Two warring clans have briefly been united under a single banner, annoyed by Nintendo’s “obvious” attempt to sling mud on their names. GameGate sympathizers and game designer Zoe Quinn both have Nintendo in their sights this week over a random quote from Paper Mario: Color Splash.
The quote has drawn scorn from both sides for making light of their situation and campaigns against one another, with Quinn stating “what the f*** did I ever do to you, Nintendo, that y’all had to make my suffering into a f***ing joke.”
Here are the screencaps of the “joke” below. Keep in mind, these two screenshots were taken minutes apart from one another in a gameplay demonstration. The full video very clearly points towards Nintendo’s official explanation below.
The “Five Fun Guys” had also been pointed to as a reference for those who got the whole GamerGate started by writing about Quinn during that horrible summer. It’s a stretch, but… no… no buts. It’s a stretch, and a long one at that.
You see, this is the problem with labeling every stupid controversy we have with the suffix “-gate” tagged on the end. It starts to get confusing after a while, and we don’t know the reference. Some have called out Nintendo for being tone-deaf using a “-gate” suffix in the year 2016 in a joke, because this Internet is serious business you know, but I thought it was generally accepted these days that “-gate” refers to joke controversies anyway.
GamerGate is, of course, the still-running online harassment movement in which a group of sexist gamers call out female journalists and developers, expose their private lives, and harass them through social media. It’s no joke and a serious problem for women in the video game industry and community. If we want to take this as seriously as it should be taken, why use the “-gate?”
Either way, Nintendo actually had to respond with an official statement attached to a history lesson.
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 localization 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.
Watergate happened in 1972, so it would make sense that it might not be on the minds of a young generation who wasn’t even alive then. Yes, Nintendo could have been a little more careful with the reference, but digging for insults and personal references that are not there shows a sign of ego on both sides.
Injecting yourself into a situation only opens your cause to more criticism.