Showing its sensitivity to the concerns of the chiropractic profession, the Nintendo video game company has promised to remove the chiropractic reference from their video game Killer Instinct.1
Nintendo's decision was a response to the consternation of DCs and their patients of the video makers use of the "danger move" called "chiropractor" in Killer Instinct.When activated, the move causes a video game character to rise up over a beaten opponent, grab his head and twist the head backwards, leaving the opponent to fall lifeless to the ground.
One of the chiropractic organizations voicing opposition was the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). They presented a position paper against graphically violent video games in general, and the "chiropractor" move in particular.2 Their position paper called for DCs and patients to contact Nintendo and voice their concerns.
"Partial victory achieved!," said ICPA President Dr. Larry Webster when he heard Nintendo would remove the reference to "chiropractor" in its manual. While expressing relief, he also had some reservations: "The company is still playing down the fact that the chiropractic death move is only mentioned in the manual. As we all know, the kids who watch Nintendo games take the manual seriously and connect everything to the video. The chiropractic death move is not the only concern of the ICPA, it is all games of violence produced by Nintendo."
Dr. Webster thanked all the doctors who wrote to Nintendo and noted, "We have at least made Nintendo conscious that we are concerned about the children's mental well-being, and that we are a force that would respond to issues such as these. My thanks to Dynamic Chiropractic and Editor Don Petersen for being a valuable part of Nintendo changing the verbiage in the manual."
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) also contacted Nintendo regarding this issue. Nintendo's response to the ACA is printed below:
- Video game 'chiropractor' move kills opponents. October 23, 1995 "DC", 13(22):1,29.
- Get your patients involved: position of the ICPA on graphically violent video games. Oct. 23, 1995 "DC", 13(22):29.
Dr. Larry Webster's efforts will keep these future Nintendo players (his patients) from getting the wrong impression about chiropractic.
October 9, 1995
Mr. Garrett F. Cuneo
Executive Vice President Designate
American Chiropractic Association
1701 Clarendon Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22209
Dear Mr. Cuneo:
This letter is in response to your concerns about one of our most recently released games, Killer Instinct. Through the letters and calls we received, we've learned that the facts related to this product have been greatly misstated, which has magnified the perceived impact of the situation.
Please be assured that it wasn't our intent to portray the chiropractic industry as unsafe, or to dissuade individuals from seeking chiropractic care. We are aware of the multitude of benefits patients receive as a result of undergoing treatment.
I'd like to take a moment to clarify the facts regarding this particular situation. In the game itself, there are no references such as "chiropractic," "chiropractor," "adjustment," "chiropractic death move" or even "death move" in any element, either audibly or visually, in the millions of frames of content within the game. In addition, there are no scenes or images in the game which suggest a medical setting or any treatment or action by a chiropractor.
In the instruction booklet that accompanies the product, there is a single reference on page 16 as follows:
"Danger Moves: ----- MP = Chiropractor"
Since we appreciate and respect the concerns you have expressed, in response we are modifying future editions of the instruction booklet by removing the word "Chiropractor" from page 16. Again, please be assured that no other references to chiropractors are contained in the instruction booklet pages or in the game display itself.
Whether it be about chiropractic care or the contents of a video game, we realize that ignorance and fear can raise many unfounded concerns. We're sorry if you feel that a singular reference in a game manual may impact the chiropractic profession, as this was not our intent.
Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns.
NINTENDO OF AMERICA, INC.
R. DRU JORDAN
Consumer Service Supervisor
The Nintendo company has agreed to an exclusive interview regarding their position on chiropractic and addressing some of the concerns voiced by the profession. Unfortunately, the interview could not be scheduled until after the production deadline for this issue. Be looking for that exclusive interview in our next issue (December 4, 1995).