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It looks like hackers are using balloons to put porn into Super Mario Odyssey

Hot air.

Hackers are reportedly inserting porn into Super Mario Odyssey via balloons.

Redditor ewasion took to r/NintendoSwitch to say they'd spotted two pornographic images while playing Super Mario Odyssey. The images were on in-game balloons, which are normally used to display player avatars.

It looks like this issue is limited to Super Mario Odyssey's Luigi's Balloon World mode, an online only mini-game that involves hunting balloons other players have hidden. The balloons display the online avatar of the player who hid them. Under normal circumstances, avatars are images of Nintendo characters and Miis.

"The picture was changed several times over the course of my time patrolling, each picture being pornographic content," ewasion said.

"There are multiple of these balloons all being made by the same user. This is obviously intentional, and made to upset children."

Ewasion uploaded a couple of censored images as evidence of the event. "While we wait for Nintendo to offer better parental controls, I am taking my child's switch offline and I encourage others to do so with me," ewasion added.

So, what's going on? As Polygon points out, it looks like Switch hackers, who recently got their hands on a Nintendo Switch developer software called DevMenu, are to blame. These hackers are using DevMenu to create and upload custom avatar images and, inevitably, some are using it to create and upload pornographic avatar images.

There are a number of points of concern here for parents of Switch-gaming children, and of course Nintendo itself, which prides itself on the family-friendly nature of its games and consoles. But Nintendo will no doubt be deeply concerned at reports that development software has leaked online - and the vulnerabilities that have allowed hackers to upload it to retail Switch consoles. (Nintendo has yet to comment.)

While the company deals with all of that, it might be worth pulling the plug on Super Mario Odyssey online play if you've got kids playing your Switch.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

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Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.

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