Electronics Arts announced recently that it is recalling its PlayStation title, Tiger Woods 99 PGA Tour, due to the discovery of an unauthorized, and possibly offensive, cartoon contained on what normally would've been unused disc space.
It all comes down to a short cartoon called The Spirit of Christmas. That animated short began the craze over South Park (but no bleeps over offensive language). The offensive movie was found by a young player who tried to play the game on his PC but instead was greeted by the movie. He showed the movie to his parents, who were apparently horrified - media outlets picked up the story, and EA issued the recall immediately.
GameSpot News talked to Electronic Arts representative Pat Becker who told us that "we believe it's an isolated incident." The company plans to "take action" against the parties responsible for putting the movies on the disc. She also said that it instituted the recall just 30 minutes after it had been determined that the South Park movie was on the disc. An estimated 100,000 copies of the game have already been distributed into retail. She said that EA is "willing to spend whatever it takes to get this out of the retail stream."
So how can you (or parents) tell if your disc is affected? Pop your copy of Tiger Woods for the PlayStation into your PC, and open it up. Go into the Active Movie Player in Windows 95, and open the file Zzdummy.dat. If it plays a movie called The Spirit of Christmas, then you have one of the affected discs (Warning: the movie contains material that may be deemed offensive to some viewers. Watch at your own risk.)
If you have a Mac, you can open it off the CD in the QuickTime MoviePlayer.
This whole incident brings up a really interesting question: What other files exist on other PlayStation CDs that we don't know about or were never supposed to know about?
Players who bought the game can exchange it for a non-offensive version by mailing their games to: Electronic Arts6712 Grade Lane, Bldg. 5Louisville, KY 40213
Or for more information call EA Direct Sales at 800/245-4525.