Eh, U What?

An online gambling game featuring Māori symbols has outraged health advocates, who say it’s “bastardising” the culture.

The slot machine-style game released by Czech developer Endorphina depicts Māori men and women, and uses iconic imagery such as pounamu, waka, bone carvings – and the haka Ka Mate.

Images are described by the game makers as being a “golden symbol with stuck out tongue”, or a “canoe with Māori voyagers”.

The game, which is available to children, has come under fire from anti-gambling advocates who are concerned about the impact gambling has on Māori communities.

Māori health advocacy organisation Hapai Te Hauora’s general manager Anthony Hawke says Endorphina is “bastardising” New Zealand’s culture.

Health campaigners are complaining about a Czech computer game?

Presumably there are no actual health problems among Maori in New Zealand then?

25 comments on “Eh, U What?

  1. Gambling is an actual health problem among Maori in New Zealand. Whether this game contributes to it I have no idea though. Probably not in any meaningful way.

  2. Apartheid in South Africa is wrong. But apartheid in world culture is an urgent moral necessity?

    Ooookaay.

    Ummm, Matthew, gambling is not a health issue. It has no impact on health whatsoever.

  3. “Health campaigners” is usually a euphemism for sociologists or other left-wing activists.

    “The game is illegal, we have laws that protect the haka and we have laws that protect pounamu,” Mr Hawke says.

    I bet the Czech Republic doesn’t mate, so you’re out of luck.

  4. “The game is illegal, we have laws that protect the haka and we have laws that protect pounamu,” Mr Hawke says.

    Presumably it also protects the revenue you get from whoring it to Addidas or whoever is your kit sponsor this year?

  5. “gambling is not a health issue”

    Got to have some impact on mental health surely?

    Not least the family and friends of the addicted gambler.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset – “Not least the family and friends of the addicted gambler.”

    Having no money has an impact on the family and friends. Being an unreliable ar$ehole has an impact on all. But the gambling does not cause any of that. Some people just prefer their children to go hungry rather than give up what they enjoy.

    The only health impact from gambling usually involves several large gentleman who are paid to collect debts. Even they are a consequence of losing, not gambling per se.

  7. Gambling isn’t a mental health problem. Gambling adddiction might be, or a symptom of one.

    It could count as a mental health issue if it is not simply a matter of someone rationally prioritising the pleasure of gambling over other activities, but when the obsession becomes uncontrollable and irrational, leading people to take risks and make sacrifices that they wouldn’t in a normal frame of mind. That’s a rather delicate question, and the bar should be set high when it comes to requiring evidence of it.

    Gambling is generally a symptom of hopelessness – people like to think they have at least a chance to escape their current circumstances. Campaigners would do better to address the causes of that hopelessness instead of trying to ban the result.

  8. I see they’re health ADVOCATES.

    Great position to be in. Give your opinion on everything and get paid for it.

    Keeping the Maori healthy, not your job. No responsibility. Qualifications? None.

  9. I’m with NiV

    There’s been a lot of work done on the neuro science of addiction recently. The ‘older’ (in evolutionary terms) parts of the brain falling out of sync with the more rational parts of the brain. Whether addiction is a “disease” depends on how you define disease and to some extent is doesn’t matter whether you classify it as a “disease” or a “condition”. It’s certainly not rational.

    Anyway, here’s a good question to ask any New Zealanders you know;

    “Why aren’t NZ as good at soccer as they are at rugby?”

    Answer;

    “Because they don’t play soccer in Fiji or Samoa”.

  10. “The game is illegal, we have laws that protect the haka and we have laws that protect pounamu,” Mr Hawke says.”

    Well, I kind of doubt that. I’ve just had a piece made on the West Coast and they did not ask if I intended to use in a Czech game. I’ve also performed a haka in Poland, don’t recall getting arrested or anything.

    I believe ‘Ants’ is full of shit, as expected from someone dedicating his life to telling everyone else how to behave.

  11. Andrew C

    “There’s been a lot of work done on the neuro science of addiction recently. The ‘older’ (in evolutionary terms) parts of the brain falling out of sync with the more rational parts of the brain. Whether addiction is a “disease” depends on how you define disease and to some extent is doesn’t matter whether you classify it as a “disease” or a “condition”. It’s certainly not rational.”

    The Power of Habit is an interesting read, has a bit on gambling.

  12. Guys, the firm is called Endorphina for Christ’s sake. This tells you so much about why gambling is a problem and why science supporting business throws up issues for society. The weak willed are going to be sucked in and whether it is that bloody annoying Candy Crush game or some gambling app this is potentially a massive societal issue that free markets won’t be good at solving.

    I am as liberal as the next bloke, which around here is saying something, but for me it is an issue. Sod the cultural appropriation brigade though. If it ain’t a trade mark or copyright it ain’t yours to control.

  13. “Guys, the firm is called Endorphina for Christ’s sake.”

    Which is evidently named after a class of the neurotransmitters implementing pleasure. Of all kinds.

    “This tells you so much about why gambling is a problem and why science supporting business throws up issues for society.”

    “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

    “The weak willed are going to be sucked in and whether it is that bloody annoying Candy Crush game or some gambling app this is potentially a massive societal issue that free markets won’t be good at solving.”

    “Weak willed” assumes a frame of mind in which a person believes they ought not to do something, perhaps because it breaches some set of rules imposed by society, perhaps because it has a counterbalancing personal cost that they are ambivalent about paying, but is not able to override their own preferences.

    If a person describes themselves as “weak willed” because they have conflicting internal goals, that’s one thing. But when society imposes the label from outside, usually in those cases where society’s rules are being broken, there’s a danger that they’re not helping but imposing.

    Society has a rule against being fat. But people’s appetites are controlled by autonomic systems designed by evolution to control energy storage and expenditure, and while they can be consciously overridden temporarily, it’s very difficult to defeat nature in the long run. You can hold your breath for a few minutes, but always the weak willed eventually give up and breath. So because people are too “weak-willed” to do it on their own, campaigners ban sugar and fat in foods, ban advertising, ban siting tuck shops near schools, and confiscate schoolkids packed lunches if they’re deemed “unhealthy”.

    That’s dangerous. More dangerous, I suggest, than gambling, or being fat, or smoking, or whatever. I’ve got no problem with people who want help resisting their own impulses asking for it. But I’d be concerned if the only reason they feel they ought to is because of the pressures applied by society, and more so when the “help” is being offered to people who are not asking for it. That smacks of ordering other people’s private lives “for their own good”, as judged by a self-appointed elite.

    There ought to be limits to such a policy of non-interference, but the bar needs to be set high before we take over the lives of people we perceive as unable to look after themselves, just because they don’t make the choices we do.

  14. @David Moore

    Thanks. I will look that out. I’ve just finished ‘the biology of desire’ by Marc Lewis. Interesting read.

  15. I’m sure there are some “actual health problems” that these “advocates” could be addressing. But solving real problems is difficult. It’s much easier to whine about identity politics nonsense than it is to do some real work that would actually help people.

  16. Haka is protected? It’s a fucking war dance. Announcing you go crying to your lawyers when other people use it isn’t exactly the sort of thing warriors do.

    Pussies.

  17. “Pussies”

    Careful. That Polish woman ended up in court for calling someone a pussy.

  18. “Spokesman for the Moriori was not available for comment.”

    Yeah, well, he was consumed by anger. Or by Maori.

  19. Was it von Mises who argued that it was irrational to gamble when the odds of winning are less than 50%?

  20. I think by protected they mean you are meant to pay for the privilege.

    Its called Koha by Maori in New Zealand or corruption by New Zealanders in New Zealand.

    Want to do a haka Koha $$$$$. Want to build a golf club Koha $$$$$. Wanna build a road I think you get the idea.
    .

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