Many believe violent video games are unhealthy for kids. Last month, Sony proved it: a decapitated goat was the centerpiece of a party the company threw in Greece to promote the PlayStation 2 title God of War II.
The theatrical dramatization, which according to reports, also featured topless women feeding grapes to partygoers, was supposed to be in keeping with the video game's Greek mythology theme. But according to media reports from Europe, animal rights groups were outraged and video game critics said the scene was symbolic of the industry's blood lust.
Sony issued a press release apologizing and also denied some reports that party guests were invited to dine on offal removed from the goat's stomach.
Being accused of butchering a goat to sell video games couldn't come at a worse time for Sony. Observers were already questioning the company's instincts on consumer tastes following the dismal debut of the PS3 video game console. Detractors are sure to point out that by presenting a slaughtered animal as a conversation piece, Sony is guilty of the poorest taste.
Sony said the goat was acquired by a butcher in Athens, where the party was held. Taking a page out of the reality TV genre, promoters created a list of challenges for the journalists in attendance. Sony later explained that the "entrails" that partygoers were invited to feast on were really a meat soup provided by a local caterer.
Sony has launched an internal investigation, the company said in a statement.
"The goat was returned to the butcher," Sony said. "On this occasion we recognize that we fell short of our normal high standards of conduct."