Self-Censorship Hits Big Bucks Videogames Over Religion

via Breitbart

Violence may still be rife in the world of videogames, but when it comes to religion, caution remains the watchword in the big bucks business.

Sony’s decision this month to delay one of the most anticipated games in the history of PlayStation, LittleBigPlanet, to avoid offending Muslims, is the latest sign that videogame-makers are playing prudence when it comes to religion.

LittleBigPlanet, which has received rave reviews, is finally being released next week after a fortnight-long delay because of concerns that a track in the background music might be found offensive.

As copies began to be shipped off to distributors, game developers woke up to the potential for trouble following a post on a Sony public Internet forum stating that a song by Mali artist Toumani Diabate included two expressions from the Koran that could cause offence.

The forum user, who identified himself as “yasser”, said “Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending (sic).”

Responding on the game’s website, Sony said: “We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence this may have caused.” Continue reading

Sony puts its Future in the Hands of Sackboy

via Times Online

Sony PlayStation, the video games console, hopes to reverse its flagging popularity with a little-known British creation: a rag doll called Sackboy.

He is the hero of Little Big Planet, which Sony has described as the biggest game in PlayStation’s history.

It was scheduled for release this Friday, but this was pushed back after it was discovered some background music included lines from the Koran, offending some Muslims.

In Little Big Planet, players first customise the careworn toy, then control it to run and jump through a colourful world straight out of a child’s imagination but designed to appeal to gamers of all ages.

Sony PlayStation believes the simple concept created by the British games designer Media Molecule, a small up-and-coming developer based above a bathroom shop in Guildford, Surrey, has hit on the next big idea in gaming. This is because the product has an added twist – players can design their own level in rich detail, and share it with friends over the internet. Continue reading

Gamers Beware: Sony Online Entertainment Opens Its Bag of Tricks to Online Community This October

via IGN.com

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) conjures ghosts, ghouls and goblins for the gamer community in a variety of in-game events themed around Halloween. This October, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Star Wars Galaxies, Legends of Norrath, Vanguard Saga of Heroes, EverQuest Online Adventures and The Matrix Online players can celebrate All Hallows Eve by participating in themed quests, donning avatar costumes and masks, and trick-or-treating for loot and candy!

In-game events are as follows:

EverQuest: The lands of Norrath have been overridden with mystery, magic and mayhem. Help the inhabitants of Greater Faydark weed the Necromancer’s Garden of the horrible sprouting skulls that have taken root there. Assist farmers in West Karana subdue the spooks in a Scarecrow Roundup. Rewards will go to all who succeed in combating these episodes of the supernatural! These events are scheduled to run Oct. 24 through Nov. 7.

For detailed information, please visit http://www.eqplayers.com.

EverQuest II: Nights of the Dead only comes once a year in Norrath, so players take heed! During this ghastly holiday, citizens of Norrath can venture into Qeynos or Freeport to free the spirits trapped in the haunted houses, combat evil in the haunted mansion missions, trick-or-treat with NPC’s in the cities for something especially sweet or participate in Ponchy the Halfling’s petrifying quest series! Nights of the Dead is scheduled to run Oct. 22 through Nov. 3. Continue reading