Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On "Censorship"

Today marks the day that Little Big Planet was supposed to come out for the PS3. Alas, it was delayed because someone in their development team failed to realize that quotations from the Koran in the background music would be offensive to Muslims ac cross the globe. That person should (and will likely) be fired. Not necessarily because they did something so offensive, but because this is simply a gross oversite that will cost the company millions as all the offending discs have been recalled and will be reshipped next week.

Within the gaming community I have noticed a number of comments lamenting that such censorship could occure. It has even been suggested that this is just another example of how freedom of speech/expression has slowly been eroded; an utterly false statement. This has led me to realize a pet peeve of mine. Self censorship has nothing to do with freedom of speech. If the government stepped in and forced a recall, then we could lament the loss of freedom of speech. If for any reason, the makers were forced against their own will to recall a game because of said content we could rightfully begin to worry about the loss of some of our freedom. If a company censors itself in order to provide a more profitable product and avoid controversy it is not a freedom of speech issue.

Of course, I am also slightly bitter that I have to wait another week for Little Big Planet to come out.

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