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McArthur Blankenship | 19 Sep 2009 09:00
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Potentially Racist Words in Scribblenauts

Users have discovered a potentially inflammatory word in the Scribblenauts dictionary that could lead to lawsuits, or worse. The word in question is sambo, a Spanish word often used to describe a squash that looks like a watermelon; often used in Ecuadorian cooking. In the US, however, the word is associated with an antiquated pejorative to describe African-Americans. The term dates back to the 19th century when Sambo was a common name for slaves.

The makers of Scribblenauts say that it was never their intention to include pejoratives in the game and that the word unfortunately made it past their play testers. The company was also very quick to point out that one of those play-testers is black; a fact which they assure us proves that they are not bigots.

An update to the game will be available soon. The update removes the word sambo, along with other potentially racist words like raccoon, monkey, ape, pancake and frog.

"We aren't taking any chances by using words that might be misconstrued as racial epithets by people with low IQs and a deep-seeded distrust of technology," said a spokesperson for 5th Cell.

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