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Is A Religious Act In Video Games Even An "Act" At All?

Here's the premise-

At the start of Bioshock Infinite, the main character is forced to submit to a Baptism-like ritual before he can access the floating city of Columbia. It's part of the storyline, of course.

Now, we learn of the story of Christian gamer Breen Malmberg, who found this to be offensive and demanded a refund, which he did receive from Valve (he purchased the game via the PC service, Steam).

Said Malmberg:

"As baptism of the Holy spirit is at the center of Christianity--of which I am a devout believer--I am basically being forced to make a choice between committing extreme blasphemy by my actions in choosing to accept this 'choice' or forced to quit playing the game before it even really starts.

Of course I cannot hold true to my beliefs and also commit this act, so I am therefor[e] forced to not play the game."

Before I react, I would like to add a very important disclaimer: In no way do I wish to diminish any discomfort this individual may have experienced. Nor do I want to insult an entire faith or cast aspersions on the importance of their sacred rituals. I have nothing against religion. But once we have that established, I have to ask-

Commit what act? Are you actually doing anything? It's fake, my friend. It's not real. You're not "doing" a thing. That's a bunch of pretty pixels on a video screen; they are not an extension of you or any human being on earth. It's fiction, fantasy; i.e., not real. Does this also mean he wouldn't be able to read the script...? What if this was depicted in a book in the exact same fashion; would he ask for a refund from Barnes and Noble? What if it was in a painting in a museum? Would he ask for a refund of his admission?

I apologize if this sounds cold and distant, but this doesn't make any sense to me. Because you pressed a button on a controller and an image someone else created moved in a certain way that has no bearing on reality, that's "blasphemous?" The philosophy of this entire situation is just off. Malmberg's remarks make it sound as if he were forced to "do" something to play a game. ...but you're not "doing" anything. You are, in fact, playing. Playing is a fiction and not to be identified with on a serious level. This is interaction, obviously, but it's virtual. Aka, not real.

Related Game(s): Bioshock Infinite

Tags: bioshock infinite, religion in games, valve, baptism

4/17/2013 9:26:13 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (64 posts)

Cabalavatar1
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 10:34:26 PM
Reply

This one is pretty weird to me, too. If you want to open up an interesting can of worms, look up the Paradox of Fiction (in philosophy of art or aesthetics). If we recognise that something is fictional, why do we have genuine emotional reactions to it?

But here's a curious paradox: If he has a problem with pretending to perform a religious 'act' in a video game because it's too real, why has he not had a problem with killing people in other video games? Is murder to be trumped by religious faithfulness? Even if murder ought to be trumped in this way, isn't it still obviously morally heinous and thus he ought to react similarly zealous about pretending to commit it?

Then again, I fully understand why many gamers I know and have read about online couldn't finish playing Shadow of the Colossus. (Just do a Google search; such people are everywhere.) They were too struck by guilt. I'm sure that Kow Otani's amazing musical score only spiked these reactions... I know that I was plunged into guilt and had to pause to re-acknowledge that I was just playing a game.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 1:16:41 AM

"If he has a problem with pretending to perform a religious 'act' in a video game because it's too real, why has he not had a problem with killing people in other video games?"

A very good question. I'd say that's "blasphemous" in just about any religion.

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Kowhoho
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 2:11:24 AM

You could go one further and say that murder is blasphemous to every culture.

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alnemozac
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 5:25:41 AM

Technically ben murder isn't blasphemous as its not saying something against God.

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DarthNemesis
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 8:46:04 PM

Yes I agree with everything you said, but in my experience most religious people (Christian's) are hypocrites. I laughed when I played through the beginning of the games as I find he whole baptism thing to be quite silly for a person to believe i, but then as I grew older I have lost faith in God. That is a whole other story though so I won't get into it.

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richfiles
Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 3:27:45 AM

It is not murder to "kill" a virtual character, but choosing to proceed with an act that you feel borders on blasphemous is a serious issue.

Remember... Faith is about belief. That is in and of itself an intangible thing. A part of the mind. Now, while killing a fake, make believe character is not real... Is the DECISION to execute the ACTIONS necessary to depict a blasphemous act not ITSELF real?

That is the point that is being made. To those who to not follow a religious faith... It's hard for you to understand the viewpoint. Your mind rejects faith itself, treating it as make believe. To one who DOES follow it, it's the act of the mind itself that bears the core foundation of their entire lives.

I can look at the event on screen and say... Whatever, it ain't real. **CLICK**

Or I can look at the event onscreen and think... I know what's on screen isn't real... but I have to DECIDE to accept it and proceed... And I'm not comfortable with that decision.

That's the TRUE issue at hand here.

Last edited by richfiles on 4/22/2013 3:30:32 AM

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matt99
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 10:36:46 PM
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This is like saying you can't make your character have a romantic relationship in Mass Effect because you're married and that would be cheating...

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Gabriel013
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 8:49:13 AM

It's possible some people view it like that. I guess.

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Karosso
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 10:39:14 PM
Reply

So... He purchased a game where your main goal is to take others life, kill and kill until the end, and he took moral issue with the baptism part?
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 10:50:15 PM

lol I was thinking the same thing. Shouldn't this guy be playing pacifist games? No one gets hurt in Tetris... oh wait. the Tetris Party game on Wii (yes, my wife and i play this) has a special where you drop an animated man on the opponents stack of blocks where he runs around. If he gets squished by a block he dies.. get's murdered by you.... MURDERED!!! MURDER DEATH KILL!!!!!!!
So he can't play that Tetris I guess. The PS3 one is pretty safe for him though.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/17/2013 10:51:16 PM

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Karosso
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 11:14:32 PM

This kind of people scare me a little Temjin...

"Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil.
Plato

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richfiles
Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 3:39:46 AM

So many don't understand the point.

Killing virtual make believe characters never was murder. The act that is blasphemous is the CONSCIENTIOUS DECISION to CHOOSE to depict an act you find blasphemous. Faith is, at it's core, a choice... a decision to believe in something.

As such, it is the ACT of choosing to enact the depiction of something that goes against your beliefs... Depicting a blasphemous act that goes against your religion.

I know damn well those blobs of pixels aren't people, and I ain't killing anything... But choosing to proceed with the visual depiction of the corrupted cultish baptism is still a choice. To some, the actual ACT of making that choice IS the act of blasphemy.

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Comic Shaman
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 11:09:54 PM
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Hey, on the other hand this guy should be thrilled that tons of un-baptized gamers out there will finally get baptized! Since it's the "act" is so real and all.

Although baptism in Bioshock:Infinite MAY have some unexpected side-effects...

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JROD0823
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 11:37:08 PM
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I will comment on this article only to say that I will not express my views on this article for fear that I may hurt people's feelings.

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JPBooch
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 11:44:16 PM
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I think you guys are missing the point here. As a devout Christian myself and a person who has played Bioshock Infinite through 1999 mode, I have a at least a little credence to both sides of the argument. First, as a Christian the holy spirit commands me to love the Lord Jesus with all my heart and worship him full heartily. There is a saying, only things done for Jesus last. So, the beginning sequence when Booker is baptized in the name of the prophet is utter blasphemy, as is the worshiping of the founding fathers. Why subject yourself to garbage if it is not glorifying god? Now, on the other said of the coin, if he would have stayed through the game and played it, he would have been suprised at the part when Booker is left with the choice of baptism in the name of Jesus. Which causes a major plot twist to the ending of the game. As a Christian and an avid gamer, albeit gaming leads to my flashier sinning side, I felt that the ending glorified God and was satisfied with the way it ended. Sometimes you got to play things through.

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JPBooch
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 11:49:55 PM
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I'm writing this on my phone so I apologize for any mistakes. I would like to add that the blasphemy of the baptism in the beginning did feel a little over the top and almost felt like a direct assault on Christianity. Just plain making fun of it, which any christian would have a bad taste in their mouth.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 1:18:59 AM

I appreciate your insight as a Christian, but again, the depiction isn't real. You say that first sequence is blasphemy, but can it really be blasphemy if it's entirely fictional, and nobody involved in the depiction of that scene has any intention to blaspheme?

Maybe intent is irrelevant but I've never bought into that and secondly, it's fake. I just can't see how God would judge anyone on something that simply isn't real.

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JPBooch
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 1:56:46 AM

Your correct Ben, it isn't real. It is only fiction. However, as this site has delved into the notion that games are more than games as they have matured over the years, I'm sure you can see that the storytelling could equate to that of a book or movie. That being the case, if it was a book or movie there would be a lot of Christians offended by the opening scene. I do think the person who got his money back was taking it a step too far and should have played the game out before making his decision. The opening scene is quite powerful in its story telling. Particularly after the baptism and you are faced with a few statues of the founding fathers and the idolizism that takes place among the constituents. I took it for what it was, fiction. But I can see why one particular fellow thought it was a bit too much. Great games as great books breed discussion and this one does on many levels.

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alnemozac
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 5:45:57 AM

Bearing in mind that I haven't played Bioshock infinite and so am only commenting on the theology of the issue... New Testament Pauline tradition is very relevant in this instance. Repeatedly Christians are given permission to take part in religious traditions that seem like they contradict the Christian faith as long as the Christian does not adhere to that religious faith. In the instance of Bioshock's baptism under Paul's tradition means that as long as the individual is not actually professing the faith that is being advocated in the ritual then there isn't a problem.

I hope that makes sense.

Oh and btw I'm a Christian and a theology student.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:12:35 AM

The mistake here is equating any baptism with Christianity, the baptism ritual is not Christian alone and predates it.

The baptism into the Prophet Comstock's religion is for Booker DeWitt, who admits he is doing it just to get into the city. It becomes important later but the question hangs in the air: If I am not doing this, is it real? And the answer should be no. If a prophet in a game baptizes your character, how are you affected? If you are offended by the twisted religion in Bioshock Infinite, then the creators have done their job well because the fiction has reached you on a deeper level and that affects your experience and emotional investment in the fiction. For instance "I'm going to make this Comstock pay for what he's done, and I'll do whatever it takes to get to him"

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broox9
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 12:40:36 AM
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I'm actually an ordained minister and yes I game. I played the timed trial. The Baptism scene certainly got my attention, but it made me curious to find out what the overall angle and viewpoint of the game was. Common sense tells me that a mainstream game would not outright slander a religion so I played on to find out more.

Lots of forms of fictional media use pieces of religions and cultures in varying degrees. I can't get offended every time that happens with Christianity. This made my spider sense tingle a bit but after playing the timed trial it looked more like a commentary on what I'd consider a cult. Like Waco or Jonestown.

There could be a discussion about whether I should be offended by even that, but I'm an a I'd Killzone player and game of thrones watcher so I know how to separate media from life and I know when I feel like a line is crossed.

This was a little tough but I've been more offended by family Guy at times than this.

Last edited by broox9 on 4/18/2013 12:43:21 AM

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richfiles
Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 3:55:58 AM

I agree with you, more or less. I too had a "what is going on here" creepy feel at that scene. I had to do just that, take it as commentary on the twisted cult state of Columbia, and move on.

I can also see why some would see it as an impasse... For some it's not the act of blasphemy depicted on the screen that they can't proceed against, but the conscientious decision of their own to perform the action that engages the depiction to take place.

I guess it all depends on how well a person can separate the choice to act in deciding to progress an offensive part of the story vs the choice of acting to acknowledge an offensive action. I decided to move the story forward, not to agree to a corrupted baptism into a cult. I hit the button and shook my head at the act on the screen, but I would never make such a choice without actively separating myself from it first, in my own mind. Some people, are too uncomfortable with it, and I can both acknowledge, and accept graciously such a decision.

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JPBooch
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 2:01:55 AM
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That's a very good comparison and probably what irrational was trying to portray. There are many false prophets and religions stemming from them as I know you are astutely aware of.

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reryan
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 2:52:53 AM
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You must be baptized and swear to worship the founding fathers in order to gain access to the beautiful floating city? It sounds to me more like a political allegory than a religious one.

That being said, if this gamer can't even play as a character that is "baptized" into a cult, then he should feel the same way about every game without a christian main character. Therefore, Skyrim, Assassin's Creed, every JRPG, Devil May Cry, these are all blasphemy.

I like to think of myself as good and not evil, but that doesn't stop me from playing the dark side in Knights of the Old Republic.

This guy's faith in his own religion must be weak if he feels threatened by the existence of a fictional religion in a video game.

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daus26
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 3:03:56 AM

"This guy's faith in his own religion must be weak if he feels threatened by the existence of a fictional religion in a video game."

My thoughts as well. If his faith is truly strong-willed, there shouldn't be any fear that such fictional act will affect his real faith and intentions.

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richfiles
Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 3:58:50 AM

Or his faith is so strong, that he does not have the desire to even pretend to engage in the act. He would rather give up a pleasure in life, and in doing so honor his faith.

That's not cowardice... That's a SHINING example of devotion.

Cowardice is pointing a finger and belittling someone for standing up for what they believe to make themselves look bigger.

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Sithis
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 3:36:34 AM
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I was brought up a Muslim and thus my views on life and morality are in line with Islam, not entirely, mind you. But all I could do was laugh at the guy in question. I would be left with not a single game to play if I were to exclude every game that portrays a church or a mosque.

There's a very thick and prominent line between reality and fiction and it's sad that people don't realize that. I play, let's say, Skyrim. Should I turn off and return the game just because it's set in a fantasy world and with a religious pantheon of it's own? That'd be stupid. That way, I'd be left with a very limited number of books to read, movies to watch, music to listen to and games to play.

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Beamboom
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 4:16:45 AM
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Religion. The most dangerous drug there is.

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Sithis
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 5:10:43 AM

In more than one way, I agree.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:04:49 AM

Look to the oracle at Delphi: "Nothing in excess" is inscribed above, and that includes religiosity.

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___________
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 8:27:02 AM
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why is it always the Christians that make themselves look by far the stupidest?
everyone at work the other day pissed themselves laughing over a email our marketing group received, so funny they had to send it in a national email.
one of the companies we work with is blockbuster, so accordingly there logo is BB.
a part of the website is designed for kids so its BB kids.
so of course this genius Christian has to send us a email protesting against this and demanding the company changes their slogan because BB also is a acronym for bareback, a gay slang term.
right, whatever sweetheart!
and of course my boss just turns around and says we should reply with nothing but ride em cowboy!
stupid women owes me a new pair of undies and a new computer chair!
point though is only Christians can make themselves look THIS stupid!

you know its funny.
i use to work with a guy who always said to me religion is the work of the devil!
naturally i thought he was mad, but you know what it actually makes sense now.
after seeing what it does to people, hillsong, and how many peoples brains they have scrambled!
yup, religion really is the work of Lucifer!



Last edited by ___________ on 4/18/2013 8:29:15 AM

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cadpig
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 9:51:27 AM
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To each his own, i guess..I saw it more of a false prophet. Still love the game.

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PC_Max
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:09:00 AM
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Well, games in general these days, from my experience have been about pushing the extreme envelope. In other words dancing along the fine edge of controversy and offensive... dependent on individual or mass opinion or perspective.

I have not played Infinite.. yet, so I cannot give much of opinion for either side other than some people can be extreme in their reactions depending on their life experience. We cannot attack someone for their opinions or experiences UNLESS they attack us for ours. In the end, who it the better person in how they deal with the situation, maturely or immaturely.

I for instance would take offence at a game that depicts rape or the cold blooded murder of a child in a game. But some of you would argue that I am over sensitive since this is only a game and the character pixels. So there should be no reason why I would be offended right?

My point is, the argument that is just pixels is a weak one. Although it is the same argument used in regards to controversial books, music and art.

Today, as I have read some posts here over the years and elsewhere on the internet, individuals like to insult and attack people. Makes them feel good about themselves and being anonymous (somewhat) encourages them. When you get more on one side along with them, they can get brazen.

Live and let live. Try not to offend or hurt anyone, but do not be afraid to something new or different because of that fear. Again, a fine line, but you be the judge of your own morality and ethics. No one can blame you for following them. Possibly. :/

Take care and Keep Playing!

Its going down a slippery path and again is based on opinion and perspective of the situation.

I personally try not to offend people, well.. my friends would describe me as " He has one big fauly. He has no patience for stupid people" or " He says stupid people shouldn't breed".:)

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wackazoa
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:34:08 AM
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You will always offend someone... it cant be helped.

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deadmanwithin
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:54:19 AM
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He was offended by that? Nobody would ever force him to play any game. I think that in many cases today, if you don't like the station, you have the option to change the channel.

For example I was baptized as a kid(I had absolutely no choice, who does at that age?), but I've been an atheist ever since I could think for myself(meaning since I was about 6-7 years old), and I have a huge problem with any and all religions that advocate blind faith/belief/obedience, respect for authority and submission to a higher power over reason, skepticism, critical and rational thought and the notion that one should always question everything(authority included). I consider any and all religious rituals done to kids as a sophisticated form of child abuse. I should be much more offended that some priest in my adolescence was allowed to submerge me in water in front of a crowd of people without giving me any choice at all. Had they only waited until I could think for and take care of myself, and I assure you I would have never allowed them to do something that stupid to me.

If any of this offends any religious folk out there, do realize that people like me should feel more offended every day by the bizarre beliefs of cults like yours(and yes, many of us perceive them as such, but most are afraid of the consequences should they voice their opinions).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 10:54:25 AM
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I wonder how he would feel about slaughtering the unbaptized babies in Dante's Inferno?

I think this person is having a crisis with himself over how much interactivity in games plays a role in the real world. The whole argument that games make violent people is based on the idea that as an interactive medium games are somehow more real than movies and books and music. I'd be happy to have that debate, but this one is pretty empty.

The baptism is happening to Booker DeWitt, a construct, not Mr. Malmberg.

I say take a lesson from Ishmael in Moby Dick, he sits with his friend Queequeg in reverence of Q's little carved idol and says something to the effect that God in his wisdom would not condemn an act of fellowship or be jealous of a piece of carved wood. I don't think God would be jealous over a fictional act in Bioshock Infinite either.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 4/18/2013 11:02:06 AM

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xenris
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:09:12 AM
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I can see how he might be offended by it although others have brought up some very valid points as to why he should have just kept playing the game.

First its a game, and he was going to be murdering people straight up. Second, it might be that baptism is exclusive to christianity, but the baptism here was not making fun of christianity or even for Booker to become a christian. It was a baptism for another religion, a religion that was a mix between christianity, and a bunch of political ideals from the founding fathers.

All of this aside, if he was this guilt ridden from this section he seems to be missing the part of God forgiving sins. He could have played this game and then simply prayed to say God if this was wrong or I offended you in any way I'm sorry please forgive me etc.

But to be honest I don't think there is anything blasphemous about this scene. Just like the game isn't racist even though it depicts racism.

It is a game showing uncomfortable themes, like extreme racism, and cult fanaticism, among many others.

I dont know I just don't think he should have been so guilt tripped by it, because he wasn't actually doing anything and he in real life didn't convert to this made up cult.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:17:11 AM

I'm on my second playthrough and to get a different ending I am doing things differently, that means I have to commit a racist act in the game. I admit it DOES make me feel uncomfortable but that's because the story is well told and touches at those soft spots in my humanity.

I certainly hope someone wouldn't say hey World that makes you a real-life racist because I've done that, and I can't think any sane individual would jump to the conclusion, so maybe that should say something about the religious aspect as well.

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xenris
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 5:27:40 PM

Exactly. The game isn't racist, and playing the game doesn't make you racist. It is really just showing you a world where ideals get way WAY out of hand.

It tries to make you feel uncomfortable about what you are watching and makes you feel emotions. Something a lot of games just can't do like this game did.

P.S. There are multiple endings? Confirm without spoiling?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 5:44:15 PM

I just assumed there were different endings because you have a couple important choices to make in Infinite and since Bioshock 1,2, and Minerva's Den have at least 2 endings each.

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xenris
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:08:57 PM

Hmmm I will have to look into it. I haven't heard anything about an alternate ending but I'm going to check some message boards and see what comes up.

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anjpikapp3
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 1:24:45 PM
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Jesus Christ! what is this world coming to? offended bc of a "FPS game" which he solely sought for and purchased. I mean did he think that he wasn't going to be shooting people in an FPS? Then to demand a refund bc your feelings got hurt? Grow up! its a GAME...and therefore should be treated like one...once opened NO REFUNDS! Note: religion is NOT law.

Last edited by anjpikapp3 on 4/18/2013 1:34:16 PM

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Comic Shaman
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 3:41:42 PM

"Once opened" doesn't really apply here, since he purchased the game through Steam.

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Kryten1029a
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 4:16:21 PM

You can easily cancel a game pre-order on Steam before release but afterwards it gets trickier. Generally, they'll refund you once and after that it becomes much more difficult.

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Twistedfloyd
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 1:33:24 PM
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There's no comment on religion being a good or bad thing here (in Infinite), and this part of the game (taking the baptism) has no bearing on one's soul (if there are souls), because it's not real. It is a game. It is fake, doing it in a game does not translate to reality.

Those choices though WorldEndsWithMe, are still within the context of the game. You're just trying to see the differences in that choice. It might make you uncomfortable because those are your ideals (it would make me feel the same way, haven't replayed yet), but your choice in the game doesn't translate to what your choice would be in real life if you were placed in the same scenario. You've given it thought and just wanted to see the alternative to how it would play out.

It's great that you feel the story is that strong and I guess to some degree how this made Maimberg feel. I've heard some people couldn't play Shadow of the Colossus after the first few Colossi because killing those beasts made them feel terrible.

This however just sounds like an overreaction to a FICTIONAL RELIGIOUS ACT WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF A VIDEO GAME THAT IS NOT REAL. I don't think the power of the story really touched Maimberg to the same degree that Shadow touched those folks, or how Infinite touched World.

There's a difference. I cry like a baby in MGS4 when Snake is making the microwave crawl. It is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting to force/watch the greatest character in the history of video games, and whose games made me want to enter this field, be slowly burned alive trying to get to his objective.

However, this is because that story, and that character really touched me. But it doesn't translate to reality for me.

We as games are touched by the story and buy into the fiction. Maimberg just sees a baptism, doesn't think about it in the context of the story and finds it blasphemous for ubiquitous reasons. It's a story, it's not offensive to the Christian religion.

It's interesting how people overreact to things without really thinking about the context of the event within a story. Just accepting it as fiction and immersing themselves in it as opposed to bringing reality into a fictional construct. Levine has no real commentary on religion here in any respect. He's just depicting an event within his fictional world.

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ethird1
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 3:27:12 PM
Reply

People will attack Christianity because christians are forced to turn the other cheek, many many times over. But Ben would not even post something like this if the game mocked Allah and the Muslim faith, because unlike christians, Muslims will not take crap from no one when it comes to their faith. Instead, like the liberal media, I bet he would defend Islam in fear.

To even suggest that just because it's in the game, and that it is not real, that it is ok is just insane. What if they made a game that had someone like Martin Luther King being slapped around by a white man? What if they made a game where someone was constantly beating up on effiminate men, suggesting with a lite mood that it is ok to beat gays?

You must be held responsible for the images and scenarios you create. Ben! I did not see you use this silly and ignorant type of post when peeps made games where Hitler was the hero, or confederates won the war!

This was a direct attack on white christians by stupid liberal whites with no balls to attack other religions who would not put up with it.




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Comic Shaman
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 3:51:45 PM

It strikes me as very touchy to cry "attack" with so little provocation. And now it's "white Christians" being attacked, is it? How interesting.

In any case, you're misrepresenting what Ben was saying. He never said the content of a game doesn't matter. He said (in short) that committing an act in the context of a game is not the same as committing an act in real life.

This customer is acting like he's committing blasphemy by engaging in a virtual baptism. Yet he has no trouble with virtual murder, or looting a virtual corpse. It's a very curious complaint. The depiction of the act in a video game is not the literal act, no more so than it is in a movie, book, etc.

Make sense? You went on kind of a tear there, and I think you sailed by the point of the article in the process.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 4:39:08 PM

That's quite possibly the dumbest post I've ever read. I always figured you weren't very bright based on your CoD rantings but wow... I never once said or even insinuated anything you're accusing me of.

Buy a brain then get back to me.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 4/18/2013 4:39:27 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 5:17:44 PM

Dude, you are embarrassing yourself.

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Karosso
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:23:34 PM

For a minute there I thought I was reading a Fox News post or something... "white Christians," "Peeps," "Liberal Media," ...wait a minute... Rush Limbaugh???? LOL

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SirLoin of Beef
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 7:06:46 AM

ethird1, I fail to see where Ben attacked Christians, let alone "white" Christians, in this article. Did you read through the article or just skim it enough to work up some righteous indignation? I am a "white" Christian and didn't read any antagonism whatsoever in this article. The question he raised is a valid one and the conclusion he came to is correct, in my opinion.

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Spore_777
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 4:20:48 PM
Reply

The real question here is... should Christians be playing video games at all?
Think about it: Stomping on life forms with your feet, while being penny pinchy and greedy collecting gold coins, leaving a trail of dead beings just so you can [possibly] sleep with a princess. Yup, that is Mario.
Here's another one: smashing catapulted fowls into structures so those structures crumble and destroy pigs... for no real reason at all. You guessed it: Angry Birds.
One more: Sneaking past a horde of soldiers just so you can fist fight your brother: Metal Gear Solid.

Now, did that sound absurd... if it didn't, it should.

Christians, if you were to truly follow Christ's steps, you would NOT even be playing Mario.
Doesn't your Bible say "love not the world or anything in the world".... "do not conform to the standards of the world"... how then can you be ok with headshotting your way through CoD and find offence in a fictional baptism scene... you are NOT the one being ACTUALLY baptised.

I find it very hypocritical that Christians like to nitpick things while completely giving a blind eye to their favourite things.

Which true christian can truly say they follow the word to the letter... none, cause today, christianity is about lesser evils... oh, never mind never mind the music videos with the nudity, there was a message of hope in there someone... never mind the sex in a film, the plot tells a powerful tale of faithfulness... The real truth is there is no real place for christians in secular media... those who indulge have either made their peace with God and decided it is probably ok just as long it is not in excess or i remind myself its fantasy etc.. or some crap like that.... yet when provoked, the games now hv a deeper meaning on their lives?!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!

If I have offended any christian, then im glad... but wont you turn the other cheek?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 5:18:31 PM

Actually, to turn the other cheek does not mean to demur in the face of opposition.

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xenris
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 5:32:01 PM

Those pigs in Angry birds deserved every bit of what they got. They be stealing your eggs bra.

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tes37
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 8:43:32 PM

You mean, no soccer or baseball or football or, or dumpster diving. Man that's no fun. Christians don't worship a god like that.

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Spore_777
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 4:50:26 PM
Reply

THOSE WHO MERGE REALITY WITH FANTASY, CHRISTIAN OR NOT, NEED HELP... MATURE GAMERS KNOW THEY ARE INDULGING IN PAST TIME, NOTHING MORE. BUT THE MINUTE ZELDA BECOMES REAL TO YOU OR CERTAIN GAMING ASPECTS PROVOKE YOUR "REALITY", THEN THERE'S A PROBLEM... THE IDEA OF GAMING IS TO THROW YOU IN A CHARACTER'S WORLD... AND NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT YOUR (THE ACTUAL GAMER) MORALS. WHEN THAT HAPPENS, THE 4TH WALL HAS BEEN BREACHED BUT DOES IT LEAVE YOU BETTER OR WORSE? DO NOT DELVE TOO DEEP INTO THINGS, OR YOU WILL SOON FIND EVERYTHING AROUND IS SOME SORT OF "EVIL"... HOW MANT THAI KIDS DIED FOR YOU TO OWN THAT HOODY? YOU ARE A GREAT ACCOUNTANT, BUT YOUR WORK PERMITS YOUR COMPANY TO EXPLOIT THE POOR! THE CHEF WHO FRIED YOUR CHICKEN LIKES TO WORSHIP DEATH IN HIS SPARE TIME... SEE WHAT I MEAN...

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SirLoin of Beef
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 7:01:01 AM

I can tell you're serious because you used ALL CAPS in your post.

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tes37
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 8:28:30 PM
Reply

I think this guy should stop playing video games instead of complaining about an act he doesn't like. I don't buy games that I don't like and cry because it doesn't fit my view of things.

None of us will ever sit on a throne in judgement over another human being. Let people be themselves and make their games the way they want.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 7:37:48 PM
Reply

I just find it hilarious that he obviously had no issue with buying a shooter, but as soon as there is a fake baptism he cries foul. Breen Malmberg I suggest you actually read the bible a little more closely and also look up the word hypocrite before asking for another refund on a future game.

What a world we live in.

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Id00urmomma
Sunday, April 21, 2013 @ 1:31:16 PM
Reply

Games should leave religion alone or create a fake new one. Also games are fake but they try to be as "realistic" as possible most of the time too... Some people I can see taking what they watch in games or videos or read for that matter too seriously and maybe even get disillusioned by them, there are a lot of insane crazys out there you know.

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LazyVigilante
Sunday, April 21, 2013 @ 2:30:35 PM
Reply

Ben your justification that this is not blasphemous as it takes place in the digital realm and it's virtual is not valid.So is comparing it to killing virtually...as in games the script mostly revolves around the good guys winning no matter what side the player chooses, so even when we're killing it's mostly terrorists,evil aliens etc. Of course there are options to play as the bad guys to play in almost all games and some games might feature the bad side winning...however the script is always written so the "good" side wins.

Your argument that it shouldn't hurt people as it's virtual is like saying calling a black character in a game the 'N' word is not offensive because it's only virtual and we aren't doing that in the real life.Frankly the blasphemy n killing of people in games cannot be compared.

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LazyVigilante
Sunday, April 21, 2013 @ 2:39:02 PM
Reply

Also many folks here need to get off the high horses...I mean many of you suggest he give up violent games altogether??...really?..c'mon man...I don't know if indulging in violent games should be called a 'guilty pleasure' or if it's against religion/christianity but we aren't all perfect and gaming's just a form of entertainment. However it does get a little too personal and hits too close to home when you depict an act that people hold sacred in a callous manner. It's just too direct and personal. You can act like you don't know what I'm talking about to further your argument but I know you all do. As for the question as to why the guy originally bought it if he was someone who's offended by such things - Ignorance of the fact that such a scene existed in the game....he did return it right?..Stop judging and be cool man.

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Rogueagent01
Sunday, April 21, 2013 @ 11:30:51 PM

Yes he should give them up, since he is going to judge the game off of one scene as blasphemous, then yes he should give them up. Anyone who is so judgemental of others ideas, concepts, or opinions should do some homework before delving headfirst into the medium be it books, movies, or videogames. It takes very little time and effort to look something up to see if it has caused an uproar of any kind.

And even if looking it up would have netted zero results the simple act of returning or getting a refund is enough. I would really like to know how this became a story within the news. I know if I returned a game for some reason such as this it would not become known to the public unless I reached out with it. And if he is the one that got the story put out there then I have no respect for him what so ever.

You say stop judging yet that is exactly what the kid did. And he didn't even judge it properly, by that I mean he didn't get it in the full context, which is a high level of ignorance in my book. I would much rather he finished the game and then wrote a scathing review of it, if he still found it to be blasphemous.

The great thing about books, movies, and games are that you can address things that are far too critical or dangerous in real life, especially at certain times. And in a lot of cases if you are offended or moved in either a positive or negative way the medium and creator did their job. We should not consider making only things that don't offend as we would simply fall into a world of extreme fascism, in which case all but a very small group of people would be miserable. And I hope we never come to a point in which all mediums have to try and create controvesry with everything they create, as that type of world would be just as dangerous.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 3:40:33 AM
Reply

i think it cud be seen as creepy or weird or maybe slightly disturbing but yeah if i took every bit of thing like that as offencive then i wudn't be a gamer as i'm also a commited christian and i was like um okay... when i 1st heard about this guy and i think if you want to enjoy games you have to look the other way a bit and ignore but yeah i think i might be a bit uneasy about it but like the other guy said wud want to know where it wud lead and weither you cud like opt out of this in-game religion and personally i don't see being a christian as being religious i just choose to have a relationship with jesus just like a friendship you have with your 'real world' friends and accept the salvation jesus offers me. the real world is just bout the differing reality to not reality.

what do you guys think.

happy gaming =)

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