Word Games

I’ve been playing Scrabble DS a lot lately. The AI is ridiculous, so it is really improving my game. Then, this article came by me today about how a father was playing the game with his daughter and the word “Lesbo” came up in the anagrams minigame. (Tangent – Why is it always the Europeans that are shocked, I say, shocked when certain words come up in their video games?) I totally understand why the dad wouldn’t want his daughter to see the word – uncomfortable questions and all.

Where I come in is the quote from “Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association spokesman PA MagLochlainn” (By the way, here’s a picture of the chap. Amazing what a Google search can pull up sometimes.) He says:

I am not in the least bit surprised it is included because the young men who design these games are not taught by schools that these words can be used as a form of homophobic bullying.

So, in a press statement, Mr. MagLochlainn, you stereotype game designers as uneducated, homophobic young men? This is a derogatory stereotype that is absolutely uncalled for, especially given that it isn’t the game designers fault that the word is actually included in the Official Scrabble Dictionary. The OSD has over a quarter million entries. The fact that a single word that is seen as derogatory got through their filter is clearly a mistake, one that was assuredly done without ill intent.

The game design community and the Ubisoft team should demand an apology from Mr. MagLochlainn. But, please, use small words, our schools weren’t the best.

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