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Fresh confabulation

A Little Too Big

LittleBigPlanet miffs certain religious group with music track.


Sony’s upcoming, self-proclaimed PlayStation 3 ‘hardware seller’, LittleBigPlanet, has been delayed worldwide due to a full recall. The problem was two lines in one of the game’s licensed songs.

The happy-go-lucky, community-creation-based puzzle game featured lines sung from the Qur’an, the central religious text of Islam. In an open letter (now pulled) addressed to publisher Sony Computer Entertainment and developer Media Molecule, ‘Yasser’ on the PlayStation fora spelled out the situation just over a day ago.

“While playing your latest game, ‘LittleBigPlanet’ in the first level of the third world in the game (titled ‘Swinging Safari’), I have noticed something strange in the lyrics of the music track of the level. When I listened carefully, I was surprised to hear some very familiar Arabic words from the Quran.”

It turns out there are two referenced lines in question. The first, says Yasser, is “Kollo nafsin tha’iqatol mawt” which translates directly to English as the tranquil “Every soul shall have the taste of death.” The second line which occurs nine seconds later is “Kollo man alaiha fan.” In English, according to Yasser, this is the reassuring adage “All that is on earth will perish.”

“Certain Arabic hardcore gaming forums are already discussing this, so we decided to take action by emailing you before this spreads to mainstream attention.”

Yasser and friends made it clear what had to be done and why.

“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.”

Sony recalling all copies rather than simply issue a patch as suggested is certainly intriguing, but it’s obvious it just wants to nip this situation in the bud before it blossoms out of control. The game was originally set for release on the 22nd of October in Australia. Among sincere apologies to the Islamic-inclined and the game’s fans alike, the official PlayStation blog claims the game has only been delayed by up to a week.