Racial Epithet Shows Up on Minecraft Menu, Developer Apologizes [Update]

Illustration for article titled Racial Epithet Shows Up on emMinecraft/em Menu, Developer Apologizes [Update]

The newest version of Minecraft greets players with the sentence "You are a NIGGER," if they switch their language settings to Afrikaans, the language spoken in South Africa and Namibia.

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It appears to have been the doing of an unruly Minecraft user who was among many people who worked on language translations of the popular game. Minecraft's developers at Mojang have apologized and pinned this on the player-translator. The screenshot above is from Kotaku's Mike Fahey's version of the game.

The largely text-free Minecraft is playable in a multitude of languages (56 by our count if you include Pirate and Canadian English), and relies at least in part on user-submitted translations of the menus and other text.

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Mojang's Jens "Jeb" Bergensten became aware of the problem today, tweeting the following:

Illustration for article titled Racial Epithet Shows Up on emMinecraft/em Menu, Developer Apologizes [Update]

This is certainly one of the hazards with crowd-sourced development; quality assurance becomes very important, and it's possible for things like this to make their way into a game that millions of people play. Still, it's a bummer that it happened.

Kotaku has reached out to Bergensten and Mojang for comment and will update if and when we hear back.

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[Update, Jan. 28] Bergensten, in a statement to Kotaku called the slur the work of "pranksters," and said the version they vandalized is a "snapshot build" that is not pushed to all 5 million Minecraft users.

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Offensive Language in Minecraft [Minecraft Forums]

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DISCUSSION

GrendelKhan
Erik Sofge

Somehow, I wasn't expecting all the weirdly apologist, "ah, it's all in good harmless fun, amirite?" comments.

Yeah...racism is a real knee-slapper.