size of the games ones and his students have never had to traipse through Brisbane to find them 😛 lol)

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