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Jan 21, 2013

Religion in Computer Games

I found these recently - two short videos that discuss the role of religion in computer games:

Part 1 and Part 2

They were certainly thought provoking.  Some main points include that religion is treated in a shallow way (at least the "lore" of it) but that including religious content could add significant depth to a game.  I'm not much of a gamer anymore, but one of my favorites was Deus Ex as it touched on a number of philosophical and moral themes.  In addition to the challenge of the game, I got to think through some things and how the character I controlled should act.

I think they left out other reasons religion is not touched on in depth, which is the potential to resist identifying with something you don't like or disagree with.  People have very strongly held beliefs and feelings about religion, and that can either drive them to or from a game no matter the quality of the gameplay.  Imagine if Starcraft (one of the most successful games ever) also had some very deep religious content, such as a current religion being attributed to each of the three factions.  Someone could find it difficult to identify themselves, even if only in a game, with another religion.  We may want to be a hero that saves the day, but not switch religions.  And, I could see that lead to commercial failure.

I know there is some talk in the gaming world of electronic games being considered an art form.  Perhaps some are.  However, a major historic driver for art is the expression of religious belief.  I agree that games cut themselves off from greater things by avoiding religion.

1 comment:

  1. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

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