Valve renames Artifact card with racist connotations

Earlier today Valve officially renamed (opens in new tab) one of the cards in Artifact (opens in new tab), its upcoming Dota 2-inspired card game. Now named Coordinated Assault, the card was originally called Crack the Whip, which arguably wouldn't be a problem were it not for the fact that it can only be used on black heroes - that is, heroes of the black archetype. Artifact also has blue, red and green heroes, but as one Twitter user (opens in new tab) observed, "having a card called 'Crack the Whip' that says it modifies black heroes is not a good look." 

Crack the Whip was revealed earlier this week on the heels of a slew of other Artifact cards - like the black hero Lich (opens in new tab) - and Valve's description of it unwittingly added to the obvious racist connotations: "If you play an Untested Grunt next to the whipped hero it will trigger again," a tweet (opens in new tab) from the Artifact account reads. Which, well, I think this tweet about sums it up: 

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As in Magic: The Gathering, black cards in Artifact often feature brutal and violent imagery and themes, so it's easy to see how the name Crack the Whip came about. Similarly, the card's terminology is likely just a reflection of Artifact's color archetypes. But obviously, these two ideas together can easily be misconstrued and send the wrong message, so it's a good thing the name was changed quickly. Besides, if you ask me, Coordinated Assault is a much more appropriate name that better conveys what the card actually does, namely buff groups of dudes. 

Artifact is the first game Valve has actually made in years, and it's coming this November. (opens in new tab)

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.