The BBC's consumer affairs programme Watchdog
has run a report on the popular Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training [Brain Age in the US] game, investigating claims of virtual bias against local dialects.
It seems that those with strong regional accents, such as those found in Scotland or Manchester, are having some issues being understood by the good doctor.
A radio journalist from Manchester, Michelle Livesey, complained to the show that, "Basically you have to say the different colours that flash up on the screen as quickly as possible. I'm saying 'blue, blue, blue,' and it's saying 'no,' even though it was blue. Then it got to yellow. I'm going, 'yeller,' and everyone's saying to me you need to be a bit posher. You need to say 'yellow,' and as soon as I did, it picked it up."
Nintendo responded to the show's request for comment to say that the game recognises a wide range of accents and dialects, and that the voice recognition section makes up only a small amount of the game, and is "not integral to the overall enjoyment with such a software title."
In conclusion, it pointed DS users to the advice given in the game's manual...
1. The ideal distance to be from the Nintendo DS system when speaking into the microphone is about 20-30 cm (8-12 inches).
2. Be careful, as the microphone is very sensitive, and shouting or blowing may hinder the voice recognition.
3. The environment should be quiet.
4. Pronounce each word as clearly as possible, and try to avoid using strong dialects or accents.