September 05, 2011

Racist TeePee Games website

Someone alerted me to this company website. I trust its problems are blatantly obvious to everyone.

TeePee Games--about us

TeePee Games is a game player's discovery platform for smartphone, social and Flash games. The service allows casual game players access to the games best suited to their profile, cutting through the noise of app stores and top-ten lists. TeePee Games combines a huge array of social features provided by established services Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and contains them in one place online. The company was founded in 2010 and is funded by private equity.

TeePee Games is headquartered in London, United Kingdom

Management Team

We think the casual game industry has been run by cowboys for too long, now it's the turn of the indians! Read more


Someone has to pay for the peace pipes. Read more


Gather round the campfire braves, the Chief has a story to tell. Read more


Want to join our Chief and become a tribesmen? Read more
TeePee Games--management team

TeePee Games combines over 50 years of management experience in the gaming market from console to online and mobile games the management's industry achievements are second to none.

Click on the profiles below for more info
Each of the eight people in the photo has his or her own stereotypical picture and "Indian name":Nick Alexander
Wise Man

Tony Pearce
Chief TeePee

Simon Jones
Chief Dream Catcher

Charles Macleod

Darren Newman
Chief Scout

Lauren Omond
Head Squaw

Marc Woodhouse
Cave Painter

James Duncan
A couple of these job titles are particularly bad. In addition to using a slur, "head squaw" says nothing about Lauren Omond's job--she's a project manager. This is a good example of why "squaw" is a worthless word. It compartmentalizes Omond--she's only a "squaw," not a wise person, warrior, or scout--without adding any information. "Woman" provides just as much information and isn't a slur.

But the grand prize for stupidity has to go to "Cave Painter." There may be a few cases of Indians painting in caves, but it wasn't a regular practice. The TeePeaBrains obviously are thinking of the Cro-Magnon people colloquially known as cavemen. Incredibly, they've confused a modern American minority with an extinct subspecies of primitive cave-dwellers. Thanks for telling us that Indians = cave painters = prehistoric brutes, idiots.

Also worth noting is the background design on the home page. A campfire on the left, a cow or buffalo skull on the right. Sparse vegetation between them, suggesting a barren desert. Mesas and poles (cacti?) in the distance.

This type of scene vies with chiefs and teepees as the most stereotypical Native imagery. It implies Indians live in the remote wilderness somewhere. Presumably they're dressed in ragged buckskins, grubbing for roots and berries, like some sort of human coyotes.

Never mind that 70% of Indians live off the reservation in cities, or that they all uses cars, phones, and computers. To Teepee Games, Indians are an inferior subspecies of human, primitive and savage. Hence the "racist" tag in the title.


People on Facebook were predictably outraged. Some of their comments:Racist game developers choose a thoroughly racist marketing strategy. WTF were they thinking?


We could do where they sit around a Hooters figuring out how to rape, steal and colonize.

WOW....I don't even have words to describe how wrong on so many levels that site is....

Wooooow...just goes to show how ignorant some people still are.

Fortunately, the geniuses at Teepee Games want our feedback. Here's how to do it:

FeedbackThanks for playing on TeePee Games! The web site is still in Beta which means we are still tweaking and moving things around.


We can't wait to hear from you!
Just reply to this email to
This is why Hollywood doesn't make modern Native movies starring Native actors. Because almost everyone thinks Indians are primitive people of the past who wear headdresses and live in teepees.

Most people who see this website will think: "Yes, Indians were primitive people of the past who wore headdresses and lived in teepees. Since the site confirms my thinking about them, it must be right."

If you're still not clear on this company's problems, read any of several dozen postings on hipster headdresses and related subjects. For instance:

"Indian Market Special" headdress
Tribalism is trendy
Khloe Kardashian thinks she's Native
Callaloo stereotypes "Native Americas"
Natives attack "Indians" showband

Below:  People in the British Isles seem to love their racist perception of Indians. Here's the same type of stereotyping by a similar group of people.


Anonymous said...

Its ironic how you (Rob) view these representations of "indians" as being racists, yet, Newspaper Rock itself, is a non-native site exclusively open to non-native responses to racism againsts American Indians without tribal input or native views.

Racism caused by non-natives, defined by non-natives and expressed by non-natives? Pretty watered down if you ask me!

Anonymous said...

Hi other anonymous. I take issue with the way Rob presents some of his stories too. There are legitimate criticisms of Rob letting his agenda get in the way of honest reporting, but accusing him of preaching out of his own head in a bubble free of native input is not one of them. Usually the worst he does is omit facts that make him 75% right instead of 95% right.

Here is a list of genuine natives that Rob has regular communication with.
True, this list is of people that vet his comic, but it would be naive to think these people would keep quiet if they had a problem with his other native projects like this blog.

Rob said...

You're sadly mistaken about Newspaper Rock, Anonymous #1. There are no limits whatsoever on who can comment. The blog has thousands of Native readers and many of them have commented over the years. In fact, Kiowa writer Russell Bates must've posted close to a thousand comments by himself.

When I wrote "people on Facebook were predictably outraged," I was referring mainly to Natives. You do realize that roughly half my Facebook friends are Native, right? Same with the people who follow me on Twitter, respond via e-mail, etc. This posting exemplifies how I get feedback from Natives constantly.

FYI, I almost never take a position outside the Native mainstream. I couldn't work for the Native website or write for the Native newspaper Indian Country Today if my views weren't consistent with theirs. I've earned my living as a Native media writer and editor for the last decade, so I assure you they know what I'm doing. And approve of it, in general.

Really, what's your basis for misstating that this blog is "exclusively open to non-native responses"? Did you just make it up out of thin air, or what? It's a complete fiction, a total fabrication. Wherever you got your cockeyed belief from, it's wrong.

Rob said...

P.S. That list of advisors is out of date, though I still consult with some of them. Since social media took off, I get a lot more input than I did when we were limited to e-mail. I probably could list dozens of Natives who read my postings regularly and advise me if I go astray.

Linda said...

Hello, I am a 'bona fide, card-carrying" Native American woman and I can tellyou that this website and the photos on it are HORRIBLY RACIST. You want to know why no Natives have posted on this site to tell you how disgusting and racist these images are? Because we are sick and tired and exhausted from attempting to "educate" ignorant people. Will you change? Will you take the pictures down? Excuse my negativity, but probably not. What would help you? What can I do to help you understand how hurtful it is to see your culture - the things that are sacred and vital to your existence - made into a mockery by people who just don't know any better? I live on my reservation; I love my children; I learn my language and ceremonies. All I can say is: please stop. Please educate yourselves.

Melvin Martin said...

Expect MORE assinine antics from enterprises like this in the UK. The UK is in such a serious state of moral degeneracy and social decay on so many fronts that I doubt if they as a society will last too much longer...