Little Big Planet delayed?

[quote]The release of the game was pushed back after SCEE instigated a worldwide recall of LittleBigPlanet. after it was discovered by a PlayStation Community member that part of a song in the game included passages from the Qur’an and could be offensive to Muslims. The song in question was entitled “Tapha Niang” by Malian singer, Toumani Diabat?, himself a devout Muslim. Sony apologised for the delay, and announced that new versions of the game will be shipped to North American retailers the week commencing 27 October 2008.

Taken from[/quote]

Is it just me, or does this intrusion of political correctness in the video game industry make me uneasy? After all when the Church of England expressed concern at Manchester Cathedral hosting an extra-terristrial slaughter in Resistance: Fall Of Man, Sony only found it in themselves to issue a simple apology.

But two passages of the Qur’an and this game is subject to worldwide recall?

Whilst understandable as LBP is being presented as a family game, I just feel that these actions cause further tension, for both those in and outwith the Muslim community.

Thoughts, opinions anyone?

(SHould I move this topic to the Holy District?) <–NPI

There is nothing wrong with being aware of cultural sensibilities. Particularly for a corporation - an entity, that is, and not an individual - since they are held to different standards than individuals.

There is actually a Muslim rights group in the US that came out and said that if Muslims expect to benefit from free speech, they must not be offended by every little transgression. This is, perhaps, true, but it is an uneasy balance. Sony decided to err on the side of safety, which is commendable. Especially since it likely cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars to delay.

That being said, I don’t know how comparable it is to the Church of England bit, since I don’t know all the details. I would assume, though, that if it was being held in a cathedral, there were at least some within the church that approved?

I think he merely means the inclusion of the church in the game’s layout of the city or something along those lines… Not an event held within the actual church. I hope.

Oh, hahaha my bad.

This forum is fine. It’s gaming related :slight_smile:

A level of Resistance: Fall of Man takes place in Manchester Cathedral, and akin to many a scene in the game features lots of aliens to slaughter. The Church of England felt it unappropiate for a holy place to be presented this way and Sony responded with an apology, whilst altering the game in no way.

The delay with Little Big Planet is with a song that feature two lines of the Qur’an, which seems far less of a deal than featuring a Chimeran bloodbath in a cathedral, but has been greeted with a lot more action. I suppose what I’m trying to lean on is double standards by Sony.

But as the incident stands on its own I agree with Abadd…

A few Muslims here were by offended by a Local police station’s helpline advertisement, the station issued an apologetic statement and left it at that (leaving the advertisements in-tact).

But I cannot help but respect companies like RockStar, that simply do not care if they offend you.

In the end though, this is all down to interpretation.
The Muslims who complained, are probably complaining that it is somehow demeaning to the Qu’ran.
Where as the Muslims who did not complain, probably saw it as setting the words of the script they love to music that resonates with the meaning?

Who knows, and more importantly, who cares?
Everything that exists, offends at least someone and their “culture”.
We can’t go around putting shit on hold because someone might get offended. Pokemon offended some Christians for its promotion of the black arts. (Yes, black arts).

On the up-side, the guy who composed the music is a Muslim, and the co-founder of Media Molecule is also a Muslim.

Clearly, they have offended themselves.

I have never been a fan of censorship.
Nothing is objectively offensive and thus removing anything that could be offensive to a group is futile. Dudes need to realize that.

This is not censorship - this is PR. There is a difference.

In a way you are right. But if the initial expression of the developers of the game is being modified by a more powerful group.

I’ll admit I’m kind of on the fence with the issue because I’m also on the fence on the idea of “video games as art”.

PR and Censorship are related, as far as I’m concerned.

You could self-censor things (as a publisher) for PR reasons… :anjou_wow:

Anyway, Media Molecule had a patch ready to replace the music track for Mozlimz - and the complaining groups of Mizlams were willing to accept this.

It’s Sony who insisted the entire product be recalled.

Overall though, I cannot help but feel there is a large element of this involved:

I think Chizzle’s picture pretty much summed it up lol

But yeah, I can see your point. I make the distinction between systematic (i.e. governmental) censorship vs self-censorship, though the two do overlap.

As for video games being art, of course they can be art. Just because a movie has a scene deleted does not mean movies cannot be art. And even so, the content that was removed from LBP has no bearing (as far as I’ve heard) on the actual purpose or functionality of the game. It was an immaterial change. Personally, I don’t think this affects whether or not video games, or even LBP specifically, can be considered art.

However if video games are art, wouldn’t they nesessarily be created by an artist? And who would that artist be? The entire developing group? Then shouldn’t their total “vision” be left untouched so the “message” can best get across?

I have trouble answering those questions because there is rarely a single “head” of a video game who is honestly responsible for envisioning and designing the entire thing (unlike certain producers or directors of movies for example or even more obviously painters/musicians). Is the entire game the art? Or just the gameplay mechanics? Or just the imagry? If it is the entire game, then the music is a factor which ought to be left alone. If it is just the mechanics then all Metal Slug and Mega Man might as well be the same game. And if it is just the imagery then the game doesn’t even matter since it would be a glorified slide-show.

But now I’m externalizing my own internal semantic argument. In a thread it is not about. And it doesn’t even matter since the words get in the way more then help.

Meh, the possibility of using video games as a form of art doesn’t necessarily mean Little Big Planet itself is art as a whole, though I’m sure the creative content creators have infused glimpses of that within the game…

Just like movies can be art but not every movie is such… Or any other medium. LBP in particular I believe is not really art, though it is a platform that could be used to create art, not because it’s so special but because any creation tools can be used for that really… But I doubt there will be any gameplay value from a piece created simply to be art, sort of like that WTC Space Invaders thing, yeah, it’s art, yeah, it’s a video game, but no, it’s not a video game I’d play…

…Or I might as well not comment further because the games as art debate is waaaaaaay too much for this thread’s intention…

(continuing threadjack for a moment…)

Nemoide - Just because something is created by more than one individual, it doesn’t stop it from being art. Movies are the best example of that. Even so, the director rarely ever creates everything by themselves. They have script writes, cinematographers, set designers, etc all who add personal touches to the creation. Same thing with videogames. You have a producer or a lead designer who does manage the overall vision. It’s not like each individual has complete control over their domain and can do whatever they want.

And why does a game have to be broken down into distinct parts? When a movie is considered a piece of art, do we break it down into its script, camerawork, acting, etc? We may critique each part, but when considering art, most consider the whole creation, not the parts. One would hope that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. So, breaking something down into parts is an exercise in futility. The entire idea of an visual interactive medium is that there are multiple parts that function as a whole - to break it down is to tear apart the medium itself.

And continuing the movie comparison, if you were to change a few notes in the background music in, say, Casablanca, would it cease to be art? As long as the “whole” was not affected, then I would say no. But that is indeed a slippery slope - how much can you change before the message itself is changed?

Al3xand3r - Why does the fact that the game allows for user created content automatically disclude the game from being art? What if the intention of the creators was that the art was in the creation, and by putting the tools in the hands of the audience, it allows for the ultimate interactive narrative? There are plenty of interactive art pieces that do nothing without active audience input. Hell, that’s the beauty of art - each person who interacts with an art piece will take away something slightly different and personal. How much more personal can you get than allowing the audience to be a part of it? (Just playing devil’s advocate here.)

I didn’t say the fact it’s a creation tool stops it from being art, I merely said that while I don’t think the game itself is art, it could, in theory be used for the creation of art thanks to the tools. The game is not art to me for other reasons, mainly being a generic and not all that grand platformer, at least from the little i’ve seen of it :stuck_out_tongue:

Didn’t you debate sometime ago that (almost?) no game is art because games are by definition created to appeal to the widest possible audience, or something along those lines? I think that’s the case with Little Big Planet, it wants to be looked at as art, to sell…

Fuck it, if you want to buy the game, its out on the 7th of November (UK)… a two week delay.

If not, well, it doesnt really affect you does it?

It depends who you are asking, photographers and cinematographers will often refuse to watch a film based on something as trivial as the odd “shaky” scene here and there…

Although to be honest I find films like Cloverfield and the Bourne Ultimatum totally unwatchable. I dislike shaky camera all the way through a film, and it looks even worse at 24 frames a second (as opposed to the 50 or 60 fps used by interlaced video).

I have even seen cinematographers refuse to watch films that are shot in lower resolutions (HD and 2K are not accepted by many) - who even go as far as to state “Why pay the same amount for less pixels?”

But you are saying that the game cannot be art, but it may be use to make art - that is a very distinct difference. (I’m just arguing theoretically here, since I haven’t actually played the game.) The quality if the platformer contained within does not paint the whole picture, in my opinion. The engine itself is the game. One should judge whether or not that is art, or if it is just a set of tools, like a paintbrush or a movie camera.

I think someone said that in an earlier debate, though I don’t think it was me… unless I was playing devil’s advocate again :stuck_out_tongue: Sounds like something Lordcraymen would say, actually haha.

Chizzles - Just because you don’t like something doesn’t stop it from being art. You may not like some aspect of something, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is automatically disqualified from being art.

I think you need to reinterpret what I said as that was not at all my point.

What I’m saying is that people do break movies down into individual categories.
And every other art form that is comprised of other pieces that are also considered art forms.

Music can be broken down into singing, instrumentation, and anything else you care to mention.

People do it all the time, not just for games.
Cinematography is, unto itself, an art form.

Hence why many films you may consider “good” will be considered “shite” by cinematographers.