Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing Review Kits

December 4, 2008 -

Nintendo is in damage control mode after a DS cart shipped to game reviewers was found to contain a commonly used racial slur.

Kotaku reported yesterday that editor Brian Crecente received a pre-played copy of Animal Crossing: Wild World for the DS. The 2005 title, shipped with secrets unlocked, was intended to show reviewers how content could easily be migrated from the DS game to the recently-released Wii title, Animal Crossing: City Folk.

However, as Kotaku explains, things soon went awry:

When you come upon Baabara, the town's resident sheep, you're greeted with a racial epithet. The word is used repeatedly in your conversation with the sheep.

"I almost forgot about you, N—-a" "So got any juicy gossip for me, N—-a?" "Just thinking about it gets me all excited, N—-a."

Nintendo quickly issued a statement, blaming WiFi for the screwup:

Previously played copies of the were sent to 14 members of the media to demonstrate the ability of players to transfer items to the new Animal Crossing: City Folk for Wii. We regret that an offensive phrase was included without our knowledge via a wireless function that allows user-generated catchphrases to spread virally from one game to the next.

 

This version is limited to 14 copies created for media review purposes only and is not available at retailers. We sincerely apologize for the incident and are working with media who received the game cards to return them to Nintendo immediately.


Comments

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

White people, "Nicca" is a word black people call themselves as a term of endearment

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

And as a not so endearing term. As in "Damn! You's a stupid nicca."

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

 Hey everyone. So there's a scenario here that nobody seems to be considering. Game companies have to make a reel of offensive material for the ESRB. Whenever there is the possibility of user-created material from graphic creations to simply naming your own character, they have to create and submit the most offensive things they can. For instance, if one game has the ability to draw on a character, the reel may have a character completely covered in swastikas. It's possible that this is a leftover from their ESRB copy of the game which probably mingled with the DS cart used and then sent to the media. A terrible mistake? Actually, yes. But a big deal? Not really.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

No because if they had to put the most offensive thing to submit on the ESRB, there wouldn't be anything on the internet at all.  Hence, why they put the phrase "Game Experience May Change During Online Play"

The problem isn't the company's fault, but more the user content.  The industry can try anything to censor as much, but people find ways around it.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Source? Because I can't see that happening, otherwise you'd have hundreds of games rated 'M' just because somebody called their character c**t.


Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Does anyone else find the fact that they named a sheep 'Baabara' offensive?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

The word shown in the picture is actually pronounced "Nyig-A".  The tilde over the "N" is like "mañana" or "jalapeño".  The grave accent over the "A" indicates the emphasis is on the second syllable.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Anybody else think this is funny?

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

i thought it was only a slur if it ended in "er" not "a"

oh wait... its racist now cause its a little white character saying it and not a little black one right..... not to hit that note but i still kinda find it funny its only considered racist if a certain person says it, but otherwise is perfectly A-OK.

ahh well... i'm still trying to figure out how Cole train is racist just because he uses a mid 90's EARTH slang, but lives on SERA, where who knows what languages they have let alone slang.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Well now, there's a non sequitur if ever there was one. I would imagine there would still be an outcry if there was a little black character saying it, maybe even moreso. You may have had a point if the game was clearly meant as a commentary on racial tensions or something, but clearly that's not the case.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

hey wait, i've been calling my friends ñiggás for years. i don't recall anyone getting offended. what's this all about? if it shipped with the word nigger then maybe i could see where this was coming from.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Doing it amongst your friends in a private setting is one thing, but when you're trying to run a business, especially one with a family-friendly, squeaky clean image like the one Nintendo tries to foster, having it appear in one of your games is a little bit different.

Also, I'm reminded a bit of all the assholes who screamed bloody murder about Hot Coffee without truly understanding the technical details...I hope we don't have a repeat occurence from those who can't be bothered to actually read the article and try to understand what happened.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Maybe it's one Japanese tester putting some Tokyo Breakfast humor into the game. You know how those Japanese are :P

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Oh no....Oh no......

Oh no you didn't

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

So is this a similar situation to when a girl claimed Animal Crossing called her a F_cking Cow a while back?

Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Someone called me a bad word on MSN the other day, Microsoft is Racist Too!

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

  Blaming Nintendo for this is kind of like blaming Nintendo for the fact that there are a million Mii Hitlers out there.

  It's unfortunate, but that is what  makes it funny.

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Except all fourteen copies sent to press somehow managed to stumbled across the exact same user generated content.  What are the odds?  Frankly, impossible.  This was already on the carts sent from Nintendo.

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Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Wrong, you are. Understanding, you have not.

Since they were trying to show how you can migrate data from a played copy of the DS game to the Wii game, they had to send out 14 copies of the game where things had been played enough to have things unlocked to migrate to the Wii.

Let's see, they could hire someone to play the game 14 time through and unlock things... or they could take one game someone played and copy the save file over. Which do YOU think they did?

The person who put it in even had to use other letters to get through a text filter (see the little tilde over the N?).

In other words, this isn't something that ships with the game, it is user content where someone thought it was funny on their own game, and that save file got out to reviewers, and now that person is likely looking for a new job while trying to make a downpayment for a refrigerator box under a bridge.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

and now that person is likely looking for a new job while trying to make a downpayment for a refrigerator box under a bridge.

I wonder how that person is going to continue their career under another job.  Don't you have to tell why you got fired to your future boss or at the job interview?

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Nope. You only have to state that you no longer work for a company. You don't have to say whether you quit were laid off or fired. You only have to say you don't work for them. When asked why, you don't have to say, "because I put racist words in a save file that was sent to the media." You could say something as simple as "Creative differences."

There is no law stating you have to be detailed in why you no longer work for a company. Instead we have laws that state you can protect your privacy and not be forced to give out information about yourself that could be damaging.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

As there is no law that says they have to give you the job for being less than entirely forthcoming.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

I'm sorry, where did you contridict me exactly?  I said this was on carts sent by Nintendo.  You said this was on carts sent by Nintendo.  Who put the content on the carts (playtester very likely... see above comment from me) is irrelevant as these carts were sent from Nintendo.

Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Simple, no one said it wasn't on the cart. You acted as if they said they got the user generated content from somewhere else. In fact, Kotaku said about the same thing saying it was blaming the internet. You acted as if it was a cover up or something and that the odds of their cover up story were impossible.

Actually, the user generated content IS on the cart, but not in the rom, it is in the flash memory, the save file. Being "on the cart" could mean different things. In this case, the offending word was in the save file, not the hard programming from Nintendo. One of the reviewers stumbled upon it, and alerted the rest of the reviewers.

There is no cover up, there is no impossible odds.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

" man they be trippin'! "

-Quote from scrubs.

Animal Crossing 4 Life

The 'Big N' is takin' the 'N word' back yo!

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

I think this is the most unexpected thing I've ever seen on gamepolitics.

...Wait it was user generated. Ok never mind.

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Nobody can blame Nintendo for anything other than giving players the ability to add to a games content and sending out copies of a used cart with some random players content already in it without screening that thing. Simply giving people the ability to input anything other than actions into a game will produce exactly this kind of situation. Hell simply being able to chat in online games suddenly puts you in a position where you could be exposed to all kinds of objectionable language or ASCII art penises, that 'controversial' song in LittleBigPlanet is nothing in comparison to the stuff other players have created :P haha

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Keep in mind, in order for this copy to have become infected with this phrase which would eliminate blame to a Nintendo employee is if all 14 copies somehow magically exchanged friend codes with the exact same copy all across the nation and allowed that one resident to influence the game.  This is something that, frankly, seems about as improbable as every copy of Burnout Paradise sent to the press connection to the one guy mooning players with his Playstation Eye.

What REALLY happened is the playtester who created this file for distribution to the press AT NINTENDO added this slur and they sent out the copies anyway.  This isn't a viral thing, it's a Nintendo employee prank thing and frankly watching Nintendo try to blame the big bad internets is shameful.

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Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

They aren't blaming the internet or the wireless technologies for this. They were explaining how the new feature works. If they had a handfull of playtesters playing and were connected to each other in order to share content, this could have easily spread between them. Then Nintendo copied the save files to a total of 14 carts for distribution.

They aren't blaming anything but the people who created the save files in the first place.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

It's okay, the cartridge is black. So was the DS it was played on.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

lol, ahh, that made me laugh.

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Hey me nigga...  no that doesn't even work...  That word, and all of it's variations, needs to just be deleted from all vocabulary.  Negro is fine only when talking about the historics of it all.  No one should be using it though, even though what is really important is the way you say it.  It just isn't needed, and I dont care who made what their own word, if you yell at anyone about it not being right for them to use it, then no one should be allowed to us it, and using it in any ways when you say it is wrong for other people to use it just proves ignorance and how racist they are as well.

Good luck Nintendo, I hope this doesn't bit your ass.

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Negro is fine only when talking about the historics of it all.

or when you're speaking Spanish

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

It's not the word it's the intent behind it that's bad.

People will still find ways to express hate or just shock people even if you limit your vocabulary.

What if you did get rid of the dreaded n-word and people started using the word 'Moore' as a substitute (which was a name for a black guy since at least Shakespeare time).

Oh he's a stupid Moore, he's acting like a dumb Moore. Just shove all the Moores off a cliff etc.

What will you do then?

----------------------------------------------------

"What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" - Tasmanian devil

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

That is weird, because I just finished Othello.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Heh, same here (and saw the movie, YAWN!!!)

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Moor is already taken.  It is sometimes used as a slur against Arabs and North Africans.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

How about we use Moor to describe blacks and bring back Saracen (a common term for Muslims during the Crusades) to describe anyone from the Arab world?  That way, everyone's happy!  Besides, as slurs go, Moor and Saracen pretty fucking awesome.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Well, if someone doesn't take it and turn it into "Hey my moore homie, lets get down tonight" or some crap like that, then it could benefit. 

You are right, people will always talk bad to each other no matter what, and there is no solution.  Even raising kids the most perfect way possible, some of them will still turn out ignorant and do it.

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

 

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

It's not like you can stop this. People will just keep gaming the system and even making up new slurs and swears to send to everyone playing Animal Crossing. If you keep restricting the system, your eventually going to hit that Xbox mentallity of discriminating words that are peoples names.

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Exactly, it's nothing new.  Just like naming your favourite food "poop" in EarthBound.

Heh heh... "PSI Poop."

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---
Fangamer

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Ohnoez, Nintendo be racist.

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Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Sucks for Nintendo.  Of course, those PSP commercials were pretty bad too, when you think about it...

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

How about we combine them? Teach one of the residents in game to say 'squirrel, please!' :p

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Eeeeyouch! Hello, PR nightmare...

 

Re: Nintendo Addresses Racial Slur Shipped with Animal Crossing

Agian, Nintendo demenstrates the fact they just do not get the internet.

 
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Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
Andrew EisenYes, imagine anyone insisting that two utterences of the phrase "Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn" wasn't influenced by something happening in the future!10/02/2014 - 10:52am
Sleaker@Pap Midnight - So wouldn't it be any journalist writing about general gaming culture would need to disclose any and all links/ties to said general gaming culture to be ethical? Also @EZK to use you're own methodology, I'm still curious on the question10/02/2014 - 10:49am
KronoSure none of those are reviews, but it is positive exposure, which as illustrated by The Fine Young Capitalists, is pretty damn important for getting people to check out your work.10/02/2014 - 10:32am
Krono@Midnight and of course the article most people mention and insist was no way influenced by him being romantically involved only days later, and her friend beforehand here: http://goo.gl/xCzivK10/02/2014 - 10:29am
Papa MidnightThe term "lovers" might be pushing it given the apparent time frame, but I understand what you're saying. Even if they were friends at the time, then that may present impropiety. However, that calls for a Magic-8-Ball level of speculation.10/02/2014 - 10:26am
Krono@Midnight She was a guest on an RPS show he cohosted here: http://goo.gl/QxljSG10/02/2014 - 10:24am
 

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