Turkey’s Ministry of Youth and Sports has set its censorship sights on the decades-old Pac-Man video game, saying the dots and caricatures that light up the screen are a coded method of spreading Islamophobia around the world.
This, from Vocativ:
“To most gamers, Pac-Man inhales dots and does his best to avoid ghosts in the classic arcade game. To the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports, those ‘ghosts’ are actually veiled Muslim women and the game is a latent method of spreading Islamophobia around the world.”
The government group launched a website just a few weeks ago that included warnings against video games that “play a significant role in the spread of Islamophobia” and advising to boycott such forms of entertainment.
Here’s more of the logic, as reported by Vocativ:
“The website cites games that are several years old or do not have wide commercial distribution. One example is the website’s page for Pac-Man, which declares that Pac-Man, rather than do his best to avoid ghosts, ‘is a game of collecting veiled Muslim women. The Muslim women are figured as the virgins to be attacked.’
“The website insists there’s another example of Islamophobia in Guitar Hero 3 (2007). Illustrations on the stage floor where the game’s characters perform songs appear similar to the Arabic spelling of Allah. The characters repeatedly step on these illustrations while songs are being performed, something that many would consider an insult. …
“The video game campaign, originally reported in Turkey’s state-run press agency, and confirmed by the Minister of Youth and Sports, is the latest initiative by the Turkish government to take on Islamophobia. In June Ankara launched a fund that would pay non-governmental organizations and universities around the world to tackle discrimination against Turks and Muslims. In April, the government established an international ‘Islamophobia Research Center.’”
Guess the “Islamophobia Research Center” has to find some way to justify its existence. Note to Turkey’s Islamic censors: Sometimes a game is just a game.