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Nintendo withdraws game with 'spastic' reference
Nintendo have recalled all copies of popular Wii game Mario Party 8 – after it was revealed that the game used the word ‘spastic’ in a derogatory sense.
Releasing a statement suggesting that a wrong version of the disk was used ‘due to an assembly error’, Nintendo’s recall - which occurred at the end of last week - is a case of another week, another controversy for the beleaguered computer games industry.
“The above game was launched in the UK today,” read Nintendo’s statement. “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.
“We will re-launch Mario Party 8 in the UK as soon as possible and will announce a new launch date shortly. We very much regret any inconvenience caused."
The word crops up in a negative context with gamers urged to ‘turn this train spastic’. The word is generally used for sufferers of Cerebal Palsy, but has increasingly come to be used as a term of abuse.
The widespread use of the word as a derogatory term prompted The Spastics Society to change its name to Scope back in 1994.
The recall of the game is just the latest in an increasingly alarming list of computer game controversies that seem to stem from the global nature of games.
Recently, the title Law & Order: Double or Nothing used CCTV footage from the Jamie Bulger case, which sparked understandable outrage from the British media.