Animal Crossing Racism

You may have read about some recent controversy surrounding some copies of Animal Crossing Wild World that were shipped to journos for testing with the inbound Animal Crossing Wii.
One character, Baabara, has been seen chucking around some nasty racial slurs. TGAM has been contacted for comment. Our comment is divided into 4 easy to read sections:

1) Tellingly, this is being reported with some akwardness by the online gaming journos clearly unfamiliar with Animal Crossing but desperate to report this headline-friendly issue. Some 'journos' even claim that you have to train residents to say such things. This is untrue, you just have to befriend them, then once in a while they'll ask you to change their 'greeting' or 'catchphrase'. As long as it fits the letter count you can get them to say it. This has been a feature of Animal Crossing since 2001 (Europe only got it in 2004 though bastards) and no doubt all kinds of friendly animals have been taught obscenity and filth so anyone acting surprised is out of touch.

2) Unfortunately, when you give gamers such freedom, some of them are going to abuse it. Nintendo have tried their best to stop this happening with friend codes and with some words outright banned (we discovered this through trial and error in Wild World, although in the orignal Gamecube version there weren't any restrictions?) however, there are always ways around it as any MMORPG player will show you when they call you ghey, gey, g3y or just ga the next time they see you in world. It's an ongoing problem that had the spore guys continuously deleting content and has Sony actively destroying LBP levels. It is a problem that causes endless problems on wankware like Second Life.

Give players too much freedom and they will abuse it, don't give them enough and they get bored or don't feel like their game is personalised to them. This is one of the great things about Animal Crossing, after a number of months you do feel like you've changed the way the village runs. Animals run around in vagina-design t-shirts made by you, they greet you with personalised greetings (I'm wet! or Fuck you!) and bid you farewell with words you advised them to say.

3) It's tough to find a place to draw the line. Perhaps this incident can just be brushed under the carpet or seen as an unfortunate incident but one that needs no further movement. We fully agree with Kotaku commentor Jon Man who says

"As someone who has, over 3 decades, renamed in-game characters with comical and obscene names wherever possible, I fully support this.

I must confess though, doing so did sap some of the emotional value from Final Fantasy 7 when Sephiroth killed AnalBeard."

We had literally hours or even days of fun renaming Shiva over and over again in FFVIII just to see Ifrit fret that the party had "Underpants", "Willies" or "Herpes". It's hard to control user generated content and virtually every game lets you customise something from avatar names through to the name of your dog.

4)Anyone who knows Baabara knows she is a rude motherfucker anyway. Ordering you around most of the time and being rude about your face, sexual preference, taste in clothes and intelligence. If anyone deserves to take the fall for this it's her. Nintendo should run a patch for Animal Crossing Wii that forces barbara to apologise to everyone she meets and for her to live in a shaky wooden shack with no carpets, wallpaper or furniture. This one is on you Baabara fall on your sword like the daft racist you are.


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