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Nintendo is known for having a family friendly image for many of their titles, but the Paper Mario games tend to have a lot of jokes aimed toward older audiences at points. However this is backfiring a bit with Color Splash, as despite a joke being aimed at the WaterGate incident from the past, others took it a differently.
Last night, screenshots of upcoming Wii U game Paper Mario: Color Splash caused a storm on Twitter, as sections of dialogue were interpreted as a reference to the harassment of developer Zoe Quinn.
The specific dialogue sections reference a group of “Five Fun Guys” and an event dubbed “Shufflegate”, which would “ruin” someone’s career.
Twitter users drew parallels from the dialogue to subjects previously used as part of an online hate campaign against Depression Quest creator Quinn.
The images were then linked to Quinn herself, who was clearly upset by the perceived interpretation.
The images in question are shown in the below gameplay demo of Color Splash with proper context behind them.
This was cleared up from Nintendo however, with them telling Eurogamer a clear statement on this subject.
“As many have observed, when viewed in its entirety the Nintendo Treehouse: Live segment for Paper Mario: Color Splash from E3 includes two jokes separated by commentary and gameplay that have no relation to each other. One joke has to do with Watergate, while the other is a nod to the Fungi Fun Guys from Mario Party 8.
“It was brought to our attention today that these two jokes have been spliced together and misconstrued as a crude reference to an online hate campaign. While we typically do not speak on localisation matters, we feel the need to confirm that these jokes are not linked in the game and were never intended to be linked.
“Nintendo firmly rejects the harassment of individuals in any way and was surprised to learn that its gameplay was misinterpreted in this manner.”