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Nintendo pledges "action" over inappropriate use of its characters so players "not made to feel uncomfortable"


Nintendo's logo.
Image credit: Nintendo

UPDATE 7/7/24: Nintendo's transcript of the question is reported accurately below per the company's own translation, but it appears the company censored the question itself - which specifically related to a Mario cosplayer in Japan accused of sending lewd images to minors - alongside minor changes to others in its recent shareholder Q&A. (Thanks, OatmealDome). The original article follows.

ORIGINAL STORY 5/7/24: Nintendo has responded to concern over the inappropriate use of its characters online and said it would take "appropriate action" against anything that would make some players "feel uncomfortable".

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa was recently questioned by a shareholder who said they had "come across cases on social media where Nintendo IP and games are used inappropriately". This "inappropriate" use of Nintendo's characters "poses the risk of damaging" the company's brand, the question continued - so what was Nintendo planning to do about it?

In response, Furukawa said Nintendo's management policy was to "bring smiles through entertainment" (but presumably not the kind of smiles generated by "inappropriate" use).

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"I will refrain from commenting on individual cases, but we believe that appropriate action must be taken against any behaviour that undermines this policy," Furukawa continued, without specifying what that action might entail.

"Our goal is to create an environment where everyone can enjoy playing games. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that our consumers are not made to feel uncomfortable, not only in our games but also anywhere they come into contact with our IP."

Of course, fans have been using Nintendo characters for "inappropriate" reasons for a very, very long time. The most high-profile example of this in recent memory was a certain Bowsette - a spicy fan mash-up of Peach and Bowser that Nintendo initially refused to comment on when it went viral and trended on social media worldwide, and then later ruled as non-canon.

Few creators address the use of their characters by fans for less-than-appropriate reasons. Why? Well, I'm reminded of when Ken Levine once asked reddit to stop drawing naughty pictures of Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite. Simply put, it doesn't work.

People will always be horny, especially Nintendo fans.

But perhaps it's worth remembering - Nintendo is watching.

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