The anger and frustration of Asian Americans stem not only from The Mahjong Line’s ignorance of Chinese culture, but also for its callous attempt to profit from their idea of what mahjong “should” look like by charging hundreds of dollars for a single set ($425, to be exact). Wouldn’t it make sense for The Mahjong Line, with its “revamped” design that is made for “the stylish masses,” to aim to appeal to someone like Tommy, a designer by trade? And if its goal isn’t to appeal to someone like Tommy, who is its product for—white women in Dallas?
If you did a side-by-side comparison of an original mahjong set and a set from The Mahjong Line, you would immediately realize there is zero connection. Changing the original flower tile to a tile with an image of a bag of flour is not creative; it’s completely changing the indigenous aspects of the game. And, unfortunately, Kate, if you change the original characteristics of a traditional Chinese game, you will get called out for it. You just don’t have that kind of sauce.