LittleBigPlanet, the latest AAA PS3 game …

LittleBigPlanet, the latest AAA PS3 game, has had a 1-week hold put on the release because the game includes music whose lyrics use two phrases from the Koran. Arabic phrases from their holy book, sung by a Muslim in a tasteful way.

It all seems to trace back to a single forum post by one “yasser” that demands (and gets) a zero-day patch for the game removing the music because, in his words, “we Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending.”

Today, Penny Arcade points out that the user-generated levels (the main draw of this game) may be a bigger problem once the game-fearing media (Jack Thompson and his ilk) get wind of this. People have fallen for it before. This is a topic they expressed, er, concern over after a wingnut published a a gross caricature of the sexuality in Mass Effect.

And on the topic of Penny Arcade and Jack Thompson, from PA’s Gabe: “We were on vacation when it happened so I didn’t get a chance to mention it but, Jack Thompson was disbarred on my birthday. Oh Jack, you didn’t have to get me anything.”

EDIT: In his news post accompanying today’s comic, Tycho paints the picture:

No-one was watching when modding became something like a gamer’s right. Now, the mainstream perches in every high corner, shifting its weight like Poe’s raven, positively starved for evidence that this incredible medium bears within it the dissolution of a generation.

This is why Microsoft doesn’t want to get within ten miles of this shit – user contributions are circumscribed. I don’t agree with that, siding instead with the incredible creative power of the human spirit, but it’s not hard to understand their position. Fallout 3 – unlike Morrowind and Oblivion – isn’t shipping with mod tools, officially because they weren’t in the schedule. But when the ESRB re-rated Oblivion – a currently shipping game – based on a user mod, you have to wonder why they would put themselves in that position.