back to article Nintendo yanks Mario Party 8 - offensive language to blame?

Nintendo has pulled its new Wii console game Mario Party 8 from UK shops just days after its release and during a massive TV advertising campaign for the title. All UK copies of the game will be withdrawn from sale, the games console pioneer said, adding that it had decided to take this drastic measure because "small number …


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  1. Karim Bourouba

    is it so bad?

    seriously, is it so bad to call someone a spastic?

    If chris moyles can get away with using the word gay on national radio to describe something as a bit crap, why cant we call people who do something stupid a spastic?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, mix up at the factory ...

    Wrong region discs my eye.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how much?

    I got mine on Monday morning and they were pulled from at least one branch of Game by lunchtime.

    I wonder if there's an 'enhanced value' on e-bay?

  4. Matt Bucknall

    RE: is it so bad?

    Perhaps because having cerebral palsy (i.e. being a 'spastic') is a disability, and being gay is not?

    Not condoning Moyles, just making a suggestion.

  5. Jeremy


    That's gotta be expensive for them. Presumably V1.0 copies will now become sought after on eBay...

    And re "Is it so bad?" Well yes, because 4-5 year-olds don't listen to Chris Moyles and then proceed imitate him on the school playground. Mario & Magikoopa on the other hand.......

  6. Richard

    What's the translation SUPPOSED to say then?

    If 'spastic' is the apparently offensive mistranslation from Japanese, what SHOULD the word be? Perhaps the translator in question is a 'stupid head' the literal translation of dummKopf in German which should translate to 'fool'?

  7. bluesxman

    too late

    Thankfully Amazon sent my disc to arrive on the release date, so it's already made it into my hot sweaty palms. Wonder how much these "banned" versions will go for on that there eBay.

  8. Douglas Yates

    Not Offensive in Region 1

    Remember that 'spastic' isn't considered offensive in the US. It regularly turns up in US kids TV programs, leading me to have long conversations with my step-daughters about how they shouldn't say it at school to their friends, even if someone in Disneyland says it regularly.

  9. Chris Haynes

    All your base are belong to...


    Seriously, games companies, STOP using non-English people to translate your games into English.

  10. George Johnson

    Excuse for more publicity

    Why hasn't Fawlty Towers been taken off the shelves to have the Germans episode removed? Why hasn't the Young Ones been edited ( Rik calls Vyv a "spazzy", which Ben Elton now regrets writing )? You can't tell me Nintendo doesn't check almost every bit of language in a game, before it's released? Balls! Let's let it slip through, get a load of people to complain and make a fuss, release clean version, profit! No such thing as bad pub...well you know the rest!

  11. Graham Jordan

    If anyone..

    happens to own this and finds their copy has the spastic comment in their I'll buy it off them. Perfect for my girlfriend.

  12. Luke Wells

    down with PC rubbish


    I would laugh my socks off if a game called me a super spastic for scoring badly. Why are there so many people that find things offensive?

    In response to Karim Bourouba, who and WHY did someone decide that "gay" could ever be an offensive word to homosexuals? It didn't used to have anything to do with homosexuals, so who is it that gets to decide that it should be used as an offensive word? and who gets offended by it?

    Just like the word "gay" was changed from meaning "having or showing a merry, lively mood" to meaning a homosexual, why can it not now be changed to mean something thats "a bit crap" .. after all that is a COMMON use of the word these days.

    Likewise, spastic can also be used to describe someone who says something stupid without thought, and does not mean that you are making fun of anyone with dissabilities?

    Is it not better that gay becomes something other then an offensive word to homosexuals and that spastic becomes something other then an offensive term to people with dissabilities?

  13. Chris

    Translation software

    Any chance they both blindly used the same piece of traslation software without getting anyone to proof read the results?

  14. Ashley Jones

    But but but...

    Isn't this using the word in the sense of "affected by spasms" rather than relatng to Cerebral Palsy? Better safe than sorry I guess. I have my copy anyway and will plough through it at breakneck pace to see whether I have the "blue" version.

    I guess this sort of fine tuning is why I am having to wait six months for Nintendo to translate Super Paper Mario from US English to UK English.

  15. James Summerson

    Yes, it is offensive.

    I'm afraid that those of us in the world who know people with disabilities _do_ find the word 'spastic' and 'retarded' when used as an insult offensive, no matter what Ian Dury claimed to the latter. Citing one idiot who uses 'gay' as a pejorative does not mean that this is ok, by any means.

  16. George Forth

    Re: down with PC rubbish

    Can I ask Luke Wells if he noticed the sound of the point as it whooshed over his head?

  17. Brian Miller

    STFU lamers.

    I find it difficult to believe that nintendo did not conciously choose the word. It fits the rhymeing scheme. It was made to rhyme. People chose the word.

    However I also disagree that it is used in a derogatory way. The idea is that they are gonna get the train in the party mood. Go CRAZY!!!

    And so I have to say to everybody. Chill out FFS. It is not bad in the way it is used.

    If I were to say "Let the train go crazy!" I am not condoning people starting to murder each other in psychosis induced rage. Nor am I insulting people with mental problems.

    So please STFU and just ROFLYFAO FFS

  18. Rob


    Personally I dont think is is OK for Moyles to continue to use the word gay. Certainly no more than it's OK for Nintendo to use the word spastic.

    However, I take more offense that Moyles is on the radio at all. It could be worse I suppose - he could be on TV.

  19. Steve Anderson

    @ George Johnson

    "Why hasn't the Young Ones been edited ( Rik calls Vyv a "spazzy", which Ben Elton now regrets writing )?"

    I think Ben Elton should have more regrets over the shocking musical theatre pap he's been shovelling out since he became all New Labour than a spotty student oik calling a punk a "spazzy".

  20. Leo Davidson

    I tell you what's really offensive...

    The two words don't rhyme.

    It's an outrage.

  21. Colin Jackson


    "Of, relating to, or characterized by spasms"

    The word appears to be being used in a descriptive sense, rather than in a (strictly local) pejorative sense that doesn't even exist in other non-british english-speaking countries (unlike the word gay, which is pretty much universal, and isn't even pejorative as far as I can see). Not really sure what the fuss is about, but I reckon Nintendo are being over-sensitive.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sweet irony

    "'m afraid that those of us in the world who know people with disabilities _do_ find the word 'spastic' and 'retarded' when used as an insult offensive, no matter what Ian Dury claimed to the latter. Citing one idiot who uses 'gay' as a pejorative does not mean that this is ok, by any means."

    Love the way that you find spastic and retarded offensive then go on to level a insultingly comment at someone else.

    Ah sweet irony.

  23. Mike Richards

    A suggestion

    Karim wrote:

    'If chris moyles can get away with using the word gay on national radio to describe something as a bit crap, why cant we call people who do something stupid a spastic?'

    Just my ha'pennyworth, but using Chris Moyles' witterings to form an ethical benchmark seems somewhat misguided.

    Using Chris Moyles for landfill is another thing entirely...

  24. PJ

    I dont understand

    Who is offended by the word spastic?

    For a country who doesnt bat any eye at the word "spotted dick", i find it funny that they are offended by the word spastic.

  25. Greg

    Re: Yes, it is offensive

    "I'm afraid that those of us in the world who know people with disabilities _do_ find the word 'spastic' and 'retarded' when used as an insult offensive, no matter what Ian Dury claimed to the latter."

    Are you presuming to speak for all disabled people, everyone who knows them, and every twisted-knickers PC moron that gets uptight about this? Get stuffed. I know several people with disabilities, inside my family and out of it, all of whom are intelligent enough not to be mortally wounded by the accidental use of a word in a video game. Get a ruddy life.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: is it so bad?

    Of course it isn't so bad - it no worse than using clumsy racial slang to describe you cos you have a foreign sounding name.

    As for Brian Miller's comment. Mate, you need a dictionary. For so many reasons.

  27. Geoff

    Chiming in from across the pond..

    Doug Yates has it right. I've never even heard of the word 'spastic' being offensive anywhere before today. Not so much now, but 'spazz' used to be a pretty popular word around here.

  28. Bytus

    I got...

    ...mine when it was released over here (CH) mid June. First time I played the train game, I got to this poitn and guess what?! Neither me, my gf or anyone of the other 6 people sitting 'round the screen didn't give a flying rats ass!

    It's supposed to be funny. Even it was badly translated. Period.

    For all you lamers who are offendend: go and get a friggin sense of humour at!

  29. Dillon Pyron

    Another classic example

    This is another classic example of the Japanese taking random English words and stringing them together. I've seen young girls in Tokyo with some of the most bizzare t-shirts. I even saw one that read "tits be favored everywhere".

  30. John A Blackley

    The meaning of spastic

    "of, relating to, characterized by, or affected with or as if with spasm"

    Let's not let another perfectly good English-language word get PC'd out of existence.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's nintendo ffs

    This game is one primarily aimed at kids. There is a slight possibility that children may use as a result of playing this game and upset someone. This is a slight almost non-existent risk - but one which could cost nintendo bad PR - and ultimately money.

    So, it was a business decision. All the people getting their knickers in a twist over "PC gone mad" really need to relax. There was no outcry, banning - just a business deciding to avoid bad PR.

    Like it or not the word could cause offence. Not using it isn't about "PC" it's about common courtesy to other human beings.

  32. Andy Bright

    Quite right.. this is outrageous..

    After all spastic is so old-hat now, and many yoofs that qualify for the terminology probably don't even understand what it means (being spastics).

    May I suggest Nintendo promptly replace the offending language with something more appropriate - like 'mongoloid' or 'retard'. Spastic is soo 80s, and while I appreciate that most developers seem to have come of age during this mystical decade - they need to update their vocabulary from thicko, simple and spastic to something today's yoof can relate to and understand.

  33. Marco


    ...where's the offensiveness?

  34. Robert

    Too much 'PC' for anyones good...

    To a degree I concur with Brian Miller's comments... That is, growing up, I always used "spaz" or "spastic" as a term to describe being/going crazy - before I ever knew ANYTHING about Parkinson's, or any other 'illness'...

    For example; "When I have an energy drink, I can go quite spastic."

    Guess what? I STILL USE IT IN SAID CONTEXT - the above statement is not very rare to come out of my mouth when I've had caffeine....or to describe my cat.

    It fit the rhyming scheme, and this is (more than bloody likely) the intent of the word - to go crazy. There's a time and place for various verbages - I'm not necessarily going to use this term around anyone who has an "illness" (heaven forbid that I say something right now to offend anyone). This reminds me of the South Park Christmas episode where they school goes to put on the Christmas play, it turns into an "artsy-techno-new-age-light-show" - wtf does that have to do with Christmas?? Too many people where offended by this and that.... Jewish people offended by this... Christian's offended by that.... etc.. etc.. Where does it all end?

    Simply put...if a term (or something) is used in a derogatory way, it's wrong. If it's not, well, it's not. As far as the 'gay = crap' comment(s).... that's simply something I will always find derogatory (or simply not right). Why? Look at the translation: 'Gay = Crap' ... "Happy = Crap" ... or "Homosexuals = Crap" ... to describe someone who is very happy or homosexual as gay, well, that's how the bumble bounces I guess. I could go on and on about this because I know so many people (personally) that JUST DON'T FRICKIN' GET IT! lol argh...k, i'm done...for now....

  35. kain preacher Silver badge

    OMG my spastic colon

    AS person wit h disabilities I don't find spastic offensive . What i do find offensive is people telling me what i should be offend about.

  36. M Brown

    RE: I dont understand

    Spotted Dick was around ages before it was the slang word for a phallus.

    Spastic was around before it was made into a "taboo" word.

    You can't compare the two really. And as far as calling someone a spastic is concerned, while I might say it to a fully abled person, I would never dream of calling it to my friend who has cerabral palsy. Even though he calls it himself all the time. Because he can understand the English language and knows the true definition of the word and recognises it as what his body is.

  37. Scott Mckenzie


    ..Kain has a valid issue, has anyone bothered to ask a majority of people with a disability what they think?

    It seems that if ONE person complains or is offended then that is it, blanket rule. The largest example of this i see is the "N" word used typically to describe someone of African origins... used by a white person it is deemed racist, highly offensive and people get sacked from employment etc etc for using it... yet every American rap artist says it 40000 times a minute and it's deemed ok because they happen to have the same origins.

    Where does it end?

    As for an example of young children possibly offending people by using the word, your average school playground these days will probably find the word spastic used regularly, not necessarily because they've heard it on a game but from older children. It is not used in it's correct sense and is meant in a derogatory fashion, but purely because of the name and nothing to do with the disability.

    Also consider the curiosity of a child.... i have been in shops several times with my nephews to be created by questions such as "Why is that woman black?" "Why has that person got one leg?" kids are curious and say/ask things as they do not understand... it's an education that's required not a dictatorship on what we should do, say, learn, know etc....

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had to read the comments to find out why this was offensive.

    I think the term spaz or spastic must mean different things in different regions. In my area of the US it doesn't refer to someone with a disability at all. Basically it's a term reserved (mainly) for kids who's parents let them get all sugared & caffeinated. Of course these are the same parents who then complain about how terrible their kids ADD is.

    I had to read the comments to find out what word in the picture was the "offensive" one. I can't blame the translator for this mistake because they could be 100% American born English speaker and have made the same error.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this attention..

    ..has probably made it a must use word and a must have game, well done everyone it's at number 3 in the game charts.

  40. alan lovedog

    not the first time.

    It must have been last year when i read that a youth aimed wheelchair type device from America with 'spaz' written on it was criticised by a UK disabled group - who seemed to miss the point that it meant something else in America.

  41. Bleak Outlook


    I thought we had got rid of that word and replaced it with the word SCOPE

    i would have wet my pants if it had said SCOPE'er

    lets not forget the the genius that was joey deacon

    who taught us all the power of stickin your tongue into your bottom lip

    while wiping your head with the back of your hand whilst trying to point at the floor with all 4 fingers

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