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Free expression isn't always a good thing

Jennie Lees

Games like Mario Kart DS allow you to create your own user image, for use when trampling opponents to the ground online. Embraced by some as an outlet for creativity -- as opposed to the restrictions in place with Halo 2 emblems and Xbox Live gamer pictures -- it seems there's a downside to giving people free rein over a 32x32 block of pixels.

The image to the right exemplifies this. Given near-unlimited creative freedom, this gamer has chosen to represent himself ingame with a swastika. We're sure that plenty of other offensive images are out there as emblems, too -- not to mention the number of crude designs you could make in Animal Crossing.

It could be reflective of the maturity of this one gamer, or of gamers in general, but it doesn't represent us well -- imagine the reaction of a casual gamer picking up the DS for the first time.

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