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Nintendo pulls Mario Party over 'spastic' taunt

Nintendo has recalled all UK copies of Mario Party 8 because it contains an offensive word. But why is the gaming industry so accident prone?

The Nintendo Wii version of Mario Party 8 hit the shelves last week amid much hype. But then Nintendo realised that some copies of the game included the word: 'spastic'. Which is certainly offensive.

A Nintendo statement says: "Unfortunately we have discovered that a small number of games contain the wrong version of the disk due to an assembly error.

"We have therefore decided to recall all copies of the game from UK retailers so that this mistake can be corrected."

How does that happen then? I mean, I can understand the 'assembly error' (even PC Advisor makes msitakes), but at what point in a game's development do the creatives see fit to include such a deeply offensive term?

And it seems more than odd to me that a disk containing such a blunder would be lying around so late in the production process.

It's not the first time such a thing has occurred, of course. Indeed, only last month, Ubisoft was forced to pull all European copies of DS game Mind Quiz after it was found to contain offensive comments. Comments offensive to people with learning disabilities, as it goes. Spotting a theme here?

At the time Ubisoft said the game was developed in Japan, and that the phrases used had different connotations there. Which doesn't say a lot for quality control at Ubisoft (or Japanese humour).

In the old days I'd usually bet that any 'controversy' over a new game was manufactured for publicity purposes. (Title not getting enough attention? Include Jesus and a bazooka.) But the gaming community would balk at poking fun at people with learning disabilities, surely?

Nintendo will announce a new release date for the cleaned up Mario Party 8 soon.

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