Wednesday, December 10, 2008
British Nintendo DS Scrabble Game Swear Words
Tonya Carrington of London, England, bought a hand-held Nintendo DS Scrabble game console for her eight-year-old son, Ethan. She assumed that it would serve to increase his vocabulary. There are virtual characters in the game that you play against, one of whom is named Camilla.
Little Ethan was having a great time playing scrabble with Camilla and learned that the word “tits” could either mean ‘a garden bird’ or ‘an informal word for female breasts.’ "Shit" came up a few times, but he already knew that one. So as not to stifle his education, he didn’t tell his mother right away until "f*ckers" received a triple score and Camilla won the game. The word was defined as being 'a slang word for chavs’ (a British term for ‘low life’).
Ethan’s mother didn’t believe him at first. Then, she played the game against another virtual character and the same thing happened only with different obscenities.
The Carringtons complained to Nintendo. Nintendo blamed the publisher, Ubisoft.
A spokesperson for Ubisoft said, "We are sorry the game has caused concern, but it includes a ‘junior’ option that stops it from using unusual or offensive words.”
They have also filed a complaint with Pan European Game Information, but have yet to get a response.
While you are running out to buy a Nintendo DS for a little one on your shopping list, please make sure to get the Junior edition. The language is less offensive.