CHUCHEL, the comedic point-and-click adventure game from Czech studio Amanita Design, has received a new update that gives the titular fuzz ball a colorful redesign. Chuchel’s new orange coloring was made in order to help avoid associations of blackface.
Amanita Design’s decision was announced in a post on their official Facebook page:
In reaction to a number of requests we’ve seen coming from the players throughout the year, we ultimately decided to swap Chuchel’s colours and change his body colour from black to orange. We acknowledge that due to significant differences in culture and history between Central Europe and other regions, we did not consider the possibility of Chuchel, a living dust bunny, being associated with ‘blackface’, a theatrical racial stereotype which emerged in the United States in the 19th century.
For context, here’s a picture of Chuchel with his original coloring:
As someone who’s played the game through, it’s not an observation that crossed my mind as I played it. My thinking was that with a character like Chuchel, who’s (originally) made out of black fuzz, you’d have to make his mouth/lips stand out with a bright color. However, now that people have mentioned it, I can definitely see the resemblance they’re pointing out. In Amanita Design’s defense, it’s a lot less blatant than other black or “blackish” characters out there, like one character from the Japanese NES Tom Sawyer game.
Still, fair enough for Amanita Design wanting to change their character because they’re concerned about cultural context and how something they create might be seen in other countries. The little ball of fuzz has been changed in the official game, and more bits featuring him (like Steam trading cards) will change in the near future.
If you’re curious to see what else Amanita Design is working on, check out our coverage of Creaks here .