July 11th, 2006

Civil Rights Group Joins NAACP in Sony PSP White Protest

The flap over Sony's PSP White European ad campaign continues. Last week GamePolitics broke the news that the NAACP had condemned the racially-charged ads.

Now GP has learned that Sojourn to the Past, a youth civil rights education project, has joined forces with the San Jose Chapter of the NAACP as well as California Assembly Speaker pro Tem Leland Yee in opposition to Sony's controversial European marketing campaign.

"Sojourn to the Past works with young people to break down stereotypes and end discrimination," said Executive Director Jeff Steinberg. "We would hope that in 2006 major international corporations would no longer use such derogatory and racially-charged images to sell their products. This latest Sony ad is yet another unfortunate modern day example of tactic that only serves to divide us."
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Thompson Seeks to File Amicus Brief in Louisiana Video Game Case

The ever-controversial Jack Thompson is seeking to file an Amicus Curiae ("friend of the court") brief in ESA/EMA vs. Foti. The constitutional battle between the video game industry and Louisiana over the state's newly-enacted video game sales law is currently before a Federal District Court judge in Baton Rouge.

Aside from the Miami attorney's standard "I've been on the Today Show" bluster, Thompson's motion includes the following:

"Thompson drafted this video game bill, which has now become law, at the request of Representative Roy Burrell."

GP: Rep. Burrell and Thompson are pictured at left during the May 10th session of the Criminal Justice Committee of the Louisiana House. For GamePolitics coverage of the Louisiana law, click here. More from Thompson's motion:

"...Grand Theft Auto: Vice City... is not even speech, let alone 'First Amendment-protected speech.' For example, hand-held controllers... delivers (sic) a jolt back into (players') hands to give them a visceral, pleasurable 'buzz' when a car tire runs over a skull or a machete cuts off the head of a prostitute immediately after intercourse."
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BREAKING - Sony Pulls PSP White Ad Campaign Over Protests

According to California Assemblyman Leland Yee, Sony has pulled a controversial European ad campaign for its upcoming PSP White. The electronics giant also issued an apology to those who may have been offended by the ads, one of which, posted on a billboard, portrayed a white woman squeezing the face of a black woman.

In a statement, Nick Sharples, Sony's Director of Corporate Communications in Europe, said, "We... recognize that people have a wide variety of perceptions about such imagery and we wish to apologize to those who perceived the advert differently to that intended. In future, we will apply greater sensitivity in our selection of campaign imagery, and will take due account of the increasingly global reach of such local adverts, and their potential impact in other countries."
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