'Offensive' gesture removed from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in latest patch

Nintendo has updated one of the female Inkling’s animations in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, following complaints that it could be seen as offensive. She didn’t flip the bird, but she did grip her bicep a little like Rosie the riveter, which in some European cultures can be construed as saying “up yours.”

Although there are a few games which might opt for what some would consider, ‘offensive’ gestures — like Duke Nukem — it’s rare to see something like that in a Nintendo game. In Mario Kart 8, the harshest it tends to get is Luigi giving his patented death stare, but in the Deluxe release of the game on the Nintendo Switch, some considered the female Inkling’s hand on her bicep potentially offensive in its own right.

Because of that, Nintendo’s latest patch for the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has now altered the animation so that the Inkling no longer places her hand on her bicep and instead just pumps her fist. It’s a small change, but one that keeps Nintendo’s game squeaky clean and family friendly, just as the Japanese game maker likes it.

While to U.S. audiences this might seem silly, the gesture actually does carry quite some weight in other cultures. Known as the bras d’honneur, Iberian slap, or Italian salute, the gesture is the equivalent of the middle finger in many countries. Recognized in Europe, it also extends to Mexico, Turkey and Malta, where the implication can be the insult is aimed at the recipient’s mother.

Other updates in version 1.1 of the latest Mario Kart include displaying opponents’ names in rear-view mirror view in online matches, the invincibility period after a spin-out is now longer in online play, starting positions in online games now reflect the order in which players joined, and driver Miis now show the correct facial expressions during play (thanks Kotaku).

On top of that, the tournament clock now shows the correct real-world time, up to two players can spectate friend groups while waiting to join, and you can now make a friend lobby even if you have more than 100 friends.