Quite early in my Nintendo Switch Sports career, I found my perfect title. Much like in Animal Crossing and several other family friendly games, your name has strict profanity filters on it, and you can choose a title to be known as from a pre-selected list, and can create a few different combos from the list. As you play online, you can unlock more titles as part of the needlessly complicated rewards system. I will never change mine, as 'Fan of Myself' is just too perfect, but what's most interesting is the creative ways people are getting around Nintendo's filters.
One of the labels is 'Child', which makes a lot of sense. This is a child friendly game (at least, it would be if the filters worked), and there are also categories for Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grampa. 'Former Child' seems to be a popular label for people. Unfortunately, so is 'Fan of Child', which has iffy enough implications, before you add in the people changing their names to be 'Fan of Child Balls', 'Fan of Child D34TH', or 'Fan of Child A$$'. Even without the titles, ‘Pu$$yeater’, ‘4N4L King’, and ‘Mil Fluver’ have all been spotted online.
While the new look avatars are proving to be very popular, the old, classic Miis are ripe for customisation. I've played against three Peter Griffins already. But, as spotted by Polygon, people are also turning themselves into Michael Jackson for that cherry on top of 'Fan of Child'.
As well as 'Fan of Child', you can also have 'Fan of Mom', which seems very cute and wholesome. However, players have been pairing this with the name 'my Milkers' making for 'Fan of Mom my Milkers'. It's creative, and admittedly a lot funnier than the desperately edgy 'Child D34TH', but it also speaks to the fact players will always get around these profanity filters. 'Mommy Milkers' is hardly a slur, and it's the perfect sort of joke in that kids won't get it and adults will give a wry chuckle out of it, but it's suddenly a lot less funny when someone uses more controversial phrases. The n-word, predictably, is emerging through creative use of numbers and spaces, while the title ‘Former Black Dad’, playing into the stereotype of Black fathers walking out on their kids, has become a go-to edgy nickname.
Of course, this might come across as a triggered game journalist making up a scenario in their head to get mad at. Many people will happily dismiss the slightly off colour Michael Jackson jokes. But it just makes the whole system feel a bit silly. Why am I trapped to a weird selection of titles, most of which are presented in their native languages and therefore impossible to read? Why are they dangled in the rewards box as tantalising prizes when all anybody is going to use new ones for is new ways to joke about being a fan of children? Why bother to restrict us if getting around the filters is so easy, and why allow people to appear online with the name 'HeeHeeShamone' rather than just their default Nintendo name, when all anybody is changing them for is Michael Jackson gags?
I'm not annoyed by much of this – it's pretty funny that people are running around playing Tennis as 'Fan of Mom my Milkers', and I think it’s slightly pearl clutching to be upset by ‘Fan of Child’, but the more racist titles, either through use of versions of the n-word or using the titles to make jokes about stereotypes, make Nintendo’s attempt to make the titles playful look foolish. Just let me play online with my actual name and don't waste my time making me earn the words Stone, Executive, or Holiday, which are all current rewards. I'm glad Mommy Milker fans are finally getting the representation they deserve, but why is Nintendo jumping through hoops with filters and restrictions when everyone can get around them anyway?
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