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Censorship Entertainment Games

Nintendo Apologizes to SuicideGirls 423

Posted by Zonk
from the doing-the-right-thing dept.
As a follow up to the unfortunate incident on Wednesday, thanks to emfra (and others) who pointed out that BoingBoing has Nintendo's Apology Letter to the SuicideGirls site up. They even went so far as to offer up a free game system and game to the site owner. So alls well that end's well...but not before Penny Arcade had a chance to comment.
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Nintendo Apologizes to SuicideGirls

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  • by Phixxr (794883) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:41AM (#10662454)
    I'm glad that Nintentdo is attempting to protect their trademarked property from mis-use by porn sites. Obviously they don't want you googling zelda and getting farmsex.com.

    I think they've handled this in a most professional, and logical manner. Something that cannot be said for most large entertainment companies these days.

    -phixxr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:49AM (#10662514)
    Soooo, somebody makes a mistake and (when informed of it) both apologizes *and* offers to make it up to the offended. Now, I'm not one to shill for corporations, but how does this equate to "sleazebag company"?
  • by fatwreckfan (322865) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:52AM (#10662546)
    Except that the user that posted the names of those games was a guy [suicidegirls.com]. That doesn't meet my definition of a "hot goth chick."
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:54AM (#10662557) Homepage
    Whoa, a flash of corporate intelligence. That's so unusual anymore.

    It was a loser but at least give them credit for recognizing it and trying to make amends. Short term it's ugly either way, but this will limit the long term damage. There's no story now.

    Good job, Nintendo. Bite the bullet, apologize, move on.

  • Re:Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:54AM (#10662561) Journal
    *SIGH* This really wasn't meant to be funny. Or at least it was only meant as a funny way to make a serious point. I am a skeptical personal. But sometimes, you just have to take something at face value. Accepting apologies allows reconciliation. Not accepting apologies means we will always be at war with each other... see 99% of the world. Nintendo did something stupid. They apologized and made an attempt at correction and reconciliation. I have a lot of respect for that. Yet, it seems like it is human nature to be vindictive. And it also seems to be in the nature of Slashdot to be vindictive even when folks here were not personally involved in the original wrong.
  • by Rude Turnip (49495) <valuation@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:55AM (#10662568)
    Nintendo stepped way over the line and was utterly wrong. If someone mentions that X and Y are her favorite video games, that is not mis-use. I think in the end, it was a case of lawyers getting caught with their pants down in their zealotry.
  • by jdreed1024 (443938) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:57AM (#10662583)
    I think they've handled this in a most professional, and logical manner. Something that cannot be said for most large entertainment companies these days.

    Seriously. They didn't even blame it on an intern, or outsourcing, or anything. They didn't try to pull the "Well, we know we were right, but we're going to do you a favor and back down anyway" thing. And in offering one of their products, they're letting the person choose what they want. As opposed to the RIAA, which dumps poorly selling albums in inner-city schools and calls it good.

  • by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@[ ]M.yahoo.com ['SPA' in gap]> on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:57AM (#10662589) Journal
    The nintendo apology link goes to a site that carries pornographic ads. WTF is wrong with the editors and the MORON who submitted the story! Put a warning there at least.
  • by Lisandro (799651) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:58AM (#10662592)
    Just what i thought. They did something perfectly understandable, fucked up in the process, realized it *and* apologized promptly. And make up for the hassle with a game system, which you might think (or not) that it's cheap, but again, no one forced them.

    Kudos to Nintendo.
  • by SilkBD (533537) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:58AM (#10662596) Homepage
    Profit is not a good reason to run a company, enhancing the overall good of society is.

    Damn, I never laughed so hard in my life. I don't know what bizarro universe you live in... but companies exist to make profit, there's no way around that unless you're a non-profit company.

    You see, they explicitly make a type of company called "non-profit" to destinguish them from all the other companies who exist for profit.

    You, my friend, need to rethink your idealistic subjective reality.

  • Kudos to Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by akheron01 (637033) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:58AM (#10662597) Homepage
    Nintendo just exhibited some real good form there. Corporate scruples are becoming a rarity these days, glad to see they still exist.
  • by SeanDuggan (732224) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:58AM (#10662600) Homepage Journal
    Bleh. It was probably some minor functionary overstepping their bounds who caused all this trouble. You'd might as well decide Walmart was evil because of a bad experience with a cashier. (Well, you'd be right about Walmart being evil, but for the wrong purposes)
  • Re:website (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bitslinger_42 (598584) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:10AM (#10662671)

    Granted, I am rather overtly paranoid, but did anyone else look at the last paragraph ("we would appreciate it if you could provide us with contact information for RuneLateralus") as a smooth attempt to get directly at the user without having to bother with a subpeona? I mean, come on. I'm Nintendo and I'm getting critized for attacking the website when it was an individual who posted (ignoring the context for a second here). So, I want to go after the user, but I don't know how to send the SaD letter. This looks to be a pretty cool way of getting the info without having to pay^H^H^Hcontact a judge.

    /me adjusts tinfoil hat and shuffles off muttering to self
  • classy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@[ ]M.yahoo.com ['SPA' in gap]> on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:12AM (#10662678) Journal
    Reading the letter, i have to say that i like nintendo more as a company. Rarely do we see anyone thesedays admint a mistake apologize and then offer a jesture of goodwill to make amends. I think it was a really classy move on the part of Nintendo. I have alwasy liked their systems and games. It is nice to see that there are some reasonable people working there. I think nintnedo handeled this really well and in the end, people will either simply forget about it or bring it up when defneding nintendo instead of the other way around.
    Kudos.
  • by marktaw.com (816752) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:12AM (#10662685) Homepage
    Now everybody knows hot goth chicks like Nintendo AND we're going to give them a free DS so they can blog about it all day long just in time for the holiday season.

    Sounds like a win-win to me.

    PS: nobody cares that it was a guy who wrote about it, all they hear is "suicidegirls.com" and "nintendo."
  • by Goronmon (652094) * on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:15AM (#10662704)
    Of course, the best thing would be to avoid situations like this in general, you would think people would pay more attention to what was going on when sending out C&D letters.

    But, they did the right thing and fessed up to their mistake, something companies rarely do anymore. Way to go Nintendo.
  • Re:Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gamgee5273 (410326) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:21AM (#10662758) Homepage Journal
    I think what's important to note is that it was Nintendo's lawyers who contacted SG, not Nintendo. My guess is that someone from Nintendo of America has chewed out someone at the lawfirm royally by now...
  • by PhoenixFlare (319467) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:24AM (#10662775) Journal
    Actually, this geek now associates "Nintendo" with "sleazebag company that I won't ever buy from again." There is no fury like that of a geek scorned.

    How you know that, i'd love to know. The mentality around here of "If I don't like something, everyone else must hate it too" gets really annoying sometimes.
  • Re:Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ubergrendle (531719) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:32AM (#10662831) Journal
    Paraphrashing Ganhdi, "if we rely upon eye-for-an-eye justice, the whole world will end up blind."

    Corporations are big, confusing entities. They're byzantine. Sometimes one individual, or team, or department, or DIVSION, exercise a strategy inconsistent or in competition with the corporation's main objective. How many times have you gone to work, looked at a project, and wondered "what the HELL are they doing?!?!?".

    In this case, cooler heads prevailed and the situation was rectified. I don't think that Nintendo should be penalised for correcting a mistake. They were even gracious about it.
  • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:32AM (#10662834) Homepage
    While I agree that Nintendo took appropriate action, I think that they realized that they needed to dispose of the situation very quickly once it started hitting the major news sites. And Penny Arcade. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:33AM (#10662839)
    I'm calling bullshit. There are no sexually-explicit sites that target children. The credit card chargebacks on something like that would be overwhelming.

    Yeah, duh. It's called "damage control", where bullshit excuses usually occur. Nice touch with the free game/system though.
  • by julesh (229690) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:42AM (#10662919)
    Huh? The ads I have on the page are for "Basecamp painless project management", "O'Reilly Revolution In The Valley", and a third one which isn't loading at the moment (i.e., we've slashdotted boingboing's ad server), but which I doubt is pornographic, given the tone of the rest of the site which is largely IT related.
  • Re:Nintendo (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:48AM (#10662977)

    Or more direct, quoting Jesus: "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

  • by julesh (229690) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:50AM (#10662990)
    And when the IT department works out that you're intentionally circumventing their monitoring and blocking of sites that frequently carry spyware and trojans, they're going to be _really_ pissed off with you.
  • by Lisandro (799651) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:51AM (#10662998)
    And Penny Arcade.
    Yeah, I am *really* sure they were *scared* of that one.


    Why, of course they are. A site visited regularly by a lot of gamers - most between 15 and 30 years old? Sounds like potential Nintendo customers to me...

    It was a PR move, of course, but they made it right. They deserve some credit.
  • Just to summarize (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phorm (591458) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:15AM (#10663201) Journal
    Nintendo sends C&D nastygram to SG for use of various names of their games, where an SG member mentioned being a fan of said games

    Coverage on Slashdot, Penny-Arcade, etc on this debacle

    Nintendo goes "oh sh*t" at the negetive PR, fully owns up, and offers free (Nintendo brand) gaming system of choice to some of those involved at SG.

    SO basically, SG comes up with a whole crapload of attention, extra site traffic, and some free gaming systems. Now, since the site didn't get nuked I'm assuming that a full slashdotting didn't happen. If at least some of the visitors end up signing up - offsetting the bandwidth cost - they benefit not only from the free systems but also from the free publicity/extra signups.

    Heck, I sent me GF a link to this, she was looking up some girls' on SG and found their profiles rather cool, wanted to sign up herself. I'd say that I score this one:

    SG:+2 (traffic/signups/game systems)

    Nintendo+1: or 0 (no harm no fowl, but perhaps bonus points for owning up where few would)
    Idiot IP lawers:-1 (for doing the right job in the wrong place).
  • Whoa dude (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pclminion (145572) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:16AM (#10663212)
    Granted, I don't think we'll ever see the way of life he envisions, but wishing for something that's more than what seems possible is a facet of human nature. It's something cynics like you appear to have lost (and I seem to be losing quickly).

    It hardly implies that he lives in some "subjective reality."

  • Not perfect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siskbc (598067) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:18AM (#10663230) Homepage
    Yes, that people with money and power are frequently just indifferent to how their use of it affects people as long as they get what they want. Are you sure that's a step up from malice?

    Take the tinfoil hat off. First, it was a fuckup. That's clear, they admitted it, end of story. Second, "what they want" in this case is for pedophiles to stop using Nintendo to screw up kids. I think I'm on board there. Third, there's no case for indifference because they did everything they could to fix the fuckup.

    I know it screws up the schemas of the slashdot crowd, but there's really not this global conspiracy to screw you personally.

  • Re:Nintendo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dyolf Knip (165446) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:54AM (#10663577) Homepage
    Indeed. And it looks like this apology wasn't a boilerplated item, either. Normally, when a big company backs down from a major IP snafu, their statementes are more of the "Well, you're still an naughty criminal, but out of sheer altruism we'll let you live for now" variety; basically insulting you under the guise of "We're sorry". So to see a real mea culpa and a request for additional contact info so they can do some _more_ apologizing is rare in the extreme. Kudos to Nintendo on this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:59AM (#10663638)
    Although you're mostly right (companies do need to make a profit), you are missing a detail. We, as a society, allow corporations to exist as a fictional entity. This entity removes liability from those creating the company, and allows for some really risky ventures to be started that possibly wouldn't otherwise. Because of this legal immunity, corporations do owe society something, since we are allowing them to exist at all. If a corporation is not acting towards the good of society, then it should be our right to remove its charter, since it's abusing the privelige that we have given it. Companies should exist to enhance the good of society, and those that do not should not be given special priveleges.
  • by mlippert (526036) <mlippert255@yahoo . c om> on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:36AM (#10664074) Homepage
    Good comment, those were my thoughts after I read the apology letter.

    Too often the big companies sending out these types of letters refuse to admit there was a mistake. When they do it is usually something that barely admits any error on their part.

    Which makes the action of Nintendo really stand out, and this action by Nintendo of both making it clear that they were in error AND actually making some restitution has definitely raised my opinion of the company.
  • Re:Not perfect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maestro4k (707634) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:12PM (#10664588) Journal
    • Second, "what they want" in this case is for pedophiles to stop using Nintendo to screw up kids.
    The AC replying to you said this as well but I wanted to point this out so it wouldn't get missed by others.

    The jerks using Nintendo character names and stuff on porn sites to pull in links probably aren't pedophiles, and they probably don't give a shit that children get drawn in as well. They're just crooks hoping to cheat the system so they can pull in more money from their porn empire. Labeling this type of stuff as pedophilia hurts cracking down on the real problems by diluting what people think of as pedophilia and/or child porn. Frankly you're part of the problem, not the solution when you say things like this. We're all against child porn but most of us want to be helpful in stopping it, not mislabeling things to confuse the issue.

  • Re:Nintendo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coed (8203) <planders@gm a i l .com> on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:29PM (#10664838)
    Paraphrashing Ganhdi, "if we rely upon eye-for-an-eye justice, the whole world will end up blind."

    The reason I hate that quote so much is that it makes no sense. An eye for an eye means that everyone who goes around poking eyes out will be blind. Not the whole world. Just the eye-pokers.

  • Re:Not perfect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by snkline (542610) on Friday October 29, 2004 @04:57PM (#10667967)
    Wish I had mod points. This is correct these people do these things to get more visitors to their pages and generate more ad revenue. I have never in 10 years come across a peice of pedophilia on the internet, which leads me to think its something you would really have to actually look for, not something that pops up by accident. Now normal porn on the other hand.....
  • by TClevenger (252206) on Friday October 29, 2004 @05:30PM (#10668275)
    In a previous company where I worked IT, a manager approached me and asked if there was a way to block web access to the outside world for one of their employees without alerting HR or Corporate IT that they were surfing porn.

    I immediately wanted to answer, "Uhh, why don't you try being a manager and tell them to lay off the porn if they want to keep their job?"

  • Re:Nintendo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by buxton2k (228339) on Friday October 29, 2004 @05:58PM (#10668504)
    I think you're interpreting a bit too literally. The point of the quotation is that we all hurt each other at times, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Sometimes it's physical harm, and sometimes emotional, economic, etc. If those who are hurt demand the right to vengeance, then the cycle of hurting goes on; conversely, if we understand that both we and our neighbors are imperfect, we can take the first step towards apology and reconciliation.
  • Yeah, right... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EvanED (569694) <evaned@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday October 29, 2004 @06:10PM (#10668594)
    Just like cigarette ads aren't intended to target kids either...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @06:32PM (#10668754)
    What kind of business letter starts with "Hello,"?

    The kind sent by Nintendo's customer service dept. I've gotten email from them before (in reply to a complaint). They're rather on the informal, ingratiating side.

    No contact information provided for the SG owner to contact customer service with the system of his choice

    How about clicking reply? It was an email.

    Most people scan in their letters as JPGs or PDFs, not retype them

    Most people copy and paste the text of email messages.

    Attorneys usually send e-mails to supplement a cease and decist letter sent via mail. SG says they only got an e-mail.

    I don't know what lawyers usually do, but you haven't established that you do, either.

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