Doom On OLPC Stirs Controversy

Doom On OLPC Stirs Controversy Doom On OLPC Stirs Controversy

The One Laptop Per Child project's XO Laptop (also known as the $100 laptop) has been designed with playing PC games in mind, but perhaps not all games are ok after all.

As well as standard features and internet connectivity, the XO laptop features a D-pad on the left side of the screen as well as 4 game buttons on the right. Back in November, EA donated the original SimCity to the project. Enthusiasts have also ported and created several games for the XO Laptop, including a popular Civilization clone called Freeciv.

The controversy started when Doom was added to the list of games playable on the XO laptop on its official wiki. The submission was then removed by a contributor called Bryan Berry.

"I work in Nepal, a country recovering from an 11-year civil war. Exposure to more violence, real or virtual, is the last thing most Nepali communities want", Berry explained.

While Berry's argument was reasonable enough for some people, others saw it as an unacceptable act of censorship. "OLPC is not in the business of censorship or content classification, and you have no right to try and remove thing from the wiki just because you dislike them. If you are worried children will find distasteful things on the internet, perhaps you shouldn't give them a laptop", Noah Kantrowitz argued.

After lengthy discussions and refusing the middle-ground solution of listing the game in a separate list of "unendorsed" games, Doom was returned to the official wiki and Berry's comment was removed.