Ubisoft Pulls MindQuiz Over Offensive Word

Ubisoft Pulls MindQuiz Over Offensive Word

image

Ubisoft has pulled the Nintendo DS game MindQuiz off the market due to complaints about offensive language contained in the game.

Specifically, players who perform poorly are subjected to being called a name considered derogatory to the disabled.

"As soon as we were made aware of the issue we stopped distribution of the product and are now working with retailers to pull the game off the market," a Ubisoft spokesman said. The company said the game was developed in Japan, which would account for the inclusion of the offending term, and slipped through quality control without being caught.

The offensive label was discovered when a woman from Belfast contacted a BBC Radio Ulster show to complain about the game. She had been playing it while in the hospital giving birth to her son, when her poor performance caused her to be labeled in the derogatory fashion. "I thought it was absolutely appalling that a word like this should be used to describe someone who has not achieved very well," she said. The word was particularly affecting for her because of the recent death of another son, who suffered from cerebral palsy and severe brain damage, just before Christmas.

Ubisoft has issued an apology "to anyone who was offended by the game."

Permalink

So what word was it? "Retarded," I'm guessing.

Spastic.

drunkymonkey:
Spastic.

That's offensive, now?

Bongo Bill:

drunkymonkey:
Spastic.

That's offensive, now?

If the Wikipedia page is right, it's not so much a matter of it being offensive now, as being offensive in the UK in a way that it isn't in America: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spastic

So was it actually "spastic," or was that just a guess? Because I would've put my money on "retard" too.

I actually thought it was 'retard' too, and thought it was really funny in a ridiculous way, but now that it's a word that really doesn't carry any connotations with me, it sort of ruins it.

It's things like this that make me not care about language, cursing, political correctness, it's all subjective, and not to mention completely arbitrary. Fuck that shit.

Malygris:
So was it actually "spastic," or was that just a guess? Because I would've put my money on "retard" too.

It was actually spastic, yes.

I'm not sure who noticed it first or when, but effectively being able to censor anything by claiming you were offended by it has some pretty dark implications.

Bongo Bill:
I'm not sure who noticed it first or when, but effectively being able to censor anything by claiming you were offended by it has some pretty dark implications.

Agreed. So no more insults in games, since most of them are anyway based on biological deficiencies, or degrading humans with comparisons to "sub-human" species?

You know, like "idiot" (related to idiocy, or "extreme mental retardation").

But hasn't the UK became the land of absolute nonsensical political correctness these last years anyway?

Bongo Bill:
I'm not sure who noticed it first or when, but effectively being able to censor anything by claiming you were offended by it has some pretty dark implications.

I wouldn't say this is censorship: Ubisoft seems to have not intended for the word to make the impact it did of comparing the person to someone suffering from cerebral palsy. This is more a case of responding to consumer feedback that catches a mistake Ubisoft didn't mean to make in the first place. If anything, Ubisoft is *more* effectively expressing itself by recalling the games and I'm guessing putting in another word.

Censorship is when someone stops you from saying something you wanted to, or makes you say something you didn't want to. This is more a case of someone saying something, and finding out they didn't want to say what they actually said, and that they said something they didn't want to in the first place.

Arbre:
Agreed. So no more insults in games, since most of them are anyway based on biological deficiencies, or degrading humans with comparisons to "sub-human" species?

Based on, but not so closely associated. If the Wikipedia page is right, 'spastic' is much more readily associated with the biological deficiency than "idiot" is in the UK. I know of no 'Idiots Society' charity anywhere associated with any specific handicap.

True. :)
That said, if one were to create such a society, in theory, in an absurd way, that would be giving ammo to the mechanism behind the freezing of certain games.
Wouldn't sound much serious. But with the track record of absurd lawsuits you can find nowadays, you never know... in Germany, laws are rather strict on that point, regarding any form of insult.
As for "retard", there's a plentiful of associations and agencies for retarded people.

Anyway, insults are not necessary, especially used against the gamer to punish him/her, and as you pointed out, there are "soft" insults, and there's those which carry a rather touchy meaning.

That said, could a game sanction a player and call him/her blind because of a bad accuracy? Yes.
However, God himself couldn't even count the number of associations, groups, agencies and societies for blind people.

Does anyone know where to find a dictionary of neutral and political correct insults by any chance?

Arbre:
True. :)
That said, if one were to create such a society, in theory, in an absurd way, that would be giving ammo to the mechanism behind the freezing of certain games.
Wouldn't sound much serious. But with the track record of absurd lawsuits you can find nowadays, you never know... in Germany, laws are rather strict on that point, regarding any form of insult.

There are no laws in operation here or lawsuits--it seems Ubisoft voluntarily pulled the game specifically as an exercise of their own freedom of speech.

As for "retard", there's a plentiful of associations and agencies for retarded people.

Yeah, and that's kind of fallen out of favor as a general insult too.

Anyway, insults are not necessary, especially used against the gamer to punish him/her, and as you pointed out, there are "soft" insults, and there's those which carry a rather touchy meaning.

Yeah--Ubisoft wanted one with a 'soft' meaning it seems, and some bad translation resulted in them using one that's rather touchy when they had no intent to do so.

That said, could a game sanction a player and call him/her blind because of a bad accuracy? Yes.
However, God himself couldn't even count the number of associations, groups, agencies and societies for blind people.

I'm not an expert on British English, but my guess from what I've read is that 'spastic' is much more exclusively associated with cerebral palsy than the term 'blind' is with vision impairment.

Does anyone know where to find a dictionary of neutral and political correct insults by any chance?

American English or British English? :-D

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here