OMG Muslims! – Little Big Planet Recalled
October 23, 2008
Sony is getting quite the track record of pissing people off. Currently, one of the most anticipated Playstation 3 games (if not THE most anticipated) is being recalled. Of course, there must be a good reason to pull a game when it is just days away from being put on the shelves, right?
Little Big Planet is being recalled because a song used in the game as background music contains a couple of lines in Arabic from the Quran, the central holy text of Islam. I believe this is a stupid move by Sony. Anyone who follows games and their interactions with society might remember a little incident between the Manchester Cathedral and Sony, in which certain people were upset by the fact that a violent game, Resistance: Fall of Man, was set in the area around Manchester Cathedral. Apparently the Manchester Cathedral area has a bit of a problem with gun violenence. Nevermind that the guns in the video game are shooting horrible creatures bent on the destruction of mankind.
With this Little Big Planet incident, and by Sony bowing to even the slightest bit of pressure, Sony is showing that it has no respect for the integrity of video games today. A real company that cared about video games as a means of expression would realize that special interest groups will pretty much always be there, complaining about, and looking for, anything that can be remotely offensive. Honestly, if the game offends you, don’t play it.
Little Big Planet is certainly not doing anything harmful. Here is a snippet from an interview with the person who created the one song in question…
Diabate’s record label, World Circuit Records, explained the context of the song in question to MTV. Apparently, ‘Tapha Niang’ is an adaptation of a traditional Malian song about a beloved hippopotamus shot by a white hunter; in the adaptation, Diabate laments the death of his young brother, using the Koran verses to “draw strength from the words of the Prophet” and overcome his grief.
That’s right…people are getting pissed off, and Sony is spending probably millions of dollars because of a dead hippo. Get a spine, Sony. I really think that any “gamer” or game enthusiast should be pretty upset with a company that would do something like this. By backing down, and trying to not have a PR battle on their hands, Sony has proven that they don’t care about about expression and art in video games. All Sony cares about is money.