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Crave Denies Pro-Islamic Message In Baby Pals

| 30 Jan 2009 19:01
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Crave Entertainment has issued a statement in response to the mini-controversy generated by a woman who claims the Baby Pals game says "Islam is the light" - the second such toy she's discovered in recent months.

To refresh memories: Rachel Jones of Indiana recently claimed that Baby Pals for the Nintendo DS, developed by Crave, contains the phrase "Islam is the light," uttered by one of the in-game infants. Making the case even odder, Jones said this is the second time she's had to take a toy away from her children because of the offensive phrase: In October, she was one of several consumers who complained about the same phrase being spoken by the Fisher-Price Cuddle and Coo Doll. In response to that complaint, Mattel issued a statement saying the doll contained only one spoken word - "Mama" - and that the rest was just baby gibberish.

Unsurprisingly, Crave has said essentially the same thing: That the sounds in Baby Pals are just baby talk. "In creating the Nintendo DS game Baby Pals, the game developer Brain Toys / InXile used sounds files to simulate the life like baby noises and babbling," Crave said in a statement issued to GamePolitics. "The sounds are publicly available for license. It is a recording of a 5 month old baby babbling non-intelligible phrases. In over 200 hours of testing the product, no recognizable English words or phrases were discernible."

"The sound in question of this babble may sound like the words night, right or light, but it is only coincidence as the baby recorded was too young to pronounce these words let alone a whole grammatically correct phrase," the statement continued. "We at Crave Entertainment and InXile regret that there was any misinterpretation of the baby noises and in no way have intentionally put any words or phrases into the baby sounds. We hope this eases any concerns and fans continue to enjoy playing the game."

The fact that the sounds for both the Cuddle and Coo Doll and Baby Pals come from the same publicly available source seems a far more reasonable explanation for the similarity - which is undeniable - than some grand Islamic conspiracy, but whether or not that will be enough to satisfy excitable suburban housewives is another question entirely. In response to the Cuddle and Coo Crisis, a group calling itself Moms Ask Mattel for Accountability filed a complaint with the FTC over the lack of warning about the doll's Islamic proselytizing. (Unfortunately, the MAMA website at labelthatdoll.com is not currently responding.)

An audio expert who was asked to examine the doll said after cleaning up the audio that it sounded more like, "It's not near the light," but added, "People want it to say something that it's actually not; the ears can be deceiving." Listen and decide for yourself here.

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