Well, That's A Good Way To Piss Off Korean Gamers

Well, That's a Good Way To Piss Off Korean Gamers

Anime, gaming and cosplay event Japan Expo is underway in Paris. And since Riot Games is in attendance, the studio created a notice on the League of Legends website. The image accompanying the announcement has some Korean gamers up in arms.

Over on the League of Legends forum, member Twking pointed out that the character Ahri wears a traditional Korean costume called the hanbok and debuted with the game's server launched in South Korea. Thus, the character has a strong connection with Korea. What's the rub? The Japan Expo's logo is reminiscent of the Rising Sun, imagery that is seen as offensive in South Korea.

"Rising Sun was an official flag of Japan Empire during WW2, and there were a lot of Massacre, Human subject research, sexual slavery, and so forth [SIC]," wrote Twking. "Some other Koreans already talked with Riot France, but they did not react at all."

Well, That's a Good Way To Piss Off Korean Gamers

On Reddit (via tipster Sang), user Wnsghks5193 wrote, "Using the champion that represents Korea and the flag that represents Japanese imperialism in order to advertise anything will be very offensive to most of the Asian countries and especially to Korea."

Above is a screenshot of the how Ahri appeared on the League of Legends site (courtesy of Wnsghks5193).

Riot did change the webpage's character to another character: Japanese-influenced champion Yasuo.

Well, That's a Good Way To Piss Off Korean Gamers

This isn't just about getting upset about a Korean character appearing with rising sun imagery in the established Japan Expo logo, but also, the use of an obviously Korean influenced character for an event called "Japan Expo." Why give characters culturally infused identities if those aren't respected?

France Riot used Asian Hakenkreuz (Rising Sun) with Ahri. [League of Legends]

French League of Legends is Advertising Japanese Expo Using Japanese Rising Sun Flag and Ahri [Reddit — Thanks Sang!]


    The complaint about the rising sun flag is unfounded. It isn't based on the imperial Rising Sun flag and bares only a passing resemblance. It's just a graphic of a sunrise, which has been associated with Japan, the land of the rising sun, for hundreds of years and has nothing to do with Japanese imperialism. The logo is used throughout Japan and other countries, and this one is the official logo of the Japan Expo in Europe that has been operating for 15 years.

    Cultural sensitivity is an important thing to take into consideration, but it is not and has never been free license to shut down anything anyone doesn't like. The swastika existed long before Nazi Germany used it on their flag and continues to be used distinct from the Nazis today. Emblems of a rising sun were similarly used long before Imperial Japan used it on their flag and will continue to be used distinct from Imperial Japan today. People need to let go of the apparent offence that they're holding over what is nothing more than an image outside of its relevant context.

      "Whups, lost the war, guess we have to change all our flags now, too."
      Yeah. Fuck these people.

      The US has committed far more atrocities in war (and otherwise) than the Japanese did, but we don't see people up in arms any time the US flag or US iconography gets used at an event held in the US, do we? Some fucking perspective for fuck's sake.

      Whether you are right or wrong in regards to letting go of the offensive nature of the symbol is irrelevant. The damage this does to the company's brand however is very real. The fact of the matter is that customers in Korea are deeply offended and their competitor is right around the corner. Their marketing team should have very well known this or responded in a way to mitigate damage to their brand.

        The logo doesn't belong to Riot, it's the official logo of the Japan Expo event which has been around for 15 years. Riot has little control over whether other people get offended over a logo that doesn't belong to them, and rightfully they didn't remove the logo from the marketing material, they just changed the character pictured.

        'Customers in Korea are deeply offended' How many? Based on what data? Offended about which part? A minor fuss on Reddit is hardly a good thermometer. And whether people need to get over it or not certainly is relevant. Most of the people who claim to be offended today are too young to have ever experienced the incursions, why are they offended? What right do they have to be offended? Why should anyone else care that they're offended?

          This is no the first time the rising sun symbol has made korean people offended. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1804834-korean-zombie-to-dana-white-rising-sun-gear-cannot-be-worn-by-ufc-fighters
          Believe it or not it is a big deal in Korea. I wouldnt trivialise the impact WW2 had on a country considering their grandparents and parents would have either experienced the war or the aftermath. You dont need to be given a right to be offended but if you do offend a group of people and they take their business else where I am sure that Riot would care.

            I'm not trivialising the effect WW2 had on the people who lived through it, I'm asking what reason there is for people who only heard about it second-hand to be offended by something they never directly experienced. This is the same mentality that continues blood feuds and it's stupid. And yes, I think you do need to have justification to be offended and have anyone else care about it. If you're offended and your reason is sub-par, I don't give a shit and nobody else should either. Taking offence at something is a problem for the person taking offence, caused by the person taking offence and is not the problem or the responsibility of anyone else.

    Who bloody cares? Just a game and the characters are just textures. The creator did not design them to be country specific and just made her that way to make her character model looks nice.

    Last edited 05/06/14 8:32 am

    The Rising Sun image was used for WW2 badges by Australians. What the fuck are they going on about?

    so in the same vein, i should be offended if im playing Ahri and a teammate is playing Yasuo? They are mortal enemies and should not be represented on the same team.

    These fellas need to grow up.

    How can Japan Expo be underway? Japan Expo takes place in Paris from 2 to 6 July. Or do you mean the preparation for Japan Expo?


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