Nintendo apologized after anti-Israel graffiti appeared on a wall in the background of the popular game Splatoon while a child was playing.
The words “Fxxk Israel” appeared as graffiti on a back wall in the Nintendo Splatoon 2 game that revolves around “Inklings” drawing ink and claiming territory.
After being alerted to the incident, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) wrote to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and Nintendo’s legal advisor, demanding that the offending graffiti be removed.
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The ESRB responded by stating that online games like Splatoon 2 allow players to interact in real time with other players as well as add their own content, such as text and / or voice chat, skins for the characters or cards for the background images. .
The online rating notice for these games reads “Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB.”
This is a warning to consumers, especially parents, that other players may be able to add content that has not been factored into the ESRB rating assignment.
Rob Posgate, Nintendo UK Legal Advisor added: “We can assure you that the anti-Israel graffiti the child saw was not generated by Nintendo as part of the design of the game, Splatoon 2.
“We strongly condemn such statements and the feelings behind them. “
Nintendo’s attorney explained that Splatoon 2, like many video games, contains features that allow users to generate and display certain content.
The screenshot with the offending graffiti was from the waiting area that user characters arrive in before deciding which battle arena to join to play the game.
In this waiting area, users can generate and display content, including creating graffiti to display on certain walls.
Posgate continued, “The vast majority of our users generate harmless and fun content.
“Unfortunately, a very small minority of users can occasionally use this feature to post harmful and offensive messages.
“To protect our users from this abusive behavior, we are including in-game reporting functionality.”
Caroline Turner, Director of UKLFI commented: “If anyone else encounters inappropriate content in a video game, it is important to report it to the video game company, so that the offensive content can be removed as soon as possible. possible and that offenders can be excluded from the game.
“We are delighted that Nintendo has highlighted the reporting feature on their games.”