Nintendo Scrabble Uses Swear Words to Win

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News Posted: Sat, Dec 13 2008 6:21 PM
Some parents may find they got more than they bargained for this holiday season if Nintendo DS's Scrabble 2007 Edition was on their child's wish list. Tonya Carrington, a 36 year old British mother, recently gave her son Ethan the game as an educational asset. "Ethan is doing really well with English at school, so I decided to get this to help boost his vocabulary." Yet she soon discovered the game is just as naughty as it is nice.

Trying the game herself, she was shocked to find her computer generated opponents using swear words to win. Towards the end of the game, her 'opponent' played the word 't*ts', which the game gave the definition of being 'a garden bird', as well as 'an informal word for female breasts'. While she was taken aback, it did not prepare her for the final, game-winning play of 'f***ers', which the game defined as 'a slang word for chavs'. "I would have been horrified if Ethan had seen that word. "S**t" had come up as well. I was absolutely mortified." The list of offensive words didn't stop there. In just a short time another word, 'toke', which the game defined as 'a draw on a cannabis cigarette' also came up. If any other words are hidden in the game's dictionary, Tonya isn't interested in finding out.

Her case is not an isolated one. More reports have surfaced from others who bought the game thinking it was family friendly, yet were in for the same surprise. "The worst thing is that there's an age rating of 3+ on the box and no advisory warning about adult language on the packaging at all," said Mrs. Carrington, who hoped to play with her daughter, Destiny.

The two mothers have been forced to ban the game from their house, and are urging other parents to reconsider buying it for their own children. For Ethan, this came as quite a disappointment. He said, "I love Scrabble, so I was really disappointed when Mum told me I couldn't play it on the DS because of the rude words."

So far gaming officials have been quiet on the matter. When Tonya and her husband decided to bring this matter up with the video game store where they purchased the game, they were told to contact Nintendo. Nintendo referred the blame to the games maker, Ubisoft, who has yet to return an email she sent them over three months ago. When pressured further an Ubisoft spokesperson replied, "We are sorry the game has caused concern, but it includes a "junior" option that stops it using unusual or offensive words."

This isn't the first slang-related vocabulary scandal tied to Nintendo. The game 'Animal Crossing - City Folk' was revealed to have a racial slur repeated in conversations with the sheep Baabara, yet fortunately it was caught before it reached retail shelves.
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Why did Ubisoft include those words in the first place, or provide a proper warning?

We'll probably never know...

 

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LMAO! I'm sure they just added a dictonary without thinking about the words that may not belong in a kids game.

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Maybe it's because I'm not a parent, but you shouldn't be horrified about your kid reading words that he will hear and say thousands of times during his life.  But the game rating is decieving, so I agree with her outrage on that.  But don't be such a sheltering person.  And if it really does include a junior version, then that mom needs to STFU because if the kid is young enough to sh*t bricks over reading the word sh*t, then the little bloke should be playing junior mode.Confused

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vicaphit replied on Fri, Jan 2 2009 11:35 PM

 I am against censorship in most places, but can you imagine what kind of trouble a 6 year old would get into when he walks into class and tells his teacher he learned the F word.  I wouldn't want my kids exposed to it that early.  When they are older, they can say what they want because they know when it is inappropriate.

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