Sony self-censors computer game

The release of a much-anticipated game from Sony has been put back a week so that they can remove potentially offensive parts of the soundtrack.

LittleBigPlanet’s background music contained a couple of expressions which could be found in the Koran.

Naturally, Sony has offered apologies in advance to any Muslim that might have been offended had it actually unleashed the game onto an unsuspecting public in its current uncensored form. It won’t do them any good, mind you. They are still unbelievers, and therefore destined to spend eternity in hell.

Or so it says in the Koran.

UPDATE: (22 Oct) Toumani Diabate, the musician who wrote the song in question, has defended his use of Koranic words:

“It’s quite normal to play music and be inspired by the words of the Prophet Mohammed. It’s my way to attract and inspire people towards Islam

Of course, the Muslim Council of Britain has something to say on the matter. Here’s Ibrahim Mogra:

Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the actual word of god and give it utmost respect. Therefore if it were to be used with the accompaniment of music or if it were to be used in a game or a commercial – that would upset and cause offence and hurt to many, many Muslims.

Wiser words come from M Zhudi Jasser of the Islamic Forum for Democracy, who told gaming magazine Edge:

Muslims cannot benefit from freedom of expression and religion and then turn around and ask that anytime their sensibilities are offended that the freedom of others be restricted. The free market allows for expression of disfavor by simply not purchasing a game that may be offensive. But to demand that it be withdrawn is predicated on a society which gives theocrats who wish to control speech far more value than the central principle of freedom of expression upon which the very practice and freedom of religion is based.

Please come over here and have a word with the clowns at the MCB, Mr Jasser.

3 Responses to “Sony self-censors computer game”

  1. Tony says:

    It must have been at least half an hour since the Muslims were last offended. I doubt I will be able to type out this sentence before they are unhappy again……shit too late!

  2. martyn says:

    I find muslims offensive but no bugger takes any notice of that!

  3. Michael says:

    Although I am quite … offended by this action, I can see where Sony are coming from. Although re-calling the hottest game of the year a week before release is just expensive and plain dumb. The main reason I see is that this is a ‘family game’, and they just want to be all inclusive and friendly to everyone. And although the lines aren’t really any different to the lines you hear in a Catholic Mass, for the few of their customers (relatively speaking) who could understand the language, `everyone dies eventually’ (to paraphrase) isn’t exactly children-game material either. IF they had have just said that’s why they were recalling/patching it, I don’t think anyone would have cared too much. But to do it just because of a small complaint from some random internet poster for potential-religious-offence reasons (as i understand it), is really offensive to modern civilisation!

    However – the main draw of LBP is the user-generated content. i.e. as some random internet poster called it a ‘built-in offence machine’. Two out-comes. First, many of the pissed off will let it show with lots of ‘offensive’ levels. And secondly, the arse-holes who like to find offence in everything will go searching, and might even expect to have some traction to their petty complaints. If this leads to levels getting pulled and thus censored, it will destroy the game (think of it as an eerie parallel to the recent you-tube shenanigans).

    Really a very very dumb move. Leaving it alone – or even silently patching it – might’ve generated some noise from a minority of easily-offended muslims (there is even disagreement amongst different groups as to whether it is even offensive), that they could always ‘patch’ later/or change for that market. But blowing it out of proportion like this leaves a bad taste in the mouth of every other customer. Suddenly censorship/offence is front-and-centre before the game is even out, rather than those easily offended just (easily) avoiding levels they don’t like. It takes some of the innocent fun out of it before you’ve even started.

    And isn’t it sad that only religions’ offence ‘counts’. The rest of us can be offended to high-shit and all we get is ignored. Of course, we don’t have quite the power to change elections or the will to behead people, either.

    That said, I hope it all just blows over and is forgotten about within a couple of weeks. It looks like an awesome game, and Media Molecule (the developers) have put together an outstanding piece of software that could help re-define what a game is. I feel sad for them the most (being a software developer myself), but not too sad – they’ll do rather well out of it i’m sure! 🙂 I’ll still buy it.