Mind Quiz, a “brain-training” game for the Nintendo DS (similar to Nintendo’s “Brain Age” series and part of the latest craze of DS “training games”) was pulled from store shelves in the UK after a Belfast women, the mother of a child with cerebral palsy, contacted BBC Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show about the game using the word “spastic”, when she didn’t score well.
The women, who’s name is Nicola, was having a traumatic time already due to the recent loss of her three-year old son Logan, who died from contracting pneumonia as a result of his cerebral palsy which left him severely brain damaged.
While in the hospital for the birth of her second son Austin, she was passing the long hospital hours by playing Mind Quiz on the DS, when she saw the offensive word. Obviously, she was shocked by what the game called her.
“I thought it was absolutely appalling that a word like this should be used to describe someone who has not achieved very well. My daddy also has cerebral palsy and he is in his mid-50s and this is a word that really offends my dad,” she said.
To those in the U.S., the word may not mean much (because it’s not a well-known or much-used word), but in the UK the word is considered highly offensive for people with disabilities.
Ubisoft has said that the game’s production was halted immediately after hearing word of the complaint and they’ve said it’s been pulled from stores in the UK, and they are working on a solution to take the word out.
“As soon as we were made aware of the issue we stopped distribution of the product and are now working with retailers to pull the game off the market. The game was developed in Japan, and we unfortunately did not pick up on the offending word in our quality assurance. We are currently working with the developer to find a way to rectify the issue,” an Ubisoft spokesperson said.