Nintendo publishes 'child-friendly' game with explicit lyrics

Wii Karaoke U is a built-in app developed by Nintendo and JoySound for the Wii U. It is a music game that allows players to sing popular songs using their online avatars, the Miis. While the Japanese have been able to play this game for some time now, it only became available for download in Europe last month.

Despite Wii Karaoke U being rated PEGI 3—appropriate for children ages 3 and up—the song selection is far from child-friendly. According to Kotaku and Nintendo Life, some of the songs include explicit lyrics—such as Afroman's

“Because I Got High” and "Colt 45".

Because the game’s free version allows one hour of play before prompting the user to pay for the service, Wii Karaoke U can technically be downloaded by anyone with a Wii U – including children.

Though JoySound’s servers are the source of the game’s songs, it is strange how Nintendo, a company known for its dedication to providing good, clean fun for its younger audience, didn’t check the track list prior to release. It is also unusual that Nintendo hasn’t made any moves to censor or even remove these songs.

Dropping the 'f-bombs'

Wii Karaoke U isn’t the first music-themed game that features songs with explicit lyrics. Guitar Hero, Rock Band and SingStar are popular titles that have plenty of naughty words. The difference is that these three games have been rated PEGI 12, meaning for ages 12 and over.

Wii Karaoke U does provide a disclaimer that says the music downloads are not rated by PEGI. This by itself should already serve as a warning to parents about the content of the songs included in the game.

Despite the disclaimer, it is still highly unusual for Nintendo—a company usually averse to even the tiniest indication of adult content in its games—to publish a title that has its normally family-friendly Mii avatars belting out mature lyrics. — TJD, GMA News

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