Sony pulls game after forum post

20Oct08

Ok, so we say a lot about listening, but Sony has one for the playbook this week. The forthcoming Playstation 3 game LittleBigPlanet has been pulled globally following a post from a gaming forum. One of the game’s soundtrack songs contained two “expressions” from the Qur’an.

Sony’s statement said this:

“it has been brought to our attention that […] the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur’an. We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this may have caused.”

All very PR don’t you think. What they don’t tell you in that statement is that just 4 days ago, this message appeared on the official Platstation forum:

“gaming forums are already discussing this, so we decided to take action by emailing you before this spreads to mainstream attention. 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 […] We hope you act immediately to avoid any confusion and unnecessary controversy, and we thank you for making such an amazing game.”

This post from user solid_08 is reasonable, acknowledges the mistake and asks for direct action to rectify the problem. Consumer empowerment? Oh yes … Social media in action? I think so. Congrats to Sony for listening – however, it’d be interesting to know if they would have taken the same action if the conversation hadn’t been brough to their own doorstep (solid_08’s post mentions that it was already being discussed, so we don’t know if Sony was aware of this beforehand). And congrats to solid_08 for raising the issue.

Interestingly, many other forum users wanted the thread to be closed and the issue dealt with directly. I’d disagree, saying that modern culture should have to deal with religion and vice-versa. Forum rules are created for a reason, and as long as posts don’t violate these rules, the community should moderate itself. Turns out that after 15 pages of posts, the moderators had enough of the irrelevant and intolerant posts… so it looks like social media reflecting real world conversations, where there’s always some stuff you don’t discuss with strangers.

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