Nintendo Switch Cards Are Designed to Taste Bad, so Maybe Stop Licking Them

Nintendo Switch Cards Are Designed to Taste Bad, so Maybe Stop Licking Them

Not that we want to tell you how to run your life.

Those of us who work in the games industry have been pushing ourselves very hard to get everything ready for the launch of the Nintendo Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Pile GDC on top of that, and you have a recipe for the kind of stress that snaps minds.

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That may be the reason why games writers are looking at their Switch game cards and asking themselves, "Say – I wonder what this tastes like?"

Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann was seemingly the first writer to decide it was high time someone licked a Switch game. The taste was wretched, and he said as much on Twitter. Copycat journos immediately popped their own copies of Zelda into their mouths like so many after-dinner mints, because clearly Gerstmann was lying and the Switch's game cards actually taste like strawberries and cream.

Be assured they don't. I mean, I haven't tried eating a Switch card myself simply because I don't have the Switch or any of its games yet (the magic happens at midnight). Otherwise I would have followed the pack and sampled it for myself to be one of the cool kids. I am the reason humanity hasn't yet colonized Mars and explored Europa.

No, the reason I know the Switch's games taste bad is because Nintendo confirmed today they're meant to taste awful by design.

The cards are coated with denatonium benzoate, a non-toxic but extremely bitter substance that's used to dissuade kids from ingesting small objects and drinking antifreeze.

Denatonium is also the main ingredient in nail-biting deterrents and "bitter apple" sprays that vets recommend to get dogs to stop chewing on themselves and furniture.

Since the Switch's game cards are tiny, it's easy to understand why Nintendo applied a coat of ick. Though the Switch is portable, Zelda will only work if it's plugged into the system and not sloshing around in your kid's tummy.

In other words, you won't die if you lick a Switch card (even if the taste assures you otherwise), but you can surely think of better things to put on your tongue.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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