EA recently revealed that Bruce Lee will be a playable character in the upcoming UFC video game. How has this news faired? Controversial to say the least.
Many fans of the legend have commented that Bruce Lee was against fighting for competition and that he would never agree to get inside the cage. Others are outraged, stating Bruce’s name is being sold out and that his image might be disgraced by his inclusion in the video game.
I think these critics need to chill out.
Okay, maybe Bruce wouldn’t have stepped inside the ring, and maybe he wouldn’t have fought for competition. But people are forgetting that this is a video game, not real life! It is a product made for entertainment purposes. Plus, the UFC’s intentions seem very honest.
Dana White, President of the UFC, commented saying, “You ask any fighter out there growing up who their inspiration was. Everybody says Bruce Lee.”
Jon “Bones” Jones—a UFC light heavyweight champion—said, “[Bruce was] a magnificent, extremely powerful being. He’s someone that I strive to be like. It makes you feel powerless because no one’s going to be like Bruce Lee. No matter how much you study, how much you know, or how much you try to be him.”
Now, accepting the UFC’s genuine intentions, here are my two cents. I’m proud as an Asian American to see Bruce Lee recognized by the fastest growing sport in the world. With so few media spots as it is, it’s nice to see one of the greatest API legends honored today. Bruce Lee’s legacy provides Asian Americans an outlet to be heard, recognized, and represented. Not only should we marvel at this iconic fighting figure, but we should also respect the platform he created for Asian Americans, specifically in the media.
Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter, and strong supporter of Kollaboration, commented saying, “This is where we get to say what if. This is an opportunity to take play, entertainment, and martial arts fantasy and combine them. And I think it’s awesome. So have fun.”
And that’s exactly how it should be looked at—fun. It’s a video game, people. And for Asian Americans, it’s another step for us to be showcased in the mainstream, by none other than the most iconic fighter who ever lived.