Earlier this week came the news of Microsoft pre-emptively choosing not to release Fallout 3 in India, citing "cultural sensitivities." It's interesting because rather than wait for a ratings board or authority to ban it, or local media/pissed off people to demand it's banning, Microsoft just said nothankyou.jpg and took its business elsewhere.
Blend Games got to speculatin' as to what was so insensitive about the game. Granted, Fallout 3 has some drugs, violence and gore in it, but you can also purchase Postal, Bioshock and Grand Theft Auto in the country (as GamingIndians noted). And they came up with this:
In the Fallout games, survivors of the apocalypse use "brahmin" - two-headed cows mutated by radiation - as pack animals. In Hindu religion, cows are revered and it wouldn't surprise me if the ability of players to shoot up herds of "brahmin" in Fallout 3 factored into the cancellation. The name of the radiated cows probably didn't help matters, either, as the term originates in India. "Brahman" is the name of a breed of cattle from India and the name of a prominent concept in Hindu religion ("the primal source and ultimate goal of all beings"). "Brahmin" is also the term for "the class of educators, scholars and preachers in Brahminical Hinduism" according to Wikipedia, which is making me sound a lot smarter than I am here. Could any or all of this hit some sort of nerve?
Are Brahmin the Reason for Fallout 3's Cancellation in India? [Blend Games, thanks reader W.B.]