An E-rated game starring adorable cloth people who run and jump their way through charming, platform-based puzzles isn’t supposed to wind up at the center of a controversy that involves the game being recalled four days before its release. But that’s what happened with the blockbuster PlayStation 3 exclusive “LittleBigPlanet”
On Friday, the game, sure to become one of the top reasons to buy a PS3, was delayed by a week after game reviewers discovered that one of its seemingly inoffensive licensed music tracks contained quotations from the Quran, Islam’s holy book.
A copy of a letter reportedly sent to Sony, the game’s publisher, and posted on gaming blog Kotaku.com explained that a song used as background music in one of “LBP’s” levels contained passages that translate as “Every soul shall have the taste of death” and “All that is on earth will perish.”
While it’s no newsflash we’re all going to die someday, the letter explains that many Muslims consider the mixing of words from the Quran with music to be deeply offensive. It’s a little hard to sort out what’s going on here, as gaming blog Joystiq.com points out that the song in question, “Tapha Niang,” by Grammy-winning Malian musician Toumani Diabate, is sung by a devout Muslim and has been in circulation since 2006, seemingly without controversy. No doubt Sony is being cautious, having already taken a PR beating from the Church of England over the use of a cathedral in Manchester, England, as a level in first-person shooter “Resistance: Fall of Man.”