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Swedish computer game in N-word shocker

Oliver Gee · 31 Jan 2012, 12:12

Published: 31 Jan 2012 12:12 GMT+01:00

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In a recently released version of the game, players were greeted by the prompt, "You are a NIGGER" when players switched their language setting to Afrikaans.

The head developer of Minecraft, Jens Bergensten, blamed “pranksters” for the mishap, who he claims have taken advantage of the openness of the interactive Minecraft community.

“Altogether, three of the languages on our site were vandalized,” Bergensten told The Local.

“Uruguayan Spanish, German, and Afrikaans.

“Obviously we don’t understand all of the 60 or so languages we provide, so we depend on the community to help us translate everything. From these translations we get feedback, and it’s not always good.”

However, the users only have the power to translate the so called development “snapshots”, which are released every Thursday to give gamers a preview of changes to come.

Bergensten said the problem will be rectified by the next snapshot release on Thursday, and will never be included in the actual game.

“If no one finds any problems with the translations, then the content can be voluntarily downloaded by our users,” he said.

“However, when problems are discovered like these ones, we always have them fixed by the next week’s release.”

Story continues below…

Minecraft has proven to be extremely popular since its release in November last year, with over 21 million registered players, and almost 5 million games sold.

It is an interactive challenge of 3D creativity and construction, and according to their website, the game is as simple as “placing blocks to build anything you can imagine.”

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:18 January 31, 2012 by Achilles7
I've never understood the whole taboo over the word 'nigger'. If it's such an offensive word, then why are black people 'allowed' to use it on each other the whole time, and yet white people aren't. If we're all equal, then surely it should be offensive for all of us to use, or none of us.
14:51 January 31, 2012 by Avin a go
@ Achilles7 Its an offensive word. If a few black people want to use it to mock the insult thats up to them. Its not a difficult concept to get our heads around, surely.
15:55 January 31, 2012 by AmusedMuses
If that is the game on the picture, I would be so offended by its ugliness, I wouldn't even get to the greeting.
16:48 January 31, 2012 by Achilles7
@ Avin a go - A word is only offensive if people take offense to it. My point is that black people don't seem to take offense to it when they use it on each other, but they seem to think it's the height of racism when used by white people. What's so special about them? If a black person calls a white person 'white trash' or something similar, very few white people would cry racism. Yet there seems to be some sort of aura around the word 'nigger' which people give so much respect to.
17:05 January 31, 2012 by k2kats
To loosely paraphrase a saying: People eventually forget the good and bad things you do; what they remember is how you made them feel.

Since you acknowledge that many people object to this type of language (i.e. that they are hurt by it), why not avoid this word?
18:11 January 31, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
@AmusedMuses - Silly non-gamer.
18:57 January 31, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Achilles7

Within a community that feels itself to be disenfranchized, some people refer to each other with terms that they would not accept, and do not need to accept, from outside their community. This includes people of colour, gays, lesbians, etc...

This is the socialogical equivalent of a very basic example of terms that people employ when describing themselves. A woman or man can refer to her/himself in some anecdote as being a b-tch, or a b@st@rd, and laugh about it, but if someone outside the social group refers to them in those terms, then they could consider this to be utterly unacceptable.
19:21 January 31, 2012 by Tanskalainen
When you switch the language setting to Norwegian "you smell like lute fisk" comes up.
19:35 January 31, 2012 by canuk
I agree with this argument, if its ok for your black friend to call you ni*ger, then its ok for a white person to do the same. the double standard in itself is racist. this is another case of media making something out of nothing.
19:40 January 31, 2012 by Kaethar
That's actually really quite funny. Trolls being trolls. Not sure why it counts as news though.
20:14 January 31, 2012 by dizzymoe33
This word is also used towards anyone whom is considered a lower class person than yourself whether you are White or Black. It has also been used to describe women of the World by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
20:29 January 31, 2012 by RadioBob
To all of you posters that don't get it: If you don't get it, then just understand that & respect the wishes and feelings of the people who do get it.
20:44 January 31, 2012 by AmusedMuses
I play Skyrim ;)
21:27 January 31, 2012 by insect
Personally I think the reason it is offensive only if a white person uses it is because according to history, the white person coined that phrase and used it in the most derogatory term towards black people. Despite the fact that it was a long time ago, unfortunately any time it is used by a white person specifically toward a black person, even with no ill intentions, unpleasant memories are triggered.

Plus as Reason clearly stated, it is very okay to call oneself stupid but a whole other ball game when someone else does it.
21:30 January 31, 2012 by Avin a go
@ Reason abd Realism Exactly. Make fun of yourself before someone else does, type of self-defense. I do it all the time.
07:23 February 1, 2012 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Usage Discussion of NIGGER

Nigger in senses 1 and 2 can be found in the works of such writers of the past as Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, but it now ranks as perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English. Its use by and among blacks is not always intended or taken as offensive, but, except in sense 3, it is otherwise a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry.

Origin of NIGGER

alteration of earlier neger, from Middle French negre, from Spanish or Portuguese negro, from negro black, from Latin niger

First Known Use: 1574
16:41 February 1, 2012 by eppie
It indeed maybe difficult for europeans to understand, but in a country with so much lingering racism and a history of slavery a word like nigger can cause a lot of anger.

Don't forget that in the south of the US 30 years ago lynchings of black people were still happening, and the perpetrators, although known would not be arrested.

In the most progressive countries (north western europe) you see that people have a much relaxter attitude around namecalling. Of course I won't deny racism exists in all countries, but i most northern european countries equality is normal for a longer time already.

Another example on the other side of the spectrum is the south of europe....in Italy it is normal to call anyone of colour a Marrocino. In this case it is because immigration in those countries is a relative new thing....many old people in small vllages still stare at a person with a different skincolour.
18:55 February 3, 2012 by Lotus2035

A history of slavery? The entire world has a history of Slavery!

Try to see past this modern myth that only whites were the perpetrators of slavery and that only non-whites were the victims of it.

History is much more complex than the information contained in a handful of ignorant "politically correct" opinions.

What is true is that some (not all) blacks in the US are happy to continue to use slavery as an excuse to justify the failure of black communities in US Society.

Do you see how the Germans and Japanese turned themselves around after WW2 despite the fact that Germany was almost totally destroyed and Japan had two atomic weapons dropped on them?

Did they feel sorry for themselves and wallow in misery? No, they built themselves up and created the two most successful economies in the world.

The key word here is SCAPEGOAT. We can all find one for our problems if we want to.
11:45 February 4, 2012 by Sh8rk3y
Has anyone seen Chris Rock - "When are white people allowed to say nigger?"....

Youtube it!
01:58 February 10, 2012 by TheWatchman

While I agree with your point, the blacks are half right in their assumption, but they don't even know what they're right. They think they are right for the wrong reasons. Why slavery is actually still affecting them today is because after they were emancipated, they did not have access to proper white education because they were seen as inferior, and so lived in ghettos and could only get low paying jobs. Even now, education for blacks is inferior to that of whites.

However, that is no excuse to say "Oh, I'm being oppressed" and one can easily turn that around and become successful, especially with those programs for blacks and other minorities, there is no excuse for just giving up.
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