The valve was tweeted to reveal a map called Crack the Whip, depicting a blue lizard creature swinging a whip on a battlefield. Ventil changes artifact map name to prevent racial connotation. In recent weeks Valves has discovered new artifact maps on its Twitter feeder, among them one named Crack the Whip. "Crack the Whip is a game that fires right after you've finished playing," said Valves. "Playing an un-tested grunt next to the beaten character retriggers it, and the grunt gets the bonus.


This is harmless enough - "cracking the whip" is a fairly frequent and widespread term - but the card text has turned it into something quite different. "It says it says it says "Crack the ship. "Change a Negro Helden to "After playing a Negro card, give this Helden and his allies +2 Attack this turn". As explained in our artifact leader, maps and characters are chosen from four possible colours - either white, yellow, red, yellow, white, green, green, blue, blue, blue, and white - each with its own "personality" and a number of abilities.

However, commentators on Twitter very quickly pointed out the possible (and, let's be frank, obvious) racist connotations of the map text. "To have a card named'Crack the Whip' that says it modified dark characters is not a good sight, especially not taken out of context," they said. Others pointed out that "the combination of "black" and "whip" can readily be misinterpreted/falsified" and also very readily "inappropriately" used on plattforms like Twitch.

And there were notes - no surprises there - and proposals that the map text, although certainly not deliberately racial, was proof of Valve's reluctance to diversify. Valves didn't react to the Twitter critics, but it took to its heart several people's proposal that the whole thing could simply be remedied with a name override.

Valves deserves full recognition for having acted quickly to rectify an obviously stupid and preventable error, but as several commentators have pointed out, dealing with the circumstance that made it possible in the first place would be an even greater and more sensible one. I have contacted Valves for further information and will be informed when I get a response.

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