Zack & Wiki, Resident Evil 5 Spark Controversy

BOOM widget 114193The content of two upcoming Capcom titles has provoked strong responses from individuals and organizations, prompting the company to remove an audio sample containing an Islamic religious phrase from its upcoming Wii adventure game, Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure (preview).

The phrase in question--"Allahu Akbar," commonly translated as "God is most great" or "God is greatest"--can be heard in the gameplay video released by Capcom during E3 (check out the full story for a streaming version). The offending scene depicts several adorable monsters slowly circling a pole in what appears to be a sacred dance. At one point, they pause to fill skulls with soup from an oversized pot.

Zack & Wiki is far from the first video game to be censored for religious purposes. Past examples include the removal of a chanted Islamic prayer in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) and portions of the Quaran found in Dream's Fighting poorly received Xbox fighter Kakuto Chojin.

Nor is Zack & Wiki the only Capcom title to come under recent scrutiny. Some have made the accusation that the latest trailer of Resident Evil 5 (PS3, X360) contains racist undertones, as it features a white man attacking diseased and poverty-stricken black zombies in a setting reminiscent of Africa.

Capcom received multiple complaints about the audio sample in Zack & Wiki, including one from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The organization was later notified that the phrase had been removed from the game.

"We appreciated Capcom's willingness to address Muslim concerns and applaud the company's swift and appropriate actions," said CAIR communications coordinator Amina Rubin.

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