PS3 News: Hindu Devotees Upset At Asura's Wrath "Trivializing" Their Religion - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Hindu Devotees Upset At Asura's Wrath "Trivializing" Their Religion

Asura's Wrath is all about over-the-top action from start to finish. But there are plenty of religious overtones.

And those overtones have annoyed followers of the Hindu faith. Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, in an official statement today, has claimed that Capcom's new game "trivializes...highly revered symbols and concepts of Hinduism" and it has upset Hindu followers. 

Zed says game makers shouldn't use religion "just for mercantile greed" and although the creators are welcome to use Hindu themes, those themes should be based on "actual ancient texts." As an example, he cited the portrayal of Durga (who gets murdered in the story) as the wife of Asura; in fact, Durga was one of the major deities, "honored as savior of the world from evil." And although Zed added that freedom of expression is important, faith is "something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees." 

In short, he wants the developers to be more sensitive going forward. The bottom line is that if the creators can't "accurately and authentically" portray a certain religion in a game, they shouldn't use it at all. Finally, he said that games don't seem to be a viable platform for discussing God seriously, and it can be confusing for "young minds."

I just have to say, though- we're not supposed to take this seriously. It's a video game, not an educational tool. Nobody I know is going to play Asura's Wrath and derive judgments and conclusions on the Hindu religion. Just my two cents.

Tags: asura''''''''s wrath, hindu religion, asura''''''''s wrath religion

3/5/2012 10:11:44 AM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (31 posts)

Highlander
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 10:37:11 AM
Reply

On the other hand, let's say that someone made a video game that thoroughly abused the symbols and other 'sacred cows' or Christianity, trivializing them or drawing humor from them. How do you think that Christianity would react? And before anyone tries to come over all righteous about it, I'll simply remind you of the reception that a little film called The Life of Brian got when it released. It's still not exactly welcome in many parts of the bible belt.

The point being, using the things that any major faith holds to be holy is always fraught with problems. It's not limited to Hindus, Muslims, or any other faith - and certainly Christianity.

Personally, the only "faith" (and I'm using scare quotes for a reason) that I have no problem with anyone ridiculing is the so-called faith of scientomogy (yes, intentionally misspelled). Since that belief system was created by a science fiction author on the basis of a whim and a bet, I have no problem with anyone ripping it a new one, despite the aggressive nature of it's soft minded followers.

Yeah, mine is the spaceship shaped just like a DC9...

Last edited by Highlander on 3/5/2012 10:42:09 AM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:24:59 AM

I'm not sure why people like the guy in this article or folks in the Bible belt see these things as a threat. Do they really think you and I are going to play a game like Xenogears and believe everything in it is true? It doesn't even exist on a real planet.... lol

Stories are more believable when the contain part truths or at least a partial reflection on the actual state of our existence. Playing on religious themes is a great way to do that. And everyone knows it's fiction... these types get WAY too worked up.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:34:46 AM

I've always thought that the creator would be big enough, confident enough and strong enough to handle a few jokes and such.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 12:21:47 PM

LOL, at times like this I am always reminded of one of Captain Kirk's best ever lines. When facing down a supposed 'god' who desperately wants the enterprise to come nearer so it can 'board' it. Kirk says (paraphrase) "Excuse me? What does 'god' need with a starship?".

LOL, OK, I looked up the entire exchange - you have to love Kirk's impertinence;

Kirk: What does God need with a starship?
McCoy: Jim, what are you doing?
Kirk: I'm asking a question.
"God": Who is this creature?
Kirk: Who am I? Don't you know? Aren't you God?
Sybok: He has his doubts.
"God": You doubt me?
Kirk: I seek proof.
McCoy: Jim! You don't ask the Almighty for his ID!
"God": Then here is the proof you seek.
[Hits Kirk with lightning]
Kirk: Why is God angry?
Sybok: Why? Why have you done this to my friend?
"God": He doubts me.
Spock: You have not answered his question. What does God need with a starship?
"God": [hits Spock with lightning; then addresses McCoy] Do you doubt me?
McCoy: I doubt any God who inflicts pain for his own pleasure.

Last edited by Highlander on 3/5/2012 12:23:47 PM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 12:34:44 PM

Nah, Family Guy and South Park made hilarious use of Jesus.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 1:04:01 PM

Was it Family Guy or the Simpsons where God says, "I don't know what you did to him, but since he got back, he hasn't been the same" then it shows Jesus sitting on a swing looking sad and dejected while very slowly swinging.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

dbyzforce
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:01:38 PM

TheHighlander, you and agree about that part in Star Trek V were some of Kirk's best lines. The movie was overall not very good, but that part became a classic scene. Another one is where Sybok tries to manipulate Kirk in trying to take Kirk's pain away, but Kirk tells him that he needs his pain because it is a part of him and helps define who he is.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Tuesday, March 06, 2012 @ 7:38:15 AM

This Star Trek quoing made me love you forever highlander. :)

But really, you of all people around here need, *NEED* to play Mass Effect!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

duomaxwell007
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 10:40:37 AM
Reply

umm plenty of games do that... Xenogears/saga comes to mind

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 10:43:01 AM

Yep, they did, and people that never played them, thought terrible things of them.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Clamedeus
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 10:52:22 AM

I still need to play Xenogears >.< I've played Xenosaga though, enjoyed it a lot.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:22:52 AM

I would argue that people who are unwilling to explore other thoughts on religion are limiting their own ability to grow in their own faiths.

Especially when talking about obvious works of fiction. lol

Besides... didn't Final Fantasy use lots of hindu gods, like Shiva... and the completely change their image AND gender?

Pretty sure the religious Shiva is not a shmexy bish. lol

I say let game makers roll with it. Let story tellers put spins on it too. Who cares? No normal person is going to change their opinion on real life issues because of an over-the-top action game. -EVERYONE- knows that games like Xenogears/saga, Assassin's Creed, and all the other ones with religious tones, are works of fiction based on historical facts. (AC tells you when it's loading!!!! lol) People got scared of Dan Brown's novels too, thinking they'd trick people into going to hell... (Which, in turn, attracted some idiots into believing what Dan Brown writes... almost because people wanted to disprove religion or something)

But yeah... I guess my point is that people get too worked up over this stuff. No normal person will actually look at these video games and think it an accurate depiction of a certain faith. You -REALLY- have to look at games as singular entities that exist in their own universe with it's own rules.

Otherwise, you get a hernia like the dude in this article is getting.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Teddie9
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 3:06:23 PM

actually Underdog, (while Shiva is male) the accepted interpretations and descriptions do have an effeminate and sometimes attractive slant. :p

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

fatelementality
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 10:58:57 AM
Reply

I knew there was a reason I failed my Greek mythology exam.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:16:34 AM

HA! lol.

I can see your essay now....

"Then Kratos ripped his head off"

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:36:03 AM

And then Sophitia dismembered the animated corpse that remained....

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

duomaxwell007
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:52:34 AM

lmao that made me laugh

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:38:40 AM
Reply

Oh geez, people are far too sensitive these days.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:41:58 AM

It's always been this way, remember that Elvis' music was the devil's music...

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 11:45:00 AM

And don't forget book burnings.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 3/5/2012 11:45:36 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 12:01:04 PM

I remember reading an old sermon from the early 1800's... they were talking about organ music being "of Satan"...

I think people have always been this way... Just like in my example, along with High's and Biker's, it doesn't even have to be based on anything concrete at all...

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/5/2012 12:01:58 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Bonampak
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 12:32:49 PM

"Oh geez, people are far too sensitive these days"

^^^ Like TheHighlander said, it has ALWAYS been like that.

In fact, things are actually BETTER now than back in the days when claiming the world was round (or something that wasn't ignorant) could give you and your family a quick trip to the torture chamber before being thrown into a fire pit. Books and all.

And this is especially true when it comes to religions. None of that has changed at all. Well actually, I would say that they are far more tolerant now than they were a few centuries ago. Except for some extremist that still exist on every religion, though.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 12:38:03 PM
Reply

Maybe Durga was named after the deity? I'm not too worried about it, I saw a guy on An Idiot Abroad that Karl Pilkinton met whose entire face is all melted down like an elephant's trunk and they think it's an expression of Ganesh or something. Mental.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JLB1
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 1:59:08 PM
Reply

I wonder how the ancient Greek would react to the God of War series?

I myself don't follow any religion. While I don't have anything against anyone and their beliefs, I think it rather dumb for people to take so seriously what shouldn't be taken seriously in the first place! I honestly doubt that the men and women over at Capcom were looking to intentionally attempt to 'belittle' the Hindu religion. It's entertainment folks, and should be regarded as such! Nothing more, nothing less...

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Warrior Poet
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 3:34:44 PM
Reply

So, I'm a Christian. I'm also a big fan of video games. Not only are they fun, they've got a lot of potential as an art form. They can discuss the same important topics as books and movies if they try. Games trivializing religion means that the art world in general will continue to trivialize games.

Asura's Wrath wasn't trying. It certainly did trivialize Hinduism. The question: Is that okay? My favorite game ever, Valkyrie Profile, takes great liberties with Norse paganism. I really like old Norse culture and legends but I don't believe it's viable as a belief system. I'm certainly not an Astru. Do I have a problem with what Valkyrie Profile did? No. They did their research and really understood the mythology before they changed it into something entirely different. They even commented on the impossibility of living in the world where the gods themselves are consumed by things of the flesh. I really appreciated that - a game about the human need for a perfect God.

My problem with the discussion of religion in games: Not only is it one-sided, it's completely immature. I've yet to see a game add anything valuable to the discussion on religion. Most of them have a very simple "God is stupid, God is evil, or God doesn't exist" mentality and never explore it further. Very few games have portrayed any religion accurately and in a positive light.

There are "Christian" games like Bible Adventures that have nothing to do with the Bible, and games like Jeanne D'Arc (very good game) which seem to like Christianity but don't understand it at all.

I'd like to see more games with religious overtones and more games take religion seriously. A game can have a stance that disagrees with mine, but if it's going to give religion a serious treatment, it needs to understand its subject matter and have a very clear message.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

BigBoss4ever
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 5:15:52 PM
Reply

just a game, no need to be too sensitive, game is mostly fictitious, so why bother too much...

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

THEVERDIN
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 6:48:59 PM
Reply

Get a "Bleeping" life dude. Seek and you shall find, Maybe.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Warrior Poet
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 7:20:53 PM

I believe in games as a form of art, and this is an area that games just haven't touched on. Just because games are fictitious doesn't mean they can't be serious or meaningful. I'm not upset at Asura's wrath at all. It was just the perfect time to talk about this.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 7:23:48 PM
Reply

Did they abuse some cows in this game or something?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Sogi_Otsa
Monday, March 05, 2012 @ 8:26:21 PM
Reply

it draws from a lot of religions.
notice that Durga and the others are DEMI-gods. not Gods, over a planet that doesn't exist.
I am christian and i don't care if anyone makes fun of it, or takes from it for a story, as long as it's funny or good.
If you can't laugh at and question your religion, then what is your faith? i can't stand people who blindly follow.
I never thought of Asura's Wrath as a Religious game. I mean it's just a awesome game. the names may come from lore, but the story comes from man. Demi-gods are not gods, they do not represent anything in religion, but and i can't stress this enough, Demi-gods ARE corruptible, Power and whatever else, even the most famous demi-god Hercules had some trials. I hope thae man who said this reads this so he can think: oh, names are just names in fiction, so it doesn't cross a line.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Tuesday, March 06, 2012 @ 3:03:35 AM
Reply

so in other words hes b*tching that the games turning people away from his house instead of into it.
heres some advice chap, video games are not suppose to be religious advertisements!
thats what bus stop billboards are for.......

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

How do you see Assassin's Creed Unity?
I see an awesome game, period.
I see a good game with a few bugs.
I see a fair game with big problems.
I see a glitchy, crappy mess.

Previous Poll Results