It appears that the fine folks in the Hamilton Central Police Department are bigger fans of Scientologist nagging than actual freedom of speech: Zi-Xiao Liang, creator of Scientology Pwned, was recently contacted by Detective Chris Kiriakopoulos in regards to his “hate crime” of a game.
Liang was first called to the police station and questioned on his personal background and the nature of his game. Says Liang:
“A reoccurring question Kiriakopoulous kept asking was “Given that your game has offended people, what do you plan to do?” To which I initially responded “nothing” since I was under the impression offending people isn’t a hate crime. He didn’t like that answer too much…. anyways, in the end he ‘suggested’ I change the name of the game to something which made no reference to Scientology. He didn’t mind me keeping the sprites, bullets, blood etc.”
While the police do have a point — if the game revolved around killing Jews or blacks instead of a hilariously stupid cult of psychopaths, it wouldn’t be as easy to defend/laugh at — as a freedom of speech issue, it’s pretty open and shut. The game openly advocates nothing, and the cops have no legal right to force him to change the name (that’s what I assume, anyway — Liang lives in Canada, and I know very little of that place other than the fact that it’s much cleaner, nicer, and more moose-filled than the US). Liang only created the game for his personal website, Scientology has no standing as a recognized religion in Canada, and the only “crime” he committed was offending some whackjobs who believe an evil alien emperor rules the universe.
Sadly, he has not only pulled the game from his official site after censoring its title, but he’s also looking for alternative names for his game. C’mon, Zi-Xiao; fight the power and/or stick it to the man!