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Moderated

The unthinkable has happened. “Martin” and “The Dark Night” have been removed from the online LittleBigPlanet servers. What’s that? You’ve never heard of those levels? For shame….

JoeWillBeatJohn and I (Josh60502) play LittleBigPlanet together every so often, and when we do, we almost always play through or tweak one of our levels. The first we made, “Martin”, was crude, frustrating, and full of obscure Transporter 3 references, but we were still proud of the little guy. Why, it even had an average rating of two out of five stars (it could be worse).

But we couldn’t stop there. Oh no, for the world had yet to see “The Dark Night”, which had, as the description read, “twice the amount of real dealness than Martin 1.” There was a little bit of everything in that masterpiece – nifty colored lights, a Paintinator gun sequence, and a section where you had to plow through jelly beans and red-ringed Xbox 360s in a giant tank, to name a few of the memorable set pieces. To go along with the near pitch-black lighting in the level, Joe and I decided to call it “The Dark Night.” A play on the title of that one Batman movie. Good idea, right?

WRONG. Way wrong. After a couple months of racking up 60 plays and a two star average score, The Dark Night was suddenly removed from the online database. And I’m not exactly sure why. Sure, it had a title that’s very close to a copyrighted movie, but if you actually played the level, you’d see that the two have nothing in common. And I mean NOTHING. Joe and I gasped aloud in disbelief (not really) at the message that greeted us when we attempted to play our own level. I don’t remember exactly how it went, but it was a little something like this:

“O hai there. We’re in ur level, takin it down. Why? Ehh… I don’t feel liek telling u (lol). Now taste the wrath of teh BANHAMMAR!!!!!11”

Internet jargon aside, that was the overall message. Our level was removed with no explanation. It was nudity-free and made no reference to the Holocaust; why, it didn’t even have a 9/11 simulation at the end! What did Media Molecule object to in our creation?

We went back to the level saved on the console to find out. After passing through epic confrontations and glitches as unfixable as they were unintentional, both Joe and I noted a few changes in our level that we had never seen before. For starters, now instead of being near pitch black, it WAS pitch black. Luckily, there were many lights in the level already, so were able to make our way through. But why was it so dark? We had never done that! Then we saw the title had changed as well: The Dark Knight. No no no, it was never SUPPOSED to be the same as the movie. What, did they think we just spelled it wrong? But more importantly, who was “they”? Who was changing our level name into copyright-infringing material?

The next test was Martin. Surely that couldn’t have been banned, because that didn’t even have a suggestive title! Wrong again. A message mocked us as we attempted to play our level. So, going into it the only way we could (offline), we looked for objectionable material. We didn’t find any, but we did find key elements of the level rearranged. Sure, replacing the wheel we had with a cannon allowed you to get to the top of a hill much faster, but that was nothing compared to what else we found. The entire second half of the level was missing! Unreachable, with the old bridge leading to it in shambles! Who could have done this?

Ultimately, I think the most surprising thing is not that Media Molecule banned our inoffensive levels, or that they were hijacked and ruined, but that someone actually thought they were worth spending time altering. So… I guess I should take this as a compliment…..

Well, the good news is that “Skateboard Rocket”, our third and highest rated level (Three stars! Woot!) is still up. Something tells me it will get taken down eventually with no explanation as well, but for now at least, you can go enjoy it. I still think LittleBigPlanet is a great game, and understand that Media Modecule is under no obligation to keep people’s levels uploaded onto their online servers for free, but I wish Joe and I could have gotten some sort of warning or explanation before such a tragedy as this occured.

But now, it’s time to start making Martin 2.

lbp

By Josh60502

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