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Submitted by FanOfRootBeer 363d ago | opinion piece

How Religion Harms Games

CheatCC says: "Every once in a while, amid the addicting RPGs and fast-paced bullet-fests, a uniquely personal and thought-provoking game will come along. A game that forces the player to pit their morality against their beliefs, and have the victor duke it out with the game’s content. As much of the gaming population is already aware, BioShock: Infinite is just that. Religious practices, social prejudice, manslaughter, and racism are prevalent throughout the game, and encourage the player to evaluate these sensitive topics in a different light. However, not everyone was happy with the experience. These unhappy reactions do not stem from the graphic and disturbing nature of the game, but from the way the game presents religion. This focused repulsion centered on a taboo topic produces no good, only harm." (Industry)

WolfLeBlack  +   363d ago
The fact that we can openly debate and criticize politics, racism and other topics but not go near religion has always baffled. Why are we not allowed to discuss it, both in it positive and negative forms? Why is this topic out of bounds? We're supposed to be an evolved species, and yet everyone gets jumpy around religion for no truly justifiable reason.

I understand why the people asked for a refund. It's up to them whether they can go through it or not. To me, personally, it doesn't make much sense: you, the player, are not getting baptised. it's on screen. it's not happening. In fact, it's Booker Dewitt who gets baptised, not you. You are merely along for the ride, seeing events from his perspective. But you are not him.

I also have to agree that I find it strange that people draw the line at this because they feel it violates their faith, yet are happy to kill, therefore breaking one of the commandments. What is the difference between that and the baptism? Perhaps a Christian on N4G can explain this to me, as I am genuinely curious about this.

I like to think I can view every argument from almost every side, but I think on this one I'll never really understand it.
WildArmed  +   363d ago
Honestly, I don't know how many people actually did get a refund over this issue.

Obviously not all Christians did, and honestly it's probably a small minority that did. That doesn't mean religion is bad for gaming or vice versa.

It depends on the person, not the religion.
dedicatedtogamers  +   363d ago
Actually, I think the religious guy was quite fair, all things considered. Feminists demanded that a friggin' trophy name was altered, and they got their way. Muslims demanded that a song in LBP was completely removed, and they got their way. PETA makes a fuss every time a videogame shows animal cruelty, though they typically don't get their way.

This guy simply asked for a refund. He didn't demand that the game change for everyone else. He just asked for his money back.

Though that may seem silly to some of you, it's nothing compared to what some other special-interest groups have been demanding over the last decades. Considering how Christianity (or quasi-Christianity with a different name) has been so frequently painted as "the bad guy" in so many games, I think Christians have been incredibly patient.
#1.1.1 (Edited 363d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report
WildArmed  +   363d ago
@above

Right, I don't think it was an unfair request.
It's not like was suing the company or asking the game to be removed from stores.

Infact, this is one of the more level-headed requests I've seen. People say "If you don't like it, don't buy/use/play/etc it"

The person did just that, he wasn't trying to get the company to repeal the game or anything for it was offended christians by a forced baptism.
cpayne93  +   363d ago
Religion is a touchy subject because it holds so much importance to members of any particular faith. In a lot of cases it is the main thing which gives their life meaning, so it's easy to see why people get overly defensive.

That said, religion is still something which should be discussed more. If someone wants to follow a religion, their main goal should be to search for truth, where ever it leads them. All possibilities should be examined, but some people are content to stay in their religion without questioning their faith at all. I know people like that, and it just boggles my mind.
joab777  +   363d ago
I am a Christian but unlike many I don't disuade conversation. I am Christian because I seek truth. Now, Bioshock didn't bother me because Cristianity isn't on trial here. Comstock was baptized but then he proceeded to pervert its beliefs and used it to create a City and become a dictator. But this is why I love it...as a Christian nothing angers me more than the attrocities committed by men in the name of Christ. It has happened over and over throughout history. Many tell me that Christians killed millions in the inquisition. No, they didn't. The Catholic church killed millions of Jews AND Christians for not bowing a knee to the pope. Christians escaped England and Europe to come to the US but it wasn't long before men corrupted the beliefs. Now yes, the US was a great foundation in allowing freedom of Religion and thought etc. Most didn't even want a federal government at all. Separation of Church and state was initially a letter sent between Jefferson and a baptist preacher. Christains didt want a state church...that was the issue. They had just run from the catholic church and the church of england and didn't want to be ruled by evil men corrupting their faith. It wasn't a separation of christainity from politics.

Anyway, I love bioshock because it shows the evils of perverted religion...true religion is extremely rare. It shows why this country was founded in the first place and how quickly it can unravel. Anyway, Levine doesn't sit on a high horse and rip apart capitalism and religion. He also shows how evil Communism is. There has been a big push back to capitalism recently because of the economy and the general reduction in median income. This game helps to remind us that Marxism and Leninism are also very evil. Its amazing how ppl forget the attrocities of the 20 th century. Anyway, I an q Christian and I love this portrayal of both extremes. But I am not offended because Christiany is at no point on trial in this game or even shown other than a baptism at wounded knee. And what did I take away from that moment...that ppl hav so twisted scripture that no one even knows what Christianity even is anymore and would simply rather skip baptism alltogether. Its sad...very sad. But I am glad that Irrational wasn't afraid to go here. Many Christians blame our problems on gay marriage and abortion (don't get me wrong...it is murder) but the real problem is what we call Christanity today. Before we can even spread the news of Christ, we have to clean up our own back yard. And as history has shown, at the first instance of temptation, unsaved men crumble. Comstock was one such man...and many suffered because of it.
US8F  +   363d ago
Joab777

I agree with every single thing you said. It is so accurate. Heck, I'm a muslim, and we get all the sticks lately because some people kill people in the name of islam, or burn the my holy book "The Quran" because of some radicals actions.

I believe the most accurate religion is one where it doesn't discourage you to read about other religions, but encourages you to seek the truth, if it's out there. In shia islam, we have that.

Bioshock brought that argument to the table, and I believe, in a way, that it wants people to question and see if this is how their religion tells the to do or not, by going back to their books. It could be an indirect way to educate someone, if you know what I mean.
OptimisticPrime  +   363d ago
I'm a Christian so I think I can understand it... It didnt bother me and I loved Infinite... But I think the reason the baptism scene bothers people and the killing doesn't is this:

It's not that the Christians think they're actually bein baptized and that killing is okay. They recognize they're in a fictional setting and the killing and baptism are both fictional. However, Christians feel alot of convictions about their beliefs and I think parts of bioshock infinite can seem like they are intentionally making mockeries of sacred religious practices. Do I think that's what they were doing? Not in a bad way, no. It was a distorted caricature of faith that was twisted, that was the point.

But when killing, it's obviously not real. When something you believe strongly and is the core of who you are as a Christian and you feel that it is being slammed, it's easy to feel that it's a personal attack against you.

Just trying to sympathize here. Alot of people don't have any tolerance for Christians, while saying that Christians are so intolerant... Whether I agree with him or not on this particular issue I say good for him for having convictions, whatever they are. And extra good for steam for honoring that, I'm very impressed.
pierce  +   363d ago
I commend Ken Levine and Irrational for having the balls to provide a social commentary on such a sensitive subject as religion. This is why BioShock Infinite is so different, it asks questions of systems and ideologies that have been accepted for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

And why shouldn't a videogame be able to offer the same subject matter as films, or music? As the medium evolves the topics it covers will, too.
MariaHelFutura  +   363d ago
The funniest thing about this is the other 2 are based entirely on alot of Satanic principles. The first is very linked to Alister Crowley and the 2nd to the MK Ultra program. Yu-Gi-Oh for example is the re-telling of Alister Crowley's origins almost exactly. From materialism to transhumanism, you're so deep in you'll never find your way out.
NastyLeftHook0  +   363d ago
i suggests people read the god delusion by richard dawkins.
NYC_Gamer  +   363d ago
I feel religion is a subject that should continue to be dealt with in gaming just like it is in other forms of entertainment
XXXL  +   363d ago
Wanna hear some funny shit on religion look up Patton Oswalts bit on sky cake. It's genius
Roccetarius  +   363d ago
I think this pretty much sums it up.

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

Anyways, anything touching Religion is going to ruffle some feathers. It's simply inevitable, because people are using it as something to live for.
tweet75  +   363d ago
things like this shouldnt harm games. Games should be fanciful no limits whatever the developer wants. Wheter it agrees with the gamers views and beliefs doesnt matter.
#8 (Edited 363d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
rlacorne  +   363d ago
Strange that such games as Persona 3 never created such a scandal.

I mean really, in that game, your character shoots himself in the head every 30 seconds or so, gets crucified, calls help from Lucifer (among many others... Looking at you, Mara!), and as far as I know not a single person asked for a refund.

I understand it has not been played by as much people as Bioshock, but compared to that, the baptism is a pretty tame scene...

Also: Disgaea. If that's not blasphemy ALL OVER THE PLACE, I wonder what it is.
ACEMANWISE  +   363d ago
Why don't they have religion options like they do language? We have the option to choose characters, skill sets, weapons, appearance, and sex.
rlacorne  +   363d ago
That's called buying another game.

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