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Brain Training racist against Northerners

Claims BBC's Watchdog programme.

Consumer affairs show Watchdog has claimed the voice recognition system in Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training isn't capable of recognising Northern accents.

On last night's episode of the programme, Manchester radio reporter Michelle Livesey complained the game failed to understand her pronunciation.

"I'm going, 'yeller' and everyone's saying to me you need to be a pit posher. You need to say 'yellow' and as soon as I did, it picked it up," she reported.

Michelle wasn't the only one complaining. Child Laura Dickenson said, "You get so annoyed you just start shouting at it, but it doesn't make it any better." Tell that to Jeremy Kyle, will you.

More than 2.5 million copies of Brain Training have been sold in the UK. Nintendo said it has received a very small number of calls from non-Londoners moaning about the voice recognition system, and apologised for any frustration caused.

The company claims extensive research was done to ensure the game would recognise different accents, and pointed out only a small part of Brain Training involves using your voice.

Players are advised to follow the guidance in the manual, which suggests you should be between 20 and 30 cm away from the DS when speaking, avoid shouting or blowing and ensure you are in a quiet environment. You should also aim for clear pronunciation and "try to avoid using strong dialects or accents". Innit.

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Ellie Gibson avatar

Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.


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