Valve Renames Artifact Card To Make It Not Sound Racist

Valve’s card game Artifact is coming out in November. Recently, the Artifact Twitter account has been tweeting out designs for some of the cards alongside explanations of how they work. On September 27, that included a card called “Crack The Whip”, the text of which begins “Modify a black hero...” Today the name of the card was changed.

In the context of the game, “black” isn’t being used racially, but rather to refer to cards of a certain colour with a thematic connection. Crack The Whip’s illustration is of a big blue lizard creature whipping a group of smaller blue lizard creatures on a battlefield.

The words themselves though, when taken together, read like an allusion to slavery and the subjugation of people of colour by whites.

People following the game, such as the commenters on ResetEra, noticed the connection. “How do people not catch these things?!?” one of them wrote. “Like I’m oblivious at times but even I can see the problem here.”

The responses to the initial Artifact tweet saw the obvious problem as well. “A card called Crack the Whip that modifies black heroes... guessing there’s not a lot of diversity over at the Artifact offices,” reads the first response.

Valve did not respond to a request for comment by Kotaku about how this sort of thing ended up in the game or whether there was any internal discussion about its implications. However, shortly after Kotaku reached out to Valve today, the company announced through another tweet on the Artifact Twitter account that it would be changing the name of the card to “Coordinated Assault”.

Artifact is currently in closed beta on Steam and set to release on November 29.


Comments

    Honestly, how did that even make it past quality con....

    Ooooooh Valve.

      Well it's not illegal or trolling so it's fine right?

        Whip a black character? Oh c'mon lol. I'm not particularly sensitive to things and don't align with the outrage culture of the modern day and even I can see that one's easy to take out of context lol.

    There's some instances where it says more about the people who pick up on these things, than the actual event itself.

    This is one of them.

    Of course it was always going to be a problem...there will always be a problem.

    Valve should have taken a stand and told people they need to grow up. There is literally nothing racist about this when taken in context and EVERYTHING has to be taken in context. If not, where does it end?

    This is the problem with PC culture. They seem to think context has no place in anything that's done or said, when in actuality, it's the most important aspect to anything... oh, and intent.

      Right, Valve should have taken a stand over a poorly named card. The name of this card is so important that changing it dramatically alters the original vision of Artifact.

      Those PC SJW cucks have finally gone to far. How dare someone interpret something differently to how it was meant? And how dare Valve change what they originally made so drastically to meet the ridiculous demands of people online!

      Valve shouldn't have bowed to such pressure, by god with a newly titled card how could I ever enjoy this game? It fundamentally changes my experience with Artifact and boy am I upset about it.

      That was sarcasm. Obviously.

      The idea Valve 'should make a stand' is ridiculous, it's a tiny change that negatively affects no one and may positively affect a bunch of people. Don't try to police other people or their reactions, telling them when it is or isn't right to feel uncomfortable with the wording of a card, that's not for you to decide. If you're really scared of PC culture you can find a better hill than this to die on.

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