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Sweet Thai dance horror game creates concern

The inclusion of Thai traditional dance in a horror video game called Home Sweet Home has become a point of controversy after the Culture Ministry expressed its disapproval.

Home Sweet Home is a horror-themed video game developed and published by local company YGGDRAZIL Group in 2017. The game is set in the kingdom with Thai classical dancers presented as ghosts.

Last year, the company released Home Sweet Home Episode 2 after requesting official illustrations to use as a reference for the game’s art from the ministry. The ministry reportedly refused because it believed the game would lead to a negative representation of traditional dance.

Netizens then lambasted the ministry for being narrow-minded in preventing the use of Thai classical dance in the game.

Sarut Tubloy, one of the game’s developers, recently said the ministry did not ban the company from using Thai classical dance.

“It just did not approve our request to use the official illustrations of Thai traditional instruments and practices of traditional Thai dance in the game,” he wrote, noting he felt misunderstood.

“We meant well but we were shocked after learning that the ministry believed that our game would destroy our culture simply because there are animated Thai ghost dancers.”

Art concepts were redesigned to make their depiction less scary and the developers made sure to avoid disrespecting Buddhism after the ministry’s criticism, Mr Sarut said.

Puvaphat “Kid” Chanasakol, an adviser to a sub-committee on e-sports and a former MP of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, tweeted on Thursday that he found out that the ministry banned the developer from including Thai traditional dance in the video game. He later said he misunderstood.

Chai Nakornchai, director-general of the Department of Cultural Promotion, said there must have been a misunderstanding. It had received approval two years ago and nothing in it was banned.

BP