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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekend web readin', special edition: religion in video games

From Game Front, Questionable Religious Content
Money quote:
The game industry as a whole sends a really ridiculous message when it backs away from religious commentary. It’s an industry where beheadings, total body disruption, overt sexuality and jokes about poo run rampant, but where everybody gets suddenly very timid and serious whenever religion is brought up. I hate this idea that you can cut off heads, you can shoot old people in the face, but you can’t ever mention a real world religion. That is an absolutely bloody ludicrous position for an industry to be in. If I had to choose between murdering a person or criticizing a Biblical story, I know which one I’d pick as the lesser of two evils. Yet the videogame industry has it the other way around — depictions of extreme violence are acceptable, depictions of religion being imperfect are not.
From Gamespot, Escape from Mount Stupid: Religion 
Money quote video:

From Lousy Canuck, Religion in video games: more problematic than reality?
Money quote:
There are most certainly video games that laud faith, that reward peaceful resolution to conflicts, that equate being good with being angelic and being evil with being demonic, that operate morality as a binary sliding scale where your choices are between saving the box of kittens, or exploding them with a fireball spell. These games reify the morality as set forth by the Abrahamic religions, as with the BioWare offerings, or they ignore it altogether to present a wholly secular system for punishment as with the Elder Scrolls games. And yet, in many or all of these fantasy offerings, these deities actually exist within the context of the game world. They have tangible effects on the plot and characters and leave evidence for the players to collect and use as they see fit. 
It is only in this way that video games’ depictions of religion are generally problematized. No religion here in the real world can make any such claim to evidence. Otherwise, religion’s influence on humanity (or whatever race exists in the particular game world) is pretty much described to a tee in every one of the games Perreault examined.

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