Treasure Madness Update: Time to remove "Chief Scramble"

In chief scramble, random appropriation, treasure madness by Adrienne K.11 Comments

A few days ago, I posted this screenshot as a Random Appropriation of the Day:

The next day, I was surprised when I received this comment on the post, from a representative of Treasure Madness:
Hi ADRIENNE,

Sorry if this egg offended you, it’s really just a joke.

In Treasure Madness there are also hundreds of more authentic treasures to find, related to lost civilizations. Currently we have mostly explored pre-columbians with loads of artifacts from Aztecs, Maya, Inca etc.
And some day soon we will venture into North America and pay some honest respect to the cultures of Chreokee and all other native tribes.

I hope this makes up for annoying you in the first place, do you think we should remove Chief Scramble and why?

thanks,

For Treasure Madness,
Louis.

So, here is my open response to them–I tried to remain rational, calm, and collected, though I was very tempted to behave otherwise. Apologies for being long winded, I had a lot to get in there.

Hi Louis,
Thanks for your comment in response to “Chief Scramble,” I really appreciate you reaching out to me, and I hope I am able to illuminate how and why this egg that you deem “just a joke” is actually quite hurtful and offensive to Native peoples.
I’d like to start by noting I have not played Treasure Madness, nor do I plan to, so my analysis is based solely off the image that was sent to me and the description you offered in your comment. 
The image of “Chief Scramble” itself is offensive because it offers a stereotyped and inaccurate image of Native American people. The egg is shown with “war paint”, braids, and a feather headband. These are false cultural markers that have been popularized by hollywood and other forms of pop culture, and bear only minimal resemblance to traditional regalia worn by plains tribes. In addition, by calling this image the “Native American Egg,” it collapses 564 federally recognized tribes, each with their own unique cultures, languages, traditions, and histories into one stereotyped view of what an “Indian” looks (or “should” look) like.  In addition, while the color of the egg may or may not have been a conscious choice, the redish hue makes me think only of the derogatory term “redskin.”

By calling this egg “Chief” you are degrading the role of tribal leaders, both contemporary and past, in our communities. While not every tribe calls their leader a “chief,” these men and women are held in a position of highest honor in their communities, and the title is one given utmost respect and reverence–not something that would ever be lightly assigned to a cartoon egg named “scramble”.

Finally, in the description you sent, you claim to have “authentic” treasures for your players to find from indigenous groups, and that “someday soon we will venture into North America and pay some honest respect to the cultures of Chreokee and all other native tribes.”

All I can say is, please don’t. I already cringe at the thought of what “authentic” artifacts you offer from the Incan and Mayan cultures, I can’t imagine what would be an “authentic” Cherokee artifact. There is no way that anything of that nature can be “honoring” to my community. The mere thought of being “honored” by anonymous players in an online game finding disconnected, out of context, “artifacts” of my living culture makes me feel ill.

So, in conclusion, please remove Chief Scramble, it represents a set of hurtful, false, and offensive stereotypes of Native people. And please, please be careful in your further representations of “lost” Indigenous Peoples in your game–these images are not “jokes,” these are our cultures, our histories, and our lives.

Wado (Thank you),
Adrienne K.

Member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • Anonymous

    Dear Adrienne,

    Thank you for calling out how inappropriately common these images are in mainstream America.

    I, too, cringed when I first saw the picture of the egg. It is a sad case indeed that these types of depictions are deemed acceptable because the supposed intentions are well-meaning or not serious in nature.

    Sincerely,
    Avid Reader

    PS. Is ch[ie]f misspelled in the picture and ch[er]okee misspelled in the letter?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04901157820779687718 Adrienne K.

    good catch! I didn’t even notice that they spelled Chief wrong in the original picture! wow.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13244320704174131237 Audra

    Wow! Now I’m really glad I sent this image to my wife to forward to you in the first place. I’m glad they contacted you, and you were able to explain that their joke, isn’t so funny.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03048576220830755440 soonerscotty

    I’m so proud to know you…you rock my world!! Keep up the great work!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01478763837213733775 Rob

    Great answer, Adrienne!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13020006502343127866 Katie

    Beautifully and tactfully written. You are awesome, Adrienne!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07027864578110352025 Lisa ~ Urban Native Girl

    Wow well said!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03554983893239282225 Robin

    I think your response is amazing. Thank you!!

  • http://twitter.com/omgcarolyn Carolyn

    Such a well written response!

    And what a fail on their part for all the typos.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11936567037929612766 A

    I used to be a complete Treasure Madness addict, until today. The day I ventured into the Forum.

    Now, we all know what a Forum is for. You get hints, you discuss the game. The Admins are there to be helpful and encourage gameplay.

    Today, I found the thread where the Admins are gossiping about the players who post. Saying very mean, nasty things, in public. Having the general attitude that they truly hate the players, except for their own little Admin clique.

    That doesn’t help.

    So many changes have happened to the game and are still happening. It became rather unappealing, and I went from playing 3 or 4 times a day to once a week. Today, I’m deleting it.

    How sad to discover that TM is a game that truly hates its players. How disturbing.

    Your exchange with one of their people is just another reason to delete the game.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07915803772770165360 Natalie

    Did they end up removing Chief Scramble?