DS Scrabble Game Shocks Parent With Derogatory Word
It’s an odd thing to hear of both Scrabble and the DS simultaneously causing controversy of any kind. A man in the UK is calling for the DS game, Junior Scrabble 2007, to be recalled, citing a derogatory word included in the game. The particular word in question: “lesbo.” Zachary McAdam describes playing the game with his seven-year old daughter, Ellen:
“We were stuck trying to find the last five-letter anagram so I hit the give-up option and the term ‘lesbo’ appeared on the screen. I nearly fell off my chair. The term ‘lesbo’ is a slang name intentionally meant to cause offence. I looked it up on the website dictionary.com just to make sure I wasn’t over- reacting and it described the word as a noun, slang, disparaging and offensive.”
The game has a “Junior” option which disables most offensive words, but this one slipped through. Publisher Ubisoft apologized to McAdam, citing that the game contains all 277,000 words from the Official Scrabble Dictionary, and doesn’t characterize “lesbo” as offensive.
It seems strange to me that the games that usually end up causing the most controversy in Europe aren’t the gory, violent ones, but the family games. First Mario Party 8 calls people “spastic,” a derogatory UK term for mentally disabled people (which I didn’t know about until the game was recalled), and now this. It may be a cultural difference, but I’ve never thought of the term “lesbo” as being all that derogatory. I actually have a few friends that are lesbians and use the term all the time. Of course, I also have some black friends who use “the N-word” too, so who knows? Being PC is complicated.