Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Kindle Every Word game to be unavailable for a bit

CrunchGear's Nicholas Deleon
reports that Eric Deckers
came upon a form of the n-word while playing Every Word.

After describing what he saw and his disbelief, Deckers added in an update:
' Amazon's Senior PR Director for Kindle, Stephanie Mantello, sent me a note that they had halted distribution of the game, were going to fix it, and then begin redistributing the game.
  They would also make an updated version of the game available to people who had already downloaded it. '

In CrunchGear's report, they also include an update:
' UPDATE Just got word from Amazon, and they’re going to stop distributing the game because “the dictionary it uses does not block some inappropriate words.”
  Once the offending words are expunged, distribution will resume and an update will be released for people who downloaded the old version.

  Fire, extinguished '

And now you know why attempts to download the game won't be successful for awhile.

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  1. Only in the US would a company (worse, a book seller and publisher) resort to self censorship because a word is considered "insensitive" by some nutballs.
    Makes you worry about your books, when will those be censored by Amazon to remove any reference to anything that anyone (or someone) considers offensive?

  2. j,
    It's a GAME. It's not a BOOK. I can see people not caring for certain words to be "learned" within a game atmosphere.

    I'm not worried at all about my books or Amazon modifying them.

  3. yes, it's a game. But next time, "it's only a novel, not a dictionary" maybe?

    Once you start down this road, where's the end? There's already people calling for Amazon to remove Christian literature, erotica, and maybe other things from the Kindle store because they don't want their children to see it.

  4. Jwenting - you're totaly right. Sure the word isn't a nice word but it IS a legitimate word. Don't start banning things just because it's offensive.

    Are you going to start denying the holocaust now?

  5. j,
    There comes a point when it's more about negative wishful thinking. A game made by an application developer is nowhere near a book authored and sold.

  6. Tom,
    You guys are practically looking for things to worry over.

    A game is in no way a book, unless you want it to be. Sure, all things are possible but acting as if it's happening when the book store top free list is filled with what complainers want off the top free list is getting way ahead of yourselves. Even then it would be about public lists for bestdownloading rather than touching the text.

    Now, with authors publishing under Amazon 'label' that would be something to worry some about maybe.

  7. Am not going to update the blog entry or add a new post that describes the various reactions to this file, but here - for the record - is what some Amazon customers who would not want books touched, ever, are seeing as justifications for re-programming the game portions that involve typed entry of words some people really prefer not to be required to use just to get points in a game (I'm thinking of the more racist ones).

    From the Amazon Kindle Forum thread about this:

    Andrew says:
    There is a slight difference between allowing someone to read or look up a dirty word and having a game require you to guess a specific word in order to advance to the next level.
    Lockhart says:
    They are fixing a game that requires you to use "bad" words to advance in the game.
    Virgoddess says:
    You have to type the word in to get the points,
    NobodyHere says:
    The answers are predetermined, it's more like hangman in that sense, than scrabble. So if the game picks an offensive word, you can't get a perfect score on that level without finding it.
    I think the comparison to censoring books is offbase as well. A novel or other book has a sequence of words chosen by the author for a specific purpose or effect. There is an issue of artistic intent/integrity with a book that simply doesn't apply to a game like this.
    Robin McLaughlin says:
    a game that *requires* a word that is usually considered vulgar in order to win the game is a bad thing. Unless it's clearly labeled as an adult game.
    Scamp says:
    Amazon is being consistent with the rest of the gaming world. Seriously. Try some of the words considered profanity on Scrabble or Bookworm or any of them.
    flipoid says:
    JMS II, this has nothing to do with words in published books. It has to do with Amazon choosing to delete a word from a WORD LIST (not an actual, published dictionary) used in a game that it, as a company, developed.
    Edward C. Patterson says:
    I'm glad I got the spicier version. Can we sell it on eBay? lol
    Periwinkle Blue says:
    [Of interest to some, I imagine -- it was to me)
    ' is some information about the list we use, which is known as the 2+2gfreq list. This list is part of release 5 of the 12dicts word list package which was released on June 3, 2007, and is ideal because it uses words that are more common, which means the board will not contain more obscure words that people are less likely to know. The 2+2gfreq list was created by Alan Beale and is based on AGID.'

    Page 6 of 6 in the Every Word instructions.

    [Added later: ( ]
    topsy says:
    that game is frustrating because it does seem to have a limited vocabulary list...but I have been enjoying it and have used a couple of swear words...and they worked..
    Andrew says:
    Actually, topsy, it also explains in the instructions that the board doesn't necessarily have every word that can be formed from the letters. (If nothing else, it is limited by the space on the screen!) On a couple of occasions, it accepted a word from me on one level that wasn't accepted on a different level. Someone pointed out that it's more like hangman than Scrabble in that respect.
    Shuffled Row, BTW, uses a more comprehensive word list, and does allow bad words. The difference is that Shuffled Row isn't looking for specific words, just verifying that your words are valid. (So more like Scrabble than hangman.)

  8. Those who do think it's a dangerously slippery slope and still think it's a real cause for worry can post more thoughts on that for the record of the other side :-)

    I'll post those probably (mostly) w/o comment from me since the last post gives most reasons for the other side of this wordgame dilemma.

  9. The term political correctness offends me. Will they remove it from the list? I will be terribly offended if they don't and I swear I will organize a full-scale march on Washington if it is not.

    Get real people. Grow up for heaven's sake. It never ends.

  10. Oops, I see that you did want it omitted and it was.


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