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IFooBar

question about religion in games

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IFooBar    906
Hello ive started a rewrite of an rpg ive been working on for a long time, and this rpg has A LOT of relgious elements in it. what i think most of the churches of the world call blasphemous. is this ok for a game. would this kind of content cause a lot of discomfort or anger or whatever? This game starts at the very beginning, starts from creation, and goes on. and it really twists the bible''s or quran''a creation story inside out. and just for example, god is actually a bad guy! so u guys think this kinda stuff is ok in a game? or do u suggest i change some of it....well i guss most of it?

"I know sometimes I ask stupid questions...but i mean well " [Triple Buffer]|[SCRIPTaGAME]|[My Old Site]

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Shambles    122
Interactive media is not only a form of entertainment, it is also a form of expression. And if expressing yourself is legal where you live, go for it.

[edited by - Shambles on October 1, 2002 4:10:05 AM]

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Diltsman    127
I say go for it. I personally am a religious fellow, but I see no problem with a weird religion in entertainment, just so it isn''t too evil, and people don''t for get that it is JUST A GAME.

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DragonWolf    150
The best thing to do is make sure you have no links between your in game religions and the real world religions. I.e. something similar looking to a cross or the star of david. Xenogears pulled this off really well which was obviously based on christian beliefs ^^ (though twisted just a tad ^^)

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IFooBar    906
quote:
just so it isn''t too evil


what do u mean by too evil?

quote:
The best thing to do is make sure you have no links between your in game religions and the real world religions.


yeah I suppose I should try and have the game as unlinkable to real world religeons as possible. (Xenogears amazing game). thanks for your replies so far.

I guess It''s not that big a deal for a game as long as it''s done in such a way. But about xenogears, I heard they weren''t even planning to release it outside of japan because of its religeous issues. But obviously it got released, and thank god for that or i wouldnt be here (game deving i mean) . So there were issues on xenogears before they gave it the go ahead signal. thats what i remember reading somewhere anyway.




"I know sometimes I ask stupid questions...but i mean well "
[Triple Buffer]|[SCRIPTaGAME]|[My Old Site]

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owl    376
I think you can do whateva you want. Evangelion anime has something of that, I don''t know well. I won''t like a game were God is bad, because to me, god is a pretty good guy (infinite I would say)

Do you think God is bad? (if he exist for you)

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Waverider    169
I used to play DnD a lot.

Dealing with the gods and their own issues added a level of responsibility and complexity to the storylines.

As I worked to resolve the game world and real world together, I just resolved in my mind that the real creator of the universe was far above these other gods, and some people might even believe in him, but the ones that have the greatest impact and most political positions in this temporary, magic-rich world refer to these lesser gods for their guidance.

After all, these lesser gods compete for influence and control in the real world, they must have been mortals who cared about the same thing at some point. (Political position and influence, rather than actually being concerned about maintaining the world and its state)

I guess what I'm getting at is this. If your game seems more like a story with characters (the god even being a character) and less like one possible take on how the whole universe is arranged, I don't think you need to be too concerned. I think even a game that lets us explore what life would be like with a bad god might even give us something profound to think about, as long as it doesn't give us an "alternative" way of dealing with our real lives.


[edited by - Waverider on October 1, 2002 11:04:46 AM]

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IFooBar    906
quote:
Do you think God is bad? (if he exist for you)

No I dont think he''s bad...well not according to my book...well , uh. this is a bad question to ask me...


So I guess I''ll go on then. considering the replies that I got (from which none I disliked )




"I know sometimes I ask stupid questions...but i mean well "
[Triple Buffer]|[SCRIPTaGAME]|[My Old Site]

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aidan_walsh    739
Personally, I have no problem with religion or religious icons, real or otherwise, used in games as long as it is done in a tasteful and non-descriminatory manner. I myself am currently writing the storyline to a game based on religous themes with strong references to both Roman Catholisism and Satanism. You van PM me if you want details...

But why should religion in games be considered controvertial? As long as it is delt with in the correct manner, wheres the problem? Did anyone have a problem with movies like "End of Days", or "Devils Advocate"? Its the same thing, right?

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freshya    122
"End of Days" was a rather pro-God, anti-Devil kind of film. Sure, the Devil bags God but isn't that what the Devil does best? Haven't seen Devil's Advocate but certainly EoD wasn't too blasphemous in my opinion.

Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy on the other hand is a good example of a great story blended with very "controversial" challenges to the traditional Church etc, but it sells worldwide like hotcakes. At least, it sells in Australia like hotcakes so I'm guessing that if something has made it all the way to Australia it was around about 10 years ago everywhere else

EDIT: ps. didn't some US judge deem that computer games are not a valid form of expression and thus are not governed by the freedom of speech thingy?

[edited by - freshya on October 2, 2002 6:01:56 AM]

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aidan_walsh    739
"didn''t some US judge deem that computer games are not a valid form of expression and thus are not governed by the freedom of speech thingy?"

IMHO, video games are no less a form of expression than a book or a movie. I mean, whats the difference? Ok, you have a little more interaction in the game, but does that mean extra immersion. Heck, no! I''ve read books that I got more involved in than games I''ve played. Anybody want to compare the LOTR trilogy to, say, Half-Life (picking these examples as they are considered the best of their respective genres amongst many circles)? No real contest, is there?

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Waverider    169
I kind of likened running through the world of Half-life with turning the pages in a book - I was eager to find out what else the story would entail (and at the same time deal with the challenges as a character in the story).

Actually, I had a mildly hard time getting through the LOTR books. But then I never read a lot of fantasy books that I didn't already have some other interactive relationship with (like reading a D&D story based on a dungeon I went through or DM'ed some players through already), or even books based on movies I already saw, or books with characters I was already familiar with and appreciated.

[edited by - Waverider on October 2, 2002 11:00:38 AM]

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Shambles    122
quote:
Original post by Waverider
or books with characters I was already familiar with and appreciated.
Like Sherlock Holmes? He was a cocain addict you know.. (the fictional character) They don't show that in the movies.


[edited by - Shambles on October 2, 2002 5:06:02 PM]

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owl    376
quote:
Original post by Shambles
Like Sherlock Holmes? He was a cocain addict you know.. (the fictional character) They don''t show that in the movies.


Worst. The original Holmes was a heroin addict.

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Shambles    122
quote:
Original post by xaxa
Worst. The original Holmes was a heroin addict.



Are you sure? I seem to remember it was cocain. Although it has been some time since I''ve read the story with the addition reference and could be mistaken. Also, I''ve only read one story with such a reference (in a book of selected Holmes stories) and perhaps there are others with different narcotics?

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iNfuSeD    128
the beatles bombed when they released an album titled "bigger then god"
you'd be surprised how much something won't sell when it suggests good is bad an bad is good.. unless u go the way of disturbed and create a cult following.. but then you're a cult leader.. an who wants to be one of those?

"The human mind is limited only by the bounds which we impose upon ourselves." -iNfuSeD

[edited by - iNfuSeD on October 3, 2002 12:41:25 AM]

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freshya    122
quote:
Original post by doodle_sketch
IMHO, video games are no less a form of expression than a book or a movie.


In my opinion too. But remember that I am not an American judge, and if someone tries to sue alfmga for making his "God is a bad guy" game, it won''t be me who passes judgement.

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irbrian    130
I personally don''t like the idea. If someone published a game like this, I would not only boycott it, but encourage everyone I know to avoid it, and probably write the publisher and express my extreme distaste for the concept.

Which is why you may have a good deal of trouble finding a publisher!

Hey, you asked.


Brian Lacy
Smoking Monkey Studios

Comments? Questions? Curious?
brian@smoking-monkey.org

"I create. Therefore I am."

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Fidelio_    122
quote:
Original post by Shambles
[quote]Original post by xaxa
Worst. The original Holmes was a heroin addict.



Are you sure? I seem to remember it was cocain. Although it has been some time since I''ve read the story with the addition reference and could be mistaken. Also, I''ve only read one story with such a reference (in a book of selected Holmes stories) and perhaps there are others with different narcotics?

I don''t think cocain was popular at all in his days. I suspect he was an opium user, as many people around that time.

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DragonWolf    150
When the beatles were around I think people were alot more religious than people are now.

I think nowadays people will buy stuff more indiscrimatly and will pass their own judgement on it. I know almost all my friends wouldn't buy a game just cause some religious fanatic said it was evil. Even my christian friends would still buy it.

Does god not support freedom of speech? and (I havn't read the Bible) isn't there nothing in the bible saying you can slander the relgion (I know you can't insult god but thats different)

[edited by - DragonWolf on October 7, 2002 6:12:28 AM]

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irbrian    130
quote:
Original post by irbrian
I personally don''t like the idea. If someone published a game like this, I would not only boycott it, but encourage everyone I know to avoid it, and probably write the publisher and express my extreme distaste for the concept.

Which is why you may have a good deal of trouble finding a publisher!

Hey, you asked.


Okay, now that I''ve flaunted my ability to give purely negative feedback, let me try and give you something slightly more constructive.

For starters, why alienate people? Is designing the game in just this way really worth it? Why not take a Black & White sort of approach, where at the very least the player has the option to determine whether he/she would take the side of Good or Evil. I''m sorry, I can''t for the life of me comprehend the idea of a world, no matter how fictional and fantastic, where God is "bad" -- God is Good (in fact I''m pretty sure the word Good is somehow related to God, but anyway).. just as importantly, God IS. He lives. Many do not believe that, but the overwhelming majority of people do.

I''ll explain why I think this matters so much:

If I were a devout Catholic, and someone were going to make a game where the Pope were portrayed as an evil person, I would likely be very deeply offended. I would feel as though I had been personally insulted. If you made a game where you portrayed President George Bush as an evildoer, you would also offend people.

Now, lets take this one step further. What if you made a game that portrayed African American heroes like Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks as "bad guys"? You''d have an uprising on your hands. Why? Because these are two of the most respected and revered individuals in US history, by people of all ethnic backgrounds (and rightfully so).

If God exists, and I say that He does, how is it less demeaning to portray Him as being the opposite of who He is? God is the creator of the universe; he''s the reason that each of us have life. Maybe you don''t believe this, and that''s your perrogative; but there are a great number of people who do. How could people who believe in God stand by and watch him be slandered like that?

If they truly believe in Him, then they could not. And they will not. I think that to portray God, the most glorious and perfect being in the Universe, as being evil, would not only be "sacreligious" or "blasphemous" -- it would a personal slap in the face to every person who believes in His great goodness and mercy.


Brian Lacy
Smoking Monkey Studios

Comments? Questions? Curious?
brian@smoking-monkey.org

"I create. Therefore I am."

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Shambles    122
irbrian: People like you need your own forum. alfmga is making a game where the creator of his fictional universe (which is his game) is evil. If you read his post closely, he never said they were exact interpretations and a expression of his beliefs.

And secondly, your obviously not religious enough or you would know that the christian curches (not sure about orthodox) oppose electronic-games (RPGs in particular.) There are a slew of people opposed to them. I was exposed to panthlets and the like. And my mother always tried to distance me from such things and said she had "bad feelings" towards these games. And she comes from the most catholic part of the most catholic thing on earth! (Quebec)

You must be posting on these boards either to try to "change" electronic-games by picturing yourself as a crusader and attacking the root of evil (the game developing community) OR because you genuingly like games and game developing (in its past and current form.) If the later case is true, then I don't see how you can get into a christian fit over this.

EDIT: Let me post an exerpt from a pamthlet which has stayed in my memory: "It is easier for the devil to enter you when you pretend to be someone else"
The pamthlet was not funded by some cult. Actual catholic/anglican churches do this (at least when I was a kid.)

[edited by - Shambles on October 8, 2002 3:15:40 AM]

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GeniusJoe    122
I am an atheist(just had to get that out of the way).
I like games with crazy twists on religion, my favorite was Grandia 2 for the DC. I say do what you want, it is your game. If you think it is a good story go with it. There is always going to be someone angry about something in game. Who cares if someone gets angry about it(unless it makes personal attacks on someone or a race, etc.).

If you ask me people need to lighten up. If they don''t want to play a game that has a religion that is different or has a twist on their religion then they don''t need to. If all games went by the words of the bible they would be about the annihilation of races in the name of god or convincing/forcing people take on their religion.

In any case, I doubt it as controversial as southpark, etc.
If you are worried just put some type of disclaimer on it.

Joe

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First of all I want to make clear that I am indeed a christian.

Making a game ABOUT a existing religion might be "dangerous" (people might be offended). But that really depends on how you do it. A game where God Almighty is really evil and does stupid sadistic things just because you, the developer, is an atheist.

The subjct of morale is very hard. I, personally, thinks it is about as bad to make a game about an evil God (yes, the Christian one), as the majority of games where all badguys are dressed in turbans and are speaking arabic (which you could, ,with a bit of bending and twisting, put equal to "muslime" and then we are talking religion again, right?).

Conclusion:
There are ALWAYS people (from my point of view, mostly old, conservative christians) who will be offended by your product. No matter how harmful it is. So, I say make your game as long as it is legal where you live (which should be ALL democratic countries). If you make a game that everyone will think "Yuack!" about, then why make it?

Just my thoughts...

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IFooBar    906
Ok. To clear up a few matters.

quote:
Why not take a Black & White sort of approach, where at the very least the player has the option to determine whether he/she would take the side of Good or Evil.


The player is not the god. the player will be on the good side...although I like the idea of making a game where your the bad guy...have you played Blood Omen 2, Awsome game . I was thinking a sort of your the devil kinda game, but thats for another topic another day, anyway, so...

quote:
God is Good

Yes supposedly he is in our world, but not neccessarily in the andromedia galaxy. As mentioned above, it could be intresting to see a world with a bad god. But remember I am not talking about The god, just some other god (a non existent god)

quote:
If God exists, and I say that He does, how is it less demeaning to portray Him as being the opposite of who He is? God is the creator of the universe; he''s the reason that each of us have life. Maybe you don''t believe this, and that''s your perrogative; but there are a great number of people who do. How could people who believe in God stand by and watch him be slandered like that?


BAH...dont worry about it...Im sure god will be hangin out and joking about the game (if it ever gets out) with michael and maybe a few profits , anyway, Again please remember this is not your god or my god or anyone elses god, it''s not even the main game character''s god (at the start that is). Its a fictional god. And I do believe that god exists, and that he is good, and that he has a sence of humour, and that he created us, I''m a muslim for the record.

quote:
I think that to portray God, the most glorious and perfect being in the Universe, as being evil,

this is why I posted here, I wanted to know how people could handle an evil god. I''m sorry to say this again, but Im not talking about your god, that''s what''s going to be the problem, people think it''s their god. But as someone said before (dragonWolf), I''ll have to make the game without any links to real life religion, so that people can''t put two and two together, and I thank him for giving me that tip, I will definetly try and do that.

quote:
I like games with crazy twists on religion


I knooow Arent they the BEST!! . They give you a whole other perspective on what could have been...

quote:
Making a game ABOUT a existing religion might be "dangerous"


Agreed. That''s why I shouldn''t. It will just cause too much trouble, too much unneccesary trouble that is. Instead of portraying a real life religion, just make your own I say. less controvercy that way.

quote:
No matter how harmful it is.


Did you mean harmless??

Ok so, basically when one wants to tackle religion in a videogame, it has to be done in a way that is not linkable to any real life religion, so that people dont get offended by it..but heh people probably will get offended by it no matter how far off it is from the real thing. From most of the replies over here I''d say it''s safe to make a game like this, just be careful.



"I know sometimes I ask stupid questions...but i mean well "
[Triple Buffer-My home]|[SCRIPTaGAME]|[My Old Site]

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