When you combine two of my favorite things:
- word puzzles
- video games
Then, my friends, you have a match. For Tim Warner, at least.
We are sorry if Scrabble 2007 for the DS has caused concern to any of our customers. Ubisoft develops games for entertainment, with the goal of bringing enjoyment to the players, and it is of course never our intention to upset them.
In the case of Scrabble 2007, the game uses a word list based on the Chambers Official Scrabble Dictionary and all approved words contained in this dictionary are playable in the game. There are over 277,000 approved words in the dictionary.
The dictionary includes words used in the English language, but that may be considered unusual or offensive. It is for this reason that the game includes a 'junior' option which will prevent the player and computer using these 'unusual' or 'offensive' words in playing. However, 'lesbo' is not considered as offensive by the official dictionary and therefore is playable in both options.
The upshot of all this is that while Ubisoft is contrite to have offended some people, they will not recall the game. I can understand that decision from a financial perspective, of course. It is FAR more difficult to 'patch' a game for a handheld console such as the Nintendo DS than it is to update, say, an Xbox 360 game or a PC game.
Well, I looked up lesbo on Chambers Reference Online, and here is the entry:
lez, les or lezz and lezzy or lezzie and lesbo noun (plural lezzes, lezzies or lesbos) derogatory slang short forms of lesbian.
ETYMOLOGY: 1920s (although lesbo did not become current until 1940s): previously used by heterosexuals as derisive insults to gay women, though it seems that gay women are now using the words to describe themselves in positive terms.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun lesbo as "Colloquial abbreviation of LESBIAN."
As I see it, here is the acid test. The following words, which are also considered to be derogatory slang, appear in the Chambers online dictionary:
My question: Are these words included in the Scrabble 2007 DS game as well? I own a number of portable video game consoles, including the Nintendo GBA SP and the Sony PlayStation Portable. However, I do not own a DS. Can someone verify this for me, please?
My thesis is as follows: Either the Scrabble 2007 DS game developers truly were intent on remaining faithful to the Chambers Official Scrabble Dictionary and included lesbo intentionally and methodically, or a wiseguy programmer snuck lesbo into the game as an 'Easter egg' or inside joke.
What do you think?