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Culture

Twitter users make Nintendo Switch their whipping boy

Technically Incorrect: Companies don't always think before naming products. As evidenced by the BDSM references to Nintendo's new piece of gaming hardware.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Is that a gap in the middle? Or is it some kind of analog stick?

Nintendo; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

All the good ones are taken.

That's how it sometimes seems with product names, as well as lovers.

Launching a new, new thing requires hiring people to discover words that might or might not exist, but that might be memorable.

So I have some sympathy for Nintendo in its valiant attempt at trying to find a name for its new versatile console.

Surely you've already heard the name: Nintendo Switch.

What does it connote? Something electrical? Something you can move from place to place?

Certain minds on Twitter see an entirely different, bracing connection -- a sharp connection with your buttocks, in fact.

For a "switch" is -- go on, plead innocence -- a whip.

I am moved yet unsurprised, therefore, that Dutch Game Garden's communication manager, Eline Mujires, has already collected a few twittering thoughts on the subject.

"I guess we can say Nintendo finally has an adult audience," she mused.

Naturally, some of the thoughts she collected were a touch risqué.

"my uncle works at nintendo and he's into hardcore bdsm," tweeted Ashley, who claims she's a cute hamster lady.

Nintendo didn't whip around and immediately respond to my request for comment.

Of course, the company has a little history with naughty connotations. It named a product the Wii.

The porn industry hasn't been slow to wonder whether the Switch will offer it flexibility.

"We look forward to doing our own discoveries on the product, and giving our audience who will be buying this amazing product the opportunity to integrate their love for our content with their new purchase," Brad Burns, YouPorn's VP of marketing, told me.

In the case of the Switch, some might see similarities between a flexible rod used for corporal punishment and a flexible gaming device used to allay mental anguish.

Some will merely link one sort of vigorous game with another.

I have a slight concern, though, that the console has so-called Joy-Con controllers.

These have an analog stick, which surely intimates the world of dungeons and, um, corporate executives on their knees.