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11:45 AM on 10.20.2008

LPB delayed over Quran lyrics

Found this on CNN this morning. I was all like "lol wut".

Then somebody referred me to this.

[i]This is from another forum, not posted by me, but I think it makes the point pretty clear. With Youtube link at the bottom to the offending song.

On the UK Playstation forums, a 22 year old kid, goes by the handle Solid_08, types out about the copy of LittleBigPlanet that he managed to wheedle out of a retailer before the release date. On the 'Africa' level, he hears a song by a Grammy-Award winning Muslim artist, currently living in Somalia. The two-year old award-winning song offends him, because there are some snippets of an obscure Somali dialect used as a background track in the song, and he interprets the snippets as being from the Qui'ran (according to the artist, they really aren't, they are just phrases which while weird, are not word-for-word passages). In his particular, small sect of Islam, apparently the use of the Qui'ran in recorded music is considered sacrilige -All Islamic prayers and services are always sung... it just a handful of sects that believe that this singing should not be recorded.

Now in all of Great Britain, there may be but a handful of people who could understand any of this, but Solid_08, who has a Somali mother and knows a little of the language, is offended, so he writes a polite but impassioned request to have the song excluded from LittleBigPlanet on the grounds that it offends Islam, as though he were speaking for the whole of the religion.

Immediately, Sony of Europe goes ballistic and demands the popular song be pulled immediately. Media Molecule, the makers of LittleBigPlanet instantly produce a zero-day patch to eliminate the song being used in the game, but this is not good enough. Sony insists that at least 2% of the owners of the Playstation 3 have no internet connection, and that it is potentially possible that some small percentage of those people might be Muslim, might know that dialect of Somali, and -because they know nothing of Islam- assume that this would trigger a fatwa among all Muslims, everywhere.

So the more than 500,000 copies of the game are immediately recalled, despite already having been shipped to stores all over the world. The cost is tens of millions of Euros, and all of the games will end up in a landfill, a complete waste.

Since then, many more orthodox Muslims have stepped forward stating that this is entirely insane, because for most Muslims, recordings of music containing parts of the Qui'ran are common, and enjoyed in even greater measure than, say, Christians enjoy Christian Rock. This song is basically Islamic Rock, you see. It was very popular throughout Europe two years ago. However, Solid_08 is a recent immigrant.

So because of ignorance, racism, and the conviction that all Muslims believe the same thing, and all Muslims are potential terrorists, Sony has wasted every copy of LittleBigPlanet in a cowardly attempt to placate what they assume is an evil empire of bomb-carrying nutcases just waiting for a chance to blow up their world headquarters. All because of one post by one 22 year old boy fresh off the boat.

This blind appeasement of Muslims is becoming more and more common, especially in Great Britain, and from what I read in their newspapers (such as the Guardian and others), this is pissing a lot of UK folks off. But, Sony has spoken, and they dare not piss off the terrible Monolith that is the threat of Islam!

This is the full story, the full details of the matter. Media Molecule is crushed, they are angry and upset, as are a lot of gamers. Many have sworn to boycott the game as a protest against the increasing loss of their own culture and freedom of choice in order to appease Islam, or rather to appease a generalized, bigoted fear of Islam.

As the current largest religion on earth, recently just passing Christianity in number of adherents, this problem is not going away, and unless people start to grow the balls to dare to let Muslims be offended along with everyone else, we will see more and more of this blind, frightened, reactionary appeasement going on.

That is why I, and others are so mad about this. It isn't the game being late, it is the racist, cowardly appeasement. It's being so frightened of 'towelheads' that no act, however great, or expensive, or dire is too great to avoid making them go Jihad... because there is a belief that 'Muslim' is the same as 'terrorist'.

I find that very, very, very objectionable. Unforgivable, in fact. And I am no fan at all of Islam. I loath it as much or more than I do Christianity. But dammit, folks is folks, and just as most Christians are not terrorists, so most Muslims are not terrorists, and this frightened effort to cow-tow to the image of a turbaned terrorist is completely offensive. It is also a pain in the ass, because it messes things up for everyone.

That's the scoop folks.

Here is the actual song, "Tapha Niang" from Muslim world music artist Toumani Diabate:

Listen for yourself.
So that's what that's about, allegedly. Overreaction? Conspiracy? Can "gamers" hit Islam's Amazon page hard enough?   read

11:09 AM on 04.09.2008

Rootkit and payola your way to the top with upcoming Sony game.

Sensationalist headline much? You'd better believe it.

MTV News reports Sony & Harmonix announce Record Label

Hilarity has taken place here, and you have all taken part. Take the rest of the afternoon off to reflect.   read

1:19 PM on 03.06.2008

AMD debuts 780G at CeBIT

AMD is really making a PR killing at CeBIT while it looks like Intel is twiddling its thumbs.

The biggest news for gamers? AMD debuts the 780G integrated graphics chipset. Yeah, I know, I can hear the snickers from the mention of the word "integrated." What we're looking at here is a fully integrated low-end GPU, with 3D and HD acceleration, not the half-assed shit that Intel has been churning out and calling "Industry Standard!!!1!"

The 780G also supports HybridCrossfire, which lets you pair it up with an additional add-on so all those cheapy Dells/HPs/eMachines from BestBuy and the like will actually be able to game! Also, a cheap-ass Home Theater PC just became an even closer eventuality.

This puts AMD's integrated graphics leaps about bounds in front of Intel and NVIDIA, and the big system integrators (Dell, HP, Gateway) are allegedly already buying up these chipsets. With AMD being competitive again, we can expect Intel's prices to drop back into comfortable range.

[ Covered at the Inq ]   read

11:26 AM on 02.11.2008

'Juno' to have videogame?

Mmm, hear that? That's another movie license being dragged, kicking and screaming, across the media threshold from movie to video game. How it's going to translate, well how well can you translate a teen pregnancy-centric plot into a video game? If you're a Fox subsidiary, I have a very suspicious feeling you can't, no matter who you contract.

Fox Searchlight, the studio behind "Juno" is shopping the property around, and supposedly Crave Entertainment and 7 Studios are already enlisted.

As far as what type of game it will be, that's purely speculation at this point. It could be anything, but the question, yet again, is... "What are you suits thinking?"

[ covered at Gamespot ]


Apparently... not so much...

Either that, or the plug was pulled already because of the collective moan heard 'round the gaming community.

Thanks Sadie G

[ Other coverage at 1up ]   read

4:15 PM on 02.07.2008

Microsoft strips Windows 7, pushes DX11 back

It's no secret that Microsoft wants to move past Vista already. When "Windows 7" or "Vista +1" details began to trickle out, it was around the same time Vista SP1 details began to materialize.

So what's to look forward to in Microsoft's attempt at righting the global domination ship? Well, not DX11. Allegedly, as NVIDIA threw a fit about DX10, Intel is throwing one about DX11. And for good reason, a huge chunk of PCs from the big floggers (Dell, HP, Gateway) include Intel integrated graphics. The Centrino brand is a hugely successful notebook platform, and the GMA X3100 is the GPU of that platform. It's no secret that the GMA X3100, and Intel's graphics chipsets in general, suck buttermilk in 3D performance. This is multiplied by the fact that DX10 3D performance also sucks said buttermilk and is being used to force Vista on unwilling consumers. This article alleges Intel would be too far behind by the time DX11 would come out, basically rendering the low-end world incompatible with the "full Windows 7 experience," whatever that may be. If it's anything like Windows Vista Home Basic (for poor people), it will probably be just as embraced, which is to say, not warmly.

Time will tell what else is to be stripped from the new OS, but at least DX11 won't be used to force the next OS's adoption. I say, the less bloat the better, but knowing Microsoft, that's a laugh. Hopefully the almost-inevitable bloat is something consumers actually want.

Hey OpenGL 3.0, where the hell are you?

[ Microsoft cuts Windows 7 features - already covered by TheInq ]   read

6:03 PM on 02.05.2008

NVIDIA buys Ageia - finally

Who didn't really see this one coming?

From the inception of the Aegia PhysX add-in card, I thought, "Hey, that's a neat idea." Too bad there's only two graphics card companies that fully dominate the market for this product. It was only a matter of time before ATi (before they were acquired by AMD) or NVIDIA scooped them up and featured their technology on upcoming cards.

A quick refresh for you, Ageia PhysX is both a separate processor (on an add-in card, called PPU) and SDK created with the idea that developers could have a standard in-game physics system, instead of spending money on building a new one or buying someone else's.

So, like all the 3rd-party candidates before them in this two-party GPU system, Ageia managed to raise some important questions and bring them to the limelight, but we all know they never had a shot at domination. With how fast chip-dies shrink, or have shrunk since the PhysX PPU was released, did they really expect for NVIDIA and ATi to say, "Fiddle-sticks, lookit what they're doing over there." and never integrate their own physics processing? With SLi, CrossFire, X2 GPUs and with dual-core CPUs in the mainstream, quad-core CPUs on the horizon, it was only a matter of time before a separate add-in card simply became an unnecessary expense.

While the landscape of PC gaming doesn't change much with this announcement, NVIDIA acquires sweet delicious intellectual properties that both make NVIDIA itself an even juicer target for acquisition and increase its lead over AMD. If Intel could throw out a Microsoft-to-Yahoo style proposal, that would be the killing blow for AMD and posbbily PC gaming all together.

[ NVIDIA's very modest press release ]   read

2:11 PM on 02.04.2008

To pirate, or to never have?

With the recent Podtoid going into detail about favorite video game characters, spoiler freaks be damned, I began to wonder... what if the only options are to pirate a game to play it, or never play the game ever?

Of late, I felt forced to pirate a game that was released in this winter's Christmas Chlusterfuck. The pressure from this is due to constant game discussion for games I haven't played, and disparaging glances from fellow gamers, usually shaking their heads slowly, staring at me in amazement..., "You haven't play what?" My options were simple. Pirate the game, or don't play it ever:

I don't have the money to buy any new games. I purchased the Orange Box this past holiday season because it was obviously the best choice for anyone with a crippling monetary supply.

Other significant titles I have to miss out on, and I refuse to excuse myself from spoiler discussion.

I appreciate the concerns of the seemingly ailing industry, I owe you my dollars-vote for the game you made, I know this. I delayed immediately obtaining the game for that very reason. But now I am facing being completely left behind. More games will come and bury this delicious crop, and my quest for moral virtue costs me what could be the gaming experience of a lifetime! Buying used is just the same as piracy in my book. The creators get nothing, and the money goes to a company who can't even hire a salesperson who has an idea what DX10 is.

So I have your game, guys, I'm sorry. I'm going to play it, and hopefully enjoy it. I do this only so I don't have to turn in my gamer badge, ok?

Finally, I pose the question to you, community, is there ever justified piracy? If so, is there correlation with the spoiler discussion time period?   read

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