Mario Party 8 Pulled For Offensive Content

Time for game translators to get their acts together

Posted by Staff
Mario Party 8, which was only released on Friday, has been pulled from U.K. retail for what is being termed as offensive language: yet another 'spastic' reference.

In an announcement on its website Nintendo states, “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.”

What it does not state, however, is that the “wrong version” contains the words, "Magikoopa magic! Turn the train spastic! Make this ticket tragic!”

We've not played the game to this level as yet, so we don't know whether or not the train in question does actually exhibit spasticity. If so, then it's fair enough of course.

The word no doubt found its way into the game in the translation from Japanese to English. SPOnG contacted Nintendo to find out how such an error could have slipped through quality assurance and what's being done to ensure the mistake isn't repeated, but no comment was available at the time of press.

This comes just a couple of weeks after Ubisoft's Mind Quiz was pulled from retail for containing the phrase 'Super Spastic'. Frankly, SPOnG's unimpressed by the word finding its way into two games in one month. We certainly expect better from a AAA release from Nintendo.

It makes us miss the days when the type of mistranslation that slipped through the QA net was the likes of 'Japlish' phrase, "Your fists of evil are about to meet my steel wall of niceness", in Fatal Fury Special.

A spokesperson from national disability charity, Scope, commented to SPOnG, "Although this term might not be as offensive everywhere as it is here in the UK, there is no excuse for releasing a game in this country including this word. Many disabled people and their families will have taken offence at this.

"Games such as these have a wide-reaching impact, often spanning international communities, and it is important that they are universally acceptable, inclusive and not offensive.

"Scope would like to make it clear that language such as this is not acceptable, it is divisive - especially where it is repeated within communities - and it is considered by many to be extremely offensive. Computer game manufacturers should take steps to monitor the use of language in their games more closely in future."

As for the future of Mario Party 8, Nintendo says, "We will re-launch Mario Party 8 in the U.K. as soon as possible and will announce a new launch date shortly. We very much regret any inconvenience caused."

Political Correctness gone mad? Or lazy, offensive corporate cruelty? Tell us in the Forum.


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