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Monday, October 20, 2008

Sensitive or Cowardly?

posted by on October 20 at 15:00 PM

A distilled version from the BBC:

Copies of LittleBigPlanet are being recalled from shops worldwide after it emerged that a background music track contained two phrases from the Koran.
The music in question comes from a Grammy award-winning Somali artist and is known to have been available through online music stores for months.
In an e-mail the [Muslim] gamer who spotted the Koranic phrases warned that mixing music and words from Islam’s most holy text could be considered deeply offensive by Muslims. He suggested producing a software patch to remove the music.

Media Molecule said it did produce a patch but, following consultation with Sony, decided to go further.

“We decided to do a global recall to ensure that there was no possible way anyone may be offended by the music in the game,” said a Sony spokesman.
In June 2007, Sony apologised to the Church of England after setting scenes in a violent video game inside Manchester Cathedral. On that occasion the game was not withdrawn.

So what’s behind this story? Is Sony afraid of violent Muslim radicals? Or a boycott? (Does the Muslim world really make up that much of their sales percentage?) Or is it just a case of someone being so open-minded that his brains fell out?

And a couple lines in a song by a Grammy-winning singer is nothing compared to, say, setting violent scenes inside Mecca. (Which, at least, would be historically accurate.) So why the disproportionate response from Sony?

This recall doesn’t smell like sensitivity—it smells like fear.

RSS icon Comments


smells like Sam already covered it.

Posted by gah | October 20, 2008 3:12 PM

Why is it these HUGE corporations will take one person's religious suggestion seriously while when thousands of consumers complain about some bug or glitch or other factor nothing is done? Maybe complaints will henceforth be couched in terms of Religious offense if a change is sought.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | October 20, 2008 3:19 PM

Of course it should be removed, after all, where in the Muslim world do they not withdraw products when non-Muslims are offended? Where in the Islamic world do they EVER allow anything to see the light of day that offends non-Muslims?

answer to both questions: EVERYWHERE

Posted by jane doe | October 20, 2008 3:45 PM

smells like some free publicity

Posted by um | October 20, 2008 3:47 PM

Maybe it has to do with Sony not wanting their employees to get stabbed?

Posted by jrrrl | October 20, 2008 4:04 PM

This has inspired my new strategy for products I don't like: email the manufacturer and tell them that some aspect of the product is offensive to Muslims. Seems to work like a charm...

So watch out, Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. I'm writing to the Dr. Pepper Snapple Company to let them know that your unholy combination of artifical flavor and aspartame is offensive to Islamic sensibilities. Your days are numbered.

Posted by Hernandez | October 20, 2008 4:10 PM

Little Big Planet is not just some minor title on PS3. They're expecting it to be huge--maybe their biggest title ever, and a potential console seller. Part of the appeal is that it's supposed to be fun for everyone: Hard-core gamers, kids, casual gamers, etc. I don't think it's that surprising that they want it to be as controversy-free as they can make it. Besides, it only delayed the release date by a week. I don't understand why everyone is so worked up about it.

Posted by sleestak | October 20, 2008 4:15 PM

Maybe this is some misguided attempt to make up for the decapitated goat party?

Posted by breklor | October 20, 2008 4:28 PM

Dear deeply offended, potentially violent Muslims: please get over yourselves.

Posted by Greg | October 20, 2008 6:44 PM

When it comes to religion, tolerance is a one way street.

Posted by Brandon J. | October 20, 2008 8:04 PM

I remember those wacky muslims protesting the Danish cartoons that offended them. I couldn't help but think how dumb it was to die over a fucking cartoon. These goofballs take themselves way too seriously.

Hope I don't get a fatwa.

Posted by Rotten666 | October 21, 2008 8:33 AM

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