Controversy Over Asia-Themed FarmVille Expansion

Photo: Zynga

TechCrunch erupted yesterday with a discussion of whether a new “Jade Falls” add-on pack for FarmVille was, in fact, racist. The Asia-themed add-on features scenes from what Zynga, FarmVille’s maker, called “the Far East” — scenes that feature pandas, dragons, rice paddies, and the word “exotic.”

The game’s adherence to lazy stereotypes did not sit well with TechCrunch contributors Anthony and Peter Ha. “As Asian Americans who grew up in or near white suburbia, this is the exact type of mass media that made us feel like we didn’t belong,” they wrote.

Next up in the FarmVille debate: Purple cows, a sign of animal cruelty?