There aren’t many things you can’t say in this day and age but the N-bomb is certainly one of them, so it’s more than a little odd that press copies of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: Wild World game would contain just that particular racial slur.
Copies of the game with all of the content unlocked were recently distributed to gaming sites in order to show how easy it is to move content from Animal Crossing: Wild World for the DS to Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii. Apparently, in order to unlock this content, Nintendo had someone play the game and then copied the saves for distribution to game writers. (Not me, sadly.)
It turns out that you can train the game’s virtual residents to say all kinds of new and interesting words, and apparently someone at Nintendo thought it would be amusing to train a sheep named Baabara to greet the player with a hearty, “How are you, n—a?” The slur was first discovered by Stephen Totilo of MTV Multiplayer, and then confirmed by Kotaku’s Brian Crecente. And that’s not all: According to Crecente, Baabara peppers her conversation liberally with the word, saying things like, “I almost forgot about you, n—a,” “So got any juicy gossip for me, n—a?” and “Just thinking about it gets me all excited, n—a.”
This material won’t show up in the retail version of the game, as the characters have to be trained by players to say things, but even so this is just wrong on so many levels that it makes my head swim. In this day and age, who in their right mind would even consider something like this funny? Admittedly, the Japanese culture allows for a lot of stuff that just don’t fly on this side of the water, but this is utterly, incomprehensibly inappropriate. I think it’s safe to say that Nintendo, and quite possibly the world, will be minus one would-be comedian in very short order.