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Valve designers change unfortunately-worded Artifact card

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Valve Corp.
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Valve got itself into and out of an inadvertent kerfuffle when a poor choice of words on a card in its upcoming Artifact game arched eyebrows on social media.

Artifact, which is a Dota 2 digital card-collecting game, is releasing in November. The game’s official Twitter channel has been touting its features and explaining gameplay in the runup to the launch date. Wednesday’s example was meant to highlight card interactions.

This card was used:

Valve Corp.

So, the words “black hero” underneath a whip-wielding taskmaster, with the words “crack the whip,” didn’t go over so well, for the obvious connotations.

It’s important to note that this is not a great choice of words, not because anyone’s accusing Valve or its designers of racial insensitivity, but left as is, for sure this card would be referred to in an insensitive way. To wit:

And the Artifact team heard loud and clear and said yesterday that a name change was coming:

Problem solved.

Artifact is in a closed beta; the game is set to launch on Steam on Nov. 28. The Flying Courier previewed the game back in March.

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