LittleBigPlanet Delayed Over Religious Controversy

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LittleBigPlanet Delayed Over Religious Controversy

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LittleBigPlanet has been caught by a last-minute delay resulting from controversy over the use of passages from the Quran in the game's music.

The game was originally set for release on October 24, but some retailers have now revised that date, saying the game won't hit shelves until November 14. The last-minute hold-up appears to have caught everyone by surprise, given that the game's beta ended on October 12 and by all reports it was ready to go, but GamesIndustry is reporting the delay may not actually be that long.

VG247 has confirmed that the game is already in retail stores in the U.K. and other European countries, and has dug up the source of the trouble: A post on the European PlayStation community forums claiming that an audio track that plays in the first level of the third world ("Swinging Safari") contains Arabic words taken from the Quran, the foremost holy book of Islam, which the writer describes as "deeply offending."

"I asked many of my friends online and offline and they heard the exact same thing that I heard easily when I played that part of the track. Certain Arabic hardcore gaming forums are already discussing this, so we decided to take action by emailing you before this spreads to mainstream attention," the message says.

"We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending. We hope you would remove that track from the game immediately via an online patch, and make sure that all future shipments of the game disk do not contain it," it continues. "We hope you act immediately to avoid any confusion and unnecessary controversy, and we thank you for making such an amazing game."

A Sony Computer Entertainment Europe representative has confirmed with The Escapist that the use of the Quran passages is in fact the reason for the delay. "During the review process prior to the release of LittleBigPlanet, it has been brought to our attention that one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur'an," the company said in a statement. "We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologize for any offense that this may have caused. We will confirm the new launch date shortly."

UPDATE: Yes, it's worldwide.

Permalink

LBP really does have a stunning soundtrack, though.

Is this a common problem? Do many rappers and DJs throw passages of the Quran into their sets?

Again, more religious assholes step in and ruin my day. I don't care what religion they represent, they just pissed me off by putting their religious beliefs as something more important than anything else.

Didn't see an uproar when the Lord's Prayer in Swahili (Baba Yetu) was used as the title music for Civ4. Nor any sort of delay/recall to adjust it. Nice double standards you guys.

contains Arabic words taken from the Quran

Nice how they didn't mention the exact terminology used. For all we know it could be entirely benign. Sounds like more special treatment for the "oppressed" over-sensitive religious types (in this case, Muslims).

"We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending. "

As an Atheist I find your attempt to remove music from a game I might like to purchase deeply offending.

Fucking ridiculous. Quit pandering to Religious types (And Atheists for that matter), ignore their whines. If they don't like it, don't fucking play it. It's not as if anyone's holding a gun to your head and forcing to you put the disc in your drive and play the game.

Well more fuel for the anti-theist crowd's flaming comments. Fantastic.

BleachedBlind:
...they just pissed me off by putting their religious beliefs as something more important than anything else.

Now we get to read more quotes like this from someone who obviously has no idea what it means to have a theist worldview. Hurrah.

More on topic: I can totally understand why they'd be upset about something like this. Too bad Sony didn't have such fore-sight.

EDIT: And as a quick note: Just because I understand why they'd be upset, it doesn't mean that I agree with their position.

Quote from: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=20708 follows:

The post, by user 'Solid08', indicates of the specific references in the composition:

"In the 18th second: "kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death')... almost immediately after,
in the 27th second: "kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish'."

I can see how this could offend non-muslims (due to the out-of-context phrases), as well as muslims (for being a quote of the Qur'an). Sony shouldn't be too heavily criticized about this 'gaffe' as LBP is a massive undertaking in terms of content and Media Molecule can't really be expected to utilize a World Music soundtrack and put in the additional time and staff into policing this multicultural 'mix'. However, from what has so far been seen LBP will be one of the best games on the PS3 - a unique selling point that may bring more people to the system than another big exclusive: Metal Gear Solid 4.

I am not an Atheist. They are just as big of asshats too. I am a Spiritual Agnostic.

Bloody hell, why can't they let this shit go?! "Deeply Offending"?! Did the game donkey punch their mothers and fuck their wives?! And why the hell are bits of the Quran in LBP? They did this in TLoZ: Ocarina of Time as well (it sounded cool as well), but "Every soul shall have the taste of death"? What were they thinking??!!

EDIT: Sorry, I neglected to add that it wasn't about them being offended that their religious text was in a game, it was that it was like 12 seconds of it and for THAT they got the game delayed for shit knows how long.

...Right. Because Tales of Symphonia was completely canceled because one of the in game characters happens to utter the phrase "Our mother, who art in heaven..."

Seriously. What the hell? Deeply offending? I don't think Sackboy went up to the television and shouted "ISLAM SUCKS!" or "SCREW JESUS!" Why was there none of this stigma for, let's see... ANY OTHER GAME? Why the hell is it LittleBigPlanet that's offensive? Why is the existence of two phrases in the soundtrack enough to cause a delay FOUR DAYS before release?

I hate people so much sometimes.

axia777:
I am not an Atheist. They are just as big of asshats too. I am a Spiritual Agnostic.

So you reference a movie done by atheists saying such a movie is 'FTW', but then you turn around calling atheists 'asshats' and say you're a 'Spiritual Agnostic'...even after saying that all religions are myths.

So organized religions are 'asshats', people who don't believe in any god(s) are 'asshats', but people who believe whatever they want, so long at it isn't organized, are ok. Huh.

On topic:

Amnestic:
Didn't see an uproar when the Lord's Prayer in Swahili (Baba Yetu) was used as the title music for Civ4. Nor any sort of delay/recall to adjust it. Nice double standards you guys.

You know I totally forgot about that. Beautiful piece of music, though. Anyways, I wouldn't call that a double standard, since this is referencing the Quran and 'Baba Yetu' is referencing the Bible. Two totally different religions (And books). Christians didn't mind Baba Yetu, Mulsims obviously mind this.

Now if it was the industry (Or some anti-theist group) who got up in arms and said 'take it out of LBP but didn't say anything about Civ 4...THAT would be a double standard.

READ THIS UPDATE

Update: LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule has revealed via its official site that a day-one patch was just completed and would have removed the offensive material.

MY SOURCE!

Zack and Wiki and Ocarina of Time (fire temple music) went through this as well.

THIS IS FROM THE SONG!

from neogaf

The words are:

1- In the 18th second: "كل نفس ذائقة الموت" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death').

2- Almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "كل من عليها فان" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish').

axia777:
I am not an Atheist. They are just as big of asshats too. I am a Spiritual Agnostic.

So we can call you a cop-out and a hypocrite then? Hey, why respect your religion if you won't respect others?

EDIT:

UPDATED UPDATE!

Update: LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule has revealed via its official site that a day-one patch was just completed and would have removed the offensive material.

However, publisher Sony decided that the "right thing to do for quality and support of people with no on-line was to replace existing disks." The company has yet to issue a new release date for the anticipated PlayStation 3 platforming game.

FFFFFFFUUCK!

And this, friends, is why I'm Taoist.

*shakes head irritably and facepalms* It seems that no one can add something more controversial than a dog with a funny hat on without having half a million extremists and their sheep jumping at their throats.

Honestly, folks. This is just sad. And four days before the release.

What the fuck?
....
and again for effect

WHAT THE FUCK?

That's in the far low of the nitpicking spectrum, and yet someone, somewhere, knows it was done with the sole reason for offending them.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Koran originally written in verses and as such. Almost intended to be sung?

1- In the 18th second: "كل نفس ذائقة الموت" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death').

2- Almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "كل من عليها فان" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish').

Now admittedly it may just be me and my 'insensitivity', but what's exactly wrong with using these phrases? If they'd been used in English, would we have heard an urproar? Probably not, because you've heard similar phrases used thousands of times through literature, games and movies and you never hear people objecting.

The fact that people are offended because it just happens to be in Arabic is ridiculous. It really is.

You know I totally forgot about that. Beautiful piece of music, though. Anyways, I wouldn't call that a double standard, since this is referencing the Quran and 'Baba Yetu' is referencing the Bible. Two totally different religions (And books). Christians didn't mind Baba Yetu, Mulsims obviously mind this.

I agree, it is beautiful (I first saw it on a Lion king music video on the youtubes ;D). They're not totally different, they're both Abrahamic religions (and along with Judaism make up the three).

I still don't know why Muslims are offended. Neither phrase references their God, their prophets, their religion or their religious figures. The quotes, taken out of context (which I assume is what they are considering it's part of a song, though I'd have to look at the full lyric sheet), could easily be a reference to something else and the artist just thought it sounded cool in Arabic.

I'm thoroughly against any group with a religious agenda influencing a restriction on video games, be it through banning or censorship of certain sections.

I'm going to found my own religion and decree that any kind of DRM is deeply offending to members of my religion then complain to EA and Ubisoft and see if I can make them stop putting DRM in games.

Anyone up for recruitment?

Amnestic, I wouldn't have cared either, but from what I noticed, this is apperently what's wrong with it:

1.) It talks about how everyone will die, and that makes us sad ;_;

2.) It's from the Qur'An so I guess that automatically makes it offensive.

They shouldn't have done this though, ya know why?

My bet is anti-islamic levels from day one!

Well, I find suicide bombers deeply offending, but hey.

Amnestic:

I still don't know why Muslims are offended. Neither phrase references their God, their prophets, their religion or their religious figures. The quotes, taken out of context (which I assume is what they are considering it's part of a song, though I'd have to look at the full lyric sheet), could easily be a reference to something else and the artist just thought it sounded cool in Arabic.

It's because Muslims see their holy book as very sacred. They don't even like translations of the book from it's original Arabic. To them, it is to be preserved and held with the highest honor. Which is why they don't want it to be used in anything that doesn't pertain to Islam or the worship/praise of Allah directly.

axia777:
Man I hate religion. As in ALL religion. All a bunch of asshats. THEY ARE ALL MYTHS!!!!!

http://www.lionsgate.com/religulous/

RELIGULOUS FTW!!!!

QTF

We've offended christians and jews since the dawn of time... lets not make exceptions please.

Religion=Bad

I'm sure something similer happened with zack and wiki.

They will bitch about anything.

HalfShadow:
Well, I find suicide bombers deeply offending, but hey.

Cool, I think I just found the winner in my "find the most ignorant person you can" contest, for the week.

Baby Tea:

EDIT: And as a quick note: Just because I understand why they'd be upset, it doesn't mean that I agree with their position.

Then what does it mean? You're quick to bash somebody for giving their opinion, then don't even give yours? What's the point of your post, then?

Unless muslims have a copyright on those particular words, this makes absolutely no sense to me why they can't be used. People get offended and the world continues to turn. Oh well.

Baby Tea:

So you reference a movie done by atheists saying such a movie is 'FTW', but then you turn around calling atheists 'asshats' and say you're a 'Spiritual Agnostic'...even after saying that all religions are myths.

Theists are asshates
Atheists are asshats
Agnostics are asshats
THEREFORE everyone is an asshat

ElArabDeMagnifico:
I'm going to found my own religion and decree that any kind of DRM is deeply offending to members of my religion then complain to EA and Ubisoft and see if I can make them stop putting DRM in games.

Anyone up for recruitment?

All hail

Just emailed a mate in Hong Kong, hopefully he'll be able to get a copy there before the re-call.

On that note though, a lot of indie shops have been breaking the street date on this.
They're going to be getting fines when they can return the games because they're been sold.
IIRC it's a pretty hefty fine too...

On the music, ok I get that it's against the islamic code for the words to be song but why wasnt there
an outcry with the cd was originally made? It's licensed music. Media molecule didnt create it

The irony here is that for all people fear the government censoring their games it is in fact the corporations, fearing loss of revenue, that will be the worst censors we are likely to encounter.

Still, as annoyed as I am about this, I can't but wonder if I'm viewing this through an extremely narrow cultural lens. I'm not a Muslim so it's impossible for me to judge the severity of this insult. The Japanese are infamous for including black face sambo stereotypes in their comics and the occasional videogame(I'm looking at you Jynx). This would be unthinkable in the US. But the Japanese didn't have to deal with the social upheaval associated with slavery and the civil rights movement, so the image carries no weight for them. Just as using some oddly apocalyptic words from the Qur'an in a song means nothing to me.

So am I frustrated the game is being delayed by something that a majority of Americans won't blink twice at? Absolutely. But in a game hoping to foster an enormous community with the relatively universal appeal of its material, I can certainly understand Sony's decision and even respect it.

Anyone who hasn't heard the song and question and would like to do so can find it in full at the MySpace page of the artist, Toumani Diabate.

http://www.myspace.com/toumanidiabate

Malygris:
Anyone who hasn't heard the song and question and would like to do so can find it in full at the MySpace page of the artist, Toumani Diabate.

http://www.myspace.com/toumanidiabate

Which song is it?

tendo82:
The irony here is that for all people fear the government censoring their games it is in fact the corporations, fearing loss of revenue, that will be the worst censors we are likely to encounter.

Still, as annoyed as I am about this, I can't but wonder if I'm viewing this through an extremely narrow cultural lens. I'm not a Muslim so it's impossible for me to judge the severity of this insult. The Japanese are infamous for including black face sambo stereotypes in their comics and the occasional videogame(I'm looking at you Jynx). This would be unthinkable in the US. But the Japanese didn't have to deal with the social upheaval associated with slavery and the civil rights movement, so the image carries no weight for them. Just as using some oddly apocalyptic words from the Qur'an in a song means nothing to me.

So am I frustrated the game is being delayed by something that a majority of Americans won't blink twice at? Absolutely. But in a game hoping to foster an enormous community with the relatively universal appeal of its material, I can certainly understand Sony's decision and even respect it.

If a patch has been made, what's a recall going to do? Cost more money for them?

You know Sony caught shit for that church level in Resistance.... I can see why they decided to just scrap the disks even with the day one patch. Personally I think it's the right thing to do for any kind of day one patch because not everyone does have internet.

runtheplacered:

Malygris:
Anyone who hasn't heard the song and question and would like to do so can find it in full at the MySpace page of the artist, Toumani Diabate.

http://www.myspace.com/toumanidiabate

Which song is it?

Duh, sorry, it's Tapha Niang. It was actually released in 2006 and licensed for use in the game, and interestingly, the artist is apparently a "devout Muslim."

This isn't about religion, it's about censorship and politics. What the hell man? My mom's a pacifist and is often deeply, deeply offended when I cut a dude's head off in a video game or shoot a guy in the head. Offensive materials should not hold a game from being released. Change the rating maybe, but not delay a release.

Sorry, but whatever your faith is, the fact that you are offended should be a real shame... and completely irrelevant

axia777:
THEY ARE ALL MYTHS!!!!!

And now, a word from Eli Sunday.

I AM A FALSE PROPHET, GOD IS A SUPERSTITION!

Thank you. *hits with bowling pin*

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