Time to release draft I wrote in year 2021.
Warning: ⚠️Very long post, no hide. Important critical about faulty of The Sims 3 game content directed to EA (Electronic Arts) company. ⚠️ English is not my first language. I cannot input many images/pictures for evidences because the post is already too long, please do research by yourself to find more images/pictures.
As an ethnically Chinese, I baffled seeing what EA portraying China/Chinese culture in TS3 World Adventures world Shang Simla. For more than 10 years. It is full of wrong ignorant portrayal, obviously without asking input from actual Chinese people and portraying the world as “China inspired East Asian world with American Chinatown based on what Westerners’ perspective”.
If you are non Chinese, non Asian, please do not believe nonsense what EA made in Shang Simla.
Using icon of Japan: Torii Gate.
To be more specific, Itsukushima Shrine.
There are Great Wall, Chinese Gate, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven in the game, why didn’t (logically) EA made the icon based on one of the builds? France and Egypt have correct icons with same build in the game, Eiffel Tower and Pyramid. Imagine if Windenburg, TS4 Europe world, has American Liberty Statue as icon, what’s your reaction?
There is one person already complained about the matter on EA forum, no response from EA themselves. https://answers.ea.com/t5/Technical-Issues-PC/Sims-3-World-Adventures-is-incorrect-and-technically-racist/td-p/3474359
Symbol for China should be: Forbidden City / Great Wall / Pai Fang (牌坊)
Shang Simla residents bowing to other Sims when greeting. Chinese people DO NOT BOW when greeting people, but shake hand as usual. The only Chinese people bowing is when we are in important respectful and formal events, such as showing respect to the dead person in funeral / cemetery and religious events, or any formal apologies by company and services in China and Taiwan. For normal occasions, meeting other people casually, there is no bow in Chinese culture, only Japanese and Koreans who bow. I guess EA added the “bow” culture to make Shang Simla more “exotic” and more “Asian”, as Al Simhara and Champs Les Sims have local gesture greeting.
Fortune Cookies. There is no such thing as Fortune Cookies in Chinese culture. Fortune Cookies are cookies originated from Japan, spread to USA country, popularized by Japanese immigrants to Chinese restaurant in USA. “China” world? More like American Chinatown, located in USA. It is not first EA did that mistake in TS3, In TS4, EA added Fortune Cookies symbol in street food vendor for Chinese food stall.
Accurate historical Chinese food / dessert = Mooncake (in Autumn) or Zongzi (in Summer).
Mooncake, TS3 CC made by LunaYue
Left: Zongzi from Southern part of China, TS3 CC made by me, right: Zongzi from Northern part of China, TS4 CC made by Rex.
There is Korean household in Shang Simla. Ho Sung Kim, Hui Young Kim, Sun Young Kim Why did EA added Korean Sims in “China” country? As if EA wants to mix up China setting, Japan icon & bowing culture, Korean Sims as one “exotic” East Asian country. Why called it China (literally in-game) if EA added fusion with Japanese and Korean elements?
“Asian trait” for Shang Simla residents, instead of “Chinese trait”. Did EA know Asian is continent, not only one country? Which consists many countries? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Asian_countries_by_area China only cannot represent Asian continent. Southeast Asian countries and other regions of Asia do not use chopsticks when eating. Southeast Asia uses spoon & fork and hand. South Asia uses hand.
Houses in Shang Simla are very exaggerated Ancient China palace style, so silly and hilarious. According to EA, Chinese resident house must look like stereotypical exotic curved palace like portrayed in movies.
While ordinary Chinese residents (in villages) are like THESE .
Square boxy, normal looking roof. Curved palace looking like what you saw is for kingdom in high position in ancient dynasty time, not for poor or ordinary peasant citizens. If you see that kind of curved building in modern time, is for community lots and as tourist attraction. Not for ordinary residential houses. I envy for Al Simhara and Champs Les Sims, they at least have better portrayal of Egypt and France in modern setting, but in villages. Their Sims residents do not live in tacky Versailles mansion- like house or Pyramid-like building.
There’s one dish called Egg Rolls, which is actually called Spring Rolls in Chinese & Asian countries. The dish placed together with noodles in one plate, which looks very weird and gross 🤢 , it’s like putting burger and spaghetti in one plate.
Chinese and other Southeast Asian countries place and eat Spring Rolls in one plate, as a individual meal or snack, not place it together with another main course meal. Like THIS.
I suspect the culture of American people putting all food in one plate in “Americanized Chinese food” buffet restaurant.
Small issue but a bit annoyance: Shang Simla wives have the same last name with their husbands. While actually in Chinese culture, married women still keep their birth last name, not following their husband’s last name. What I know, western culture forces married women to change their last name same as their husband‘s last name. As TS3 game has feature of separating last name and household name, better make more sense to make the husband and wife of Shang Simla residents having different last name.
EA confused “modern setting but taking place in village” with “ancient time”. “Shang Simla, China is home to people that value discipline, peace, and clarity of mind over all else...” . The description is very stereotype Hong Kong Kung Fu movie (Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li, etc) taking place in ancient time. Real Chinese culture value family, fortune, culture, food over all else. “Discipline, peace, clarity of mind”...? Must be “fantasy” made by westerners thinking China is still stuck in ancient dynasty time practicing martial arts with martial arts-like “discipline” rules like depicted in fictional movies. EA must be confuse “Quietness, peaceful society” to Japan. Chinese people culture in general is very extroverted, loud, and noisy. Champs Les Sims and Al Simhara obviously taking place in modern but in village. “ Champs Les Sims, France offers the cultural elite some of the finer things in life. Sims can learn the fine culinary art of nectar making, or flash over with a camera to learn the Photography Skill.” Sounds normal and applicable in modern time. Local Champs Les Sims do not dress like in ancient European Medieval or France Revolution era. Local Al Simhara wearing conservative long dress with head cover as Muslim society, not ancient Egypt Pharaoh-like clothing.
Very stereotype view about Chinese by westerners: Kung Fu. TS3 Martial Arts in-game are not comparable to real Chinese Martial Arts, definitely not all. It’s just a made up cartoony fighting of generic punch, kick, parry for E rating game / suitable for children by EA, mix up with Japanese Karate (breaking block). If you want to see better portrayal of Chinese Martial Arts for Teen Rating game, go play fighting game like Tekken. (Nah, that’s fighting game. For real life wushu you can see example like THIS or many more on internet. I’m not interested in Chinese Martial Arts.) --- You know the most realistic ethnic Chinese people’s activities? KARAOKE & GAMBLING ! 😂 Also, “fighting” to pay the restaurant bill first.
Whoever making this chopsticks animation is violating the most basic principle of 3D animation : Doesn’t look at the real life reference. TS3 has the worst eating using chopsticks animation compared to TS2 and TS4. You cannot hold food with chopsticks in real life like this, it’s just lazy animating.
How to Hold Chopsticks (in English language)
(Do not use “It’s too difficult, it’s foreign culture!” as an excuse. Asian food is already globalized and famous in western countries. I know you westerners have experienced holding chopsticks to eat Chinese/Japanese food in your country. If you do the 3D animation job, do it professionally, regardless the difficulty!). Left-handed is very uncommon in Asian countries, and many Asian and Middle East countries with significant Muslim population sees left hand is “dirty hand”, right hand is “good hand” , including Egypt, which is Al Simhara, fictional country EA portrayed in-game. EA must be careful at portraying culture outside than American. Majority people in this world using right hand, not left hand. TS2 and TS4 right: Using right hand, why TS3 suddenly switched to left hand?
English version of the game is much more hilarious:
In English version, Shang Simla signature dish named “Stir-Fry”. “Stir-Fry” is cooking technique, not name of the dish. Is like naming boiled egg as “Boiled” and Fried rice as “Fried”. Why didn’t the dish named “Stir-Fried Chicken/Pork/Beef” or “Stir-Fried Vegetable” or “Stir-Fried Noodles” to make more sense? Furthermore, the 3D food object themselves is bad. Sorry to say, what EA’s made is very laughable and doesn’t deserve to be called “Chinese Dish”.
Chinese food always combine all stir-fried ingredients into one in one plate! Not separated like North and South Korea! As a real life designer, I notice that EA employee pick wrong yellow colour for noodles-like texture, random western leaf decoration, separated (?) into two. Real stir-fried noodles looks like THESE.
Appetizing yellow, vibrant colour, fresh, combining all types of ingredients into one. My guess is because American Chinese buffet again as the responsible why the “Chinese” food in American country look like what EA portrayed 🤢 To be honest, I am disappointed why the signature food of the in-game country must be ordinary home-cooked food cooked for 10 minutes, not something exquisite, restaurant/chef-made such as Peking Duck? Peking Duck is national dish of China. When I was in vacation trip in Guilin, China, I always served with Peking Duck in all restaurant I visited. Must be because American Chinese buffet again that serves Americanized style Stir-Fried food as popular “Chinese” food known for American people.
In TS3 WA EP English version, Spring Roll is named as “Egg rolls”. In Asian countries, not just China, Spring Rolls （春捲）are THESE. You westerners are mistaken Spring Rolls with “Egg Rolls” name, then you wondered why “Egg Rolls” made without eggs 😂 . Egg rolls （蛋捲 ）are THESE. Made from eggs. Biscuit and crunchy. In TS3 WA EP Traditional Chinese version, the dish is correctly named 春捲 . I researched about Spring Rolls in English language, it seems like U.S.A like / obsessed about Spring Rolls as Chinese food. Probably because Spring Rolls often served in Chinese restaurant in U.S.A? If EA wanted to create accurate signature dish of China, it must be: 1) Peking Duck 2) Noodles / Rice Porridge / Century Egg / Braised Pork Belly / Hot Pot . Not Dim Sum because Dim Sum already in Base Game.
Shang Simla resident names in English version are confusing, mix up Last name as first name, first name as last name, there is parody of real life famous Chinese person, there are made up names such as Adaeze, Bebe, Louie (??) How could these names fit to China world at all?
If EA cannot portray specific country decently, don’t ever dare to call the fictional world as the real life ones.... If the result is disastrous like this, better to call it just Shang Simla, do not call it China. What EA portray is not China, but “East Asian inspired world mixed with American Chinatown in western view”.
How could EA, a big corporation, biggest video game developer, with big budget, did not hire someone expert to do research about the culture they portrayed first? Was there no internet connection in EA studio? Didn’t they at least has Chinese descent employee in their office? California has many Asian descent include Chinese. EA has headquarters in Beijing and Shanghai.... EA market this game to other Chinese countries (not just China) such as Taiwan and Hongkong, hiring Traditional Chinese translator to translate the game, also there are many ethnic Chinese and other Asians who play the Sims game, of course we can recognize the inaccuracies very easily.
This is another example of westerners making profit from product sales portraying Asians without doing research, without consulting to the actual Asians people at all. Look how mess Disney’s Mulan (2020) movie is. Every Chinese descent and actual China people hate it for ignorant portrayal and inaccuracies by western moviemakers without doing research at all, also bad story plot, suddenly fantasy mixed with random Chinese element wuxia/xianxia stereotype that looks cringy parody, wrong phoenix (western/Egypt phoenix, not Chinese FengHuang), Chinese letters on sword looks like bad/awkward Chinese tattoo by westerners. I have real life sibling still hating and complaining everytime Mulan 2020 was mentioned 😂. Western Simmers from USA, Europe keep taking screenshots of Shang Simla, saying Shang Simla is beautiful.... You westerners call Shang Simla beautiful because you don’t know Chinese culture at all, you only see the landscape and don’t see how awful the culture portrayal of EA made in that world.
Now I want to know how bad the portrayal EA made for Champs Les Sims as France world and Al Simhara as Egypt world.... I can see Al Simhara is too stereotyped as “Indiana Jones raiding tomb adventure” site. I see there are many French Simblrs.. please post and elaborate if you find any inaccuracies 😁
- It’s just a game:
Whoever complain like this must be casual gamers who only playing The Sims as Barbie dressing simulator or Candy Crush mobile game and do not have experience of playing real video game titles. EA is one of biggest video game company with big budget releasing AAA video game titles to make profit, similar to Disney. They’re not free CC creators. Whoever create game placing expensive price tag with very big budget for making big profit from international players must be responsible to create product with quality and effort, including consulting & do research to local people & culture to depict culture outside their default culture (American). I bet you Americans and Europeans complain if you find inaccuracies or any stupid fatal mistake depicting your own country and culture. It’s not just cultural inaccuracies, there are many bug, glitch, cheaply-made, bad animations, missing features or any factors are not deserved in The Sims game that supposedly AAA expensive game titles.
- The Sims is marketed heavily for U.S.A. and European countries to appeal U.S.A. and European players:
Video games, any titles, any genre, is marketed to international people, not just western countries only. The Sims is translated to Chinese language, sold in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and any other Asian countries. If EA marketed heavily for western countries only, why are EA hiring Chinese translator then sell their games into those countries? Hiring translator + shipping + marketing to other countries have costs too.
- But we westerners are accustomed/used to Fortune Cookies as they are cookies that usually available in Chinese restaurants!
“Chinese” restaurant? Ha ha ha. That is Americanized Chinese restaurant. Every Chinese restaurant in every country changed to suit local people’s taste, so no longer authentic. In my country, Chinese restaurant provides not authentic and hybrid to local cuisine in my country too. Please broaden your knowledge, google Fortune Cookies for 1 minute and it says originated from USA. Furthermore, Shang Simla is located in China in-game by EA, it is supposed to depict China, not Chinatown in western country. It is unprofessional/laziness from EA by not researching or consulting to actual Chinese people (I repeat: They’re big company, not free CC creators). No need to use World Adventures EP to provide Fortune Cookies, just release in Base game or Store content separately. Because using World Adventures EP to introduce in the Shang Simla, China world, it makes as if Fortune Cookies belongs to Chinese culture / China, while actually it’s foreign/alien cookies for us ethnic Chinese.
- The Sims 3 World Adventures is focused heavily on adventure, explorations, and martial arts. It’s family-oriented / cartoony game / parody of life anyway.
I know that The Sims game is parody of American suburb life. Countries often depict other countries with stereotype. Focusing on martial arts because China/ Chinese culture is often depicted by foreigners as Martial Arts because Hong Kong / Chinese martial arts movies taking place in ancient time is very popular internationally, no wonder Chinese culture is stereotyped with martial arts. But this inaccuracies or any stupid fatal mistake is supposed to be not happening if the employees whoever create the game do research carefully. Mistaking Chinese symbol with Japanese symbol? Seriously?
How about American country world has Eiffel Tower or Pisa Tower as symbol icon? France world has American Liberty statue as symbol icon? Croissant and spaghettis placed on the same plate? Croissant has shape and colour resembles to poop? France world has Pizza and French Fries depicted as French culinary specialty in that world? Champs Les Sims, France world has German household and Italian and Spanish elements, local Sims trait has “European trait” instead of French trait? France world has stereotype castle-like or Versailles-like house build? France world has stereotype ancient French revolution clothing complete with fork sticks and fire torch, with depiction of the world like “Seeking for equality and fairness, [reference to French Revolution]” ancient stereotype for the world that supposed to be placed in modern setting in village? You want to depict adventure and exploration culture, but with this kind of depiction, I bet actual French people will not feel comfortable, and other westerners from USA or any other western countries will recognize the stupidity and inaccuracies easily.
- EA will not make super realistic depiction of world like its real life country. China in TS3 World Adventures is supposedly focus on exploration/adventure not miniature real life China and realistic society with karaoke, gambling, and focus on family.
Yeah, I know. I didn’t expect EA, The Sims game developer from USA will include karaoke and gambling or any super realistic for cultural world depiction, it must be something famous and stereotype from the country. Champs Les Sims world has the most normal description: “...offers the cultural elite some of the finer things in life. Sims can learn the fine culinary art of nectar making, or flash over with a camera to learn the Photography Skill.” Shang Simla: “...value discipline, peace, and clarity of mind ...” sounds very exaggerated too heavily focused on martial arts in ancient time in fictional movies and confused with Japanese Zen Garden or Chinese Spa/Meditation by Americans. Better description if Shang Simla is “...offer the cultural experience, culinary, and successful exploration will be granted with good fortune. Sims can learn Martial Arts skill...” Strong points of China (and Chinese culture) is the culture and food. Martial Arts is supposedly a bonus, not the prime feature. If Champs Les Sims has nectar making, these prime features of Shang Simla that fits for the game:
Making noodles. Noodles are the most oldest food invention in history, recorded 4.000 years ago in China, becomes important meal in Chinese culture. Imagine the cartoony/goofy animations when Sims crafting noodles then fail with funny expression. Very fitting to the game.
Or making dumplings.
Majiang (Mahjong) technically gambling. EA had made playing cards table for TS2, just re-use the cards game table coding.
LION DANCE video
Giving simoleons in Hong Bao (Red Envelope) to Lion Dance, then Sims will be granted with ‘Good Luck Charm’ or ‘Good Mood Moodlet’. Lion Dance has cartoony moves, jumping from one pole to another, so it’s very fitting to The Sims game.
Not the Fortune Cookies in-game. Fortune Cookies is American, so it’s useless, doesn’t provide any functional and wasting potential for The Sims 3 World Adventure EP to represent real culture.
It’s unfortunate that Americans or western people in general seem to think Chinese culture is “Kung Fu - Dragon - Kung Fu - Dragon - Exotic palace looking building from the East - qipao / cheongsam - Americanized/westernised Chinese food.” only.
-But they are American company!!111!! As a company from different country/culture they could be at least cannot represent other cultures 100% accurately! Shang Simla is fictional world!!1!!
Whoever complain like this must be casual gamers who only playing The Sims as Barbie dressing simulator or Candy Crush mobile game and do not have experience of playing real video game titles. 😂
There are Lion Dance and Hong Bao (Red Envelope) as Lunar New Year update in The Sims Freeplay in year 2015. Yeah authentic representation 😁 , by The Sims Freeplay mobile division team, different team than EA The Sims 3, made exclusively for players from Asia.
Whoever game developer team behind it had done great job: did research and obviously had consultation to actual Chinese people. (I mean, how many average American/western people in general aware of Lion Dance and Hong Bao?)
No need for EA team to travel far away to China to survey, just do deep research on internet and asking someone working in EA ethnically Chinese. Costs $0 for them. There are a lot of authentic real culture that will give more unique, fresh idea, great input into the game if only the game developer team willing to spend their time and effort to do research.
I applause the authentic representation but too bad it’s in mobile game.
Other games? Sleeping Dogs.
Developer from Canada, Publisher from Japan, the team behind them seems to don’t have Hong Kong and Chinese ethnic, but they did great job at representing fictional Hong Kong setting looks like actual real life Hong Kong.
I’m not from Hong Kong, but definitely feels the Southern Chinese culture vibe. Authentic street food, noisy people, pedestrians eating noodles with styrofoam package in street, night market, shrine to pray, Chinese festival, Lion Dance, Jiangshi (Chinese hopping vampire), realistic street fighting (not Kung Fu), game price is more cheaper than The Sims 3, definitely they didn’t make stupidity such as mistaking Chinese icon symbol with Japanese icon symbol and including Fortune Cookies. (My Sleeping Dogs save game file is corrupt, you can take a look at Youtube videos).
The Sims is the only proper game with genre of life simulator on the market, but disappointingly, the developer of the game do not take the quality of the game very seriously about dining. I often see many action games, fighting games, other genres portraying authentic food, how to dining properly with right utensils, right hand, although they are not life simulator genre. The Sims? The genre of life simulator? Eat with left hand, eating animation still like a cartoony greedy pig, do not use fork and knife elegantly but instead using only fork with stiff animation, wrong chopsticks hand position, not authentic food, food only represented in one plate = one meal = for one person which is lazy coding & no innovation. In real life, one person put many meals on dining table to pick and choose to put on that person’s main plate/bowl, not just eat on one plate only.
-Why are you complain so much? Show some respect to EA’s employees!
I’m real life employee who have been working as 3D Artist & Animator for video games and movies companies for years. No need to be employee for this kind of industry, as a customer who had paid the product must be feeling disappointment and anger if the product you buy is broken, not working, faulty, and after service is bad. Not the employees’ fault, not at all, the fault must be upper management of company, who demand income as fast as possible, hiring few low-skill workers to cut production cost as possible to force them to create many assets in-products as many as possible in short deadline, not doing research, not brainstorming the ideas and resources well because the company do not have good communication and time management or probably do not have much fund to pay research, then release product immediately although the product is not finished/developed well. My guess is that upper management in EA doesn’t care quality of The Sims game itself, as the game is seen as “Children’s Toys”, marketing for teenage girls / majority women, so the company doesn’t take it seriously, contrast to EA’s sports game titles, Battlefield, Star Wars’ Battlefront, or any titles marketed strongly for teenage guys / men.
Look at complaint at someone who’s saying Shang Simla icon is wrong, is Japan’s Torii Gate. No response from EA at all. Very unprofessional, while the fault is the company itself.
EA Sims 3 division, if you couldn’t do the research, give the world to ethnically Chinese, to be remade by actual Chinese employees (I know it’s impossible, The Sims 3 is ended, already 12 years old). Seriously. Clearly EA has money, power, headquarter in Shanghai and Beijing.. It would be much better, authentic portrayal, than ignorant stupid wrong portrayal that seems to make fun of Chinese culture in bad way and misleading to western/international players. I’m only Chinese descent, dislike portrayal of Shang Simla world, let alone Chinese Simmers live in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.