We should have seen this coming.
The latest update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, 3.0, dropped on Wednesday bringing a new playable character, Joker from the Persona series, a video editor and a stage builder that lets players create their own battlegrounds. In addition, players also get access to new Mii Fighter costumes.
The hype machine was vibrating with excitement, particularly over the inclusion of a stage builder, which has been available in previous entries in the series. However, there were a few hiccups early, with many Switch users reporting on Twitter that they couldn’t even download the update.
Once the content was in players’ hands, the meme floodgates were opened. Nothing could stop the rising tide of stages perfectly crafted to entertain, offend and disappoint. It all started fairly serenely, with Nintendo America’s Twitter account for competitive games showing us the wholesome stage builder content that one might partake in.
There were other more wholesome takes on the stage builder idea, too. Like a stage based around corn on the cob, a stage based on the trans rights flag and one based on the Circle Game. How delightful.
Of course, like any tool that allows the wider community to build or develop or conjure up their own creations, minds inevitably turned to less savory subjects. Fortunately, someone at Nintendo had the foresight to know that this is exactly how stage builder would be used.
It’s not up to this reporter to show you how quickly players found a way around this supposed software, but suffice to say, as someone who has read a lot of posts, I’ve seen my fair share of Smash Bros. styled male genitalia.
While it’s all good and fun to joke about a few penises here and there, the current truth is a little more worrying. At least in these early moments after release, stage builder seems to be unmoderated and the new game mode is already being used for slightly more nefarious means. A cursory glance at the tweet streams show that others are drawing swastikas and racist caricatures, along with sexually explicit images.
It’s clear we shouldn’t have let this happen.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the Nintendo Switch’s. Now, it’s also a testament to the idea that the internet cannot be trusted, not with anything, ever. Will Nintendo swing the ban hammer fast and hard?
Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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