DS Scrabble Game Shocks Parent With Derogatory Word

scrabble1.jpgIt’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.

Via Belfast Telegraph

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11 Comments on DS Scrabble Game Shocks Parent With Derogatory Word


On September 27, 2007 at 4:45 pm

And his daughters name was Ellen.. interesting..


On September 27, 2007 at 6:03 pm

I’m offended by people who are constantly on the lookout for things to be offended about.


That "homo" guy

On September 27, 2007 at 11:39 pm

… what’s wrong with “lesbo” ?

I bet fudgepacker would work too if you had the letters…

Oh, and if you’re so worried about the word “lesbo” maybe you should have chosen a different name than Ellen for your sheltered daughter, you “spastic.”


On September 28, 2007 at 2:23 am

wow, taking shots at a 7-year old. you guys are so cool. you wanna go beat up some babies later? :cool:


On September 28, 2007 at 7:21 am

I wasn’t aware lesbo was a “Derogatory term”, though mentions to lesbians I’d imagine would get the “junior” filter classification.

Screw that guy, though. Not like your daughter would even recognize it or care about it.


On September 28, 2007 at 8:32 am

@Jonathan: As long as they’re baby seals, I’m in! It’s quite an experience to see their cute lil’ baby seal face, looking at you all doughy eyed… and then THWAP!


On September 28, 2007 at 9:36 am

Man, I have a funny mental image of the situation

The guy hit “Give up” and gets a huge prompt calling him a Lesbo.
He got pwned


On September 28, 2007 at 10:59 am

@Daniel. haha. well, I do like to go “clubbing” on occasion.


On September 28, 2007 at 12:42 pm

People like this will get game censorship started in a big way….. thats the sad part.


On May 14, 2008 at 12:32 am

This crap drives me crazy :evil: the slang “lesbo” was actualy originaly and primarily used by the inhabitants of the Greek isle of lesbos…they have recently complained that the the term lesbo, and lesbian was always used by them and if anyone has the right to complain i feel it is the people of lesbos, after all if your from london, you can call yourself a londoner without anyone thinking anything wrong or derogetory, it is however not the case if your a “lesbo” or lesbian” native…i firmly believe that this country has gone too far with the political correctness, eg: my 11 yr olds friend in school was having a row with a black boy, he called her slut and rarious other bad names..she responded with the same thing she says to her brothers “poo head” she said it like that as she doesnt swear, well the boy reported her for racism, whe her teacher heard he stepped in as he had seen the row he told the boy to grow up, and stated it wasnt being racist she was politely telling him that he was a s**t head, and her teacher was a black man who believes like i do that if we STOP LOOKING FOR THE WRONG in everything, soon the negative terms wont have any effect, rendering the terms useless!


On December 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

Yeah, actually it is someone who is a inhabitant of the island of Lesbos. It isn’t pronounced lez-bows, just so everyone knows. It’s pronouced less-bose.