Inkling Girl only joined Mario Kart’s roster of racers in the recently released Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch, but she’s already proving to be more controversial than a merciless blue shell on the finish line.
Without meticulously studying slow-mo replays, you’d probably never have noticed the animation that triggers when the new character hits someone with an item. It’s basically a fist pump, but you grab your pumping arm with the other one at the same time – a gesture commonly spotted on rush hour motorways and in football stadiums. You might top off your audible “UP YOURS MATE” with one of these.
Here’s Inkling Girl from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which has an age rating of 3, performing what looks a lot like the very same gesture.
It doesn’t have the widespread acknowledgement of, say, the middle finger here in the UK, but in other European countries, like Italy for example (skip to the 2:15 mark), the offensive intent would appear to be much clearer.
Rather than letting Mario Kart flourish as a sweary hatefest, Nintendo have moved quickly to change the celebration in a recent update. The second arm is no longer involved.
The Japanese company also confirm as much in the patch notes.
We can’t get on board with Nintendo inviting Inkling Girl into the game and then censoring her raw passion, but at the same time, they don’t want to be held responsible for a legion of 5-year-old Italian children up yoursing everyone they come across.
At least Donkey Kong retains his dab.