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Fri Feb 27, 2015, 07:26 PM

The Game That Let Me Mourn My Lost Faith

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Weirdly, I think Dragon Age: Originsóthe first game in BioWare's fantasy RPG mega-seriesórepresented the final, rasping coughs of my Christianity. While the sprawling RPG was certainly critical of religion (albeit by way of a fictitious religion that involved wizards and dragons, which my real world one sadly did not), it was surprisingly even-handed about the topic. I was drawn to that.10

Leliana, one of the game's many possible party members, was a devout member of the Chantry. I ended up having my character romance her. There was no contest. For me, at the time, she felt like the only "correct" option. I spoke with her every chance I got. Our voices cut through chilly midnight air as we discussed faith, the nature of it, how much good it had done for her. I was sold. I believed her. I felt like I was part of something, even if only in a video game.

The Game That Let Me Mourn My Lost Faith

Around that time I ended up dating a girl in real life who was openly Christian, who told me on multiple occasions how much she appreciated that I was too. We had long, romantic talks about saving sex for marriage and how conservative politics weren't that bad. All that time, though, tiny voices were at war in my head. "Is this really what you want? Is this really how you feel? Why are you doing this? Who are you trying to fool?" After a little less than a year, we broke up. It was messy. I haven't spoken to her since.1112

When it came time to make Dragon Age's end-of-game Ultimate Sacrifice, I couldn't do it. I'd promised Leliana we were gonna go adventuring together after we shut down the underground dragon apocalypse, and that mattered more to me than the notion of some nebulous afterlife. Regular life, here-and-now life, mattered more. Not long after, I decided I was kinda done with the whole religion thing. There were other contributing factors, certainly, but that was a turning point.

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I thought this was an interesting concept. Anti-religious themes in videogames. In particular RPGs like the final fantasy series.

For those not familar with the series, almost every final fantasy game have a pantheon of gods, aeons, and mythological beings you interact, ally with, or even fight. Yet, many of their games have very vibrant anti-religious themes.

In final fantasy VI, the final boss has pretty much made himself into a god and you have to kill him. Final fantasy VII makes allusions to Jehova via one of the main antagonist Jenova. In final fantasy X one of the major themes is whether to obey religious authority or to embrace technology and rebel against the church of Yevon.

I noticed similar themes in other RPG's that I have played. The games are placed in worlds that are unquestionably polytheistic but show a strong distrust of religion itself. The Church is nothing more than a tool for the main antagonist in the game Tale of Symphonia, and the game Ogre battle 64 features many religions outright fighting each other and trampling on the lives of the average person in the process. Fire Emblem: Path of Raidance and it's sequel Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn feature a church that is behind multiple wars and trying to bring about the end of the world.

In many of these games, the gods are deconstructed to the point where mortals are able to "kill" these gods. They are not as almighty as one would think, and often have weakness and flaws. Meanwhile, mere mortals at times achieve so much power and strength it as if they become gods themselves.

Are there any good games that any of you have enjoyed that featured similar anti-religious themes or at least a strong distrust of religion? Or ones that influenced you in your disbelief?[/font]

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Reply The Game That Let Me Mourn My Lost Faith (Original post)
LostOne4Ever Feb 2015 OP
Curmudgeoness Feb 2015 #1
Lordquinton Feb 2015 #2
Lordquinton Mar 2015 #3

Response to LostOne4Ever (Original post)

Fri Feb 27, 2015, 08:17 PM

1. I have never played any computer games,

so I don't know if they are anti-religion or not. This is rather interesting though. If I had been a believer, and gotten into these games you are describing, it may have moved me on the road to questioning what religion really is. I did get there, but it was a more round-about way of getting there.

I now believe that man created god(s), and that it was the more powerful in society who found it easier to control the masses if they could sell them on a better life "forever" if they just endure this life. I think it would be fun to go up against the gods in a game.

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Original post)

Sat Feb 28, 2015, 06:05 PM

2. I've mentioned it before: The Binding Of Isaac

The title should clue you in to what it's based on:


It's not directly anti-religious per se, but the themes aren't favorable to it. It's themes, along side Christianity, are childhood trauma, decay, and nostalgia, with a smattering of references thrown in (that are mostly about video games, and tie back into the childhood theme).

You play a naked child, who uses his tears as weapons against his enemys, all the other characters are from the Bible (Cain, Maggy, Lazarus) and are just Isaac in costumes (he is also confirmed to be a gender-fluid character, including one agender character, fwiw)

The story is not direct, like FF games, or Dragon Age, but it's implied through the experience, with items you acquire, various cutscenes, and enemies you fight. It's easy to forget how dark the material is until you are confronted with it.

It's a hard game, top down rogue like, but I feel it's among the best created.

(The game's creator, Edmond McMillen was asked if he was ever going to include any of the Kaballah, or Islamic stuff, and he said no, on account of he didn't know much about Jewish traditions, and no Islamic stuff because he didn't want to get killed)

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Original post)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 11:43 PM

3. Found a new one



The bible as told in Minecraft... I wonder if they packaged the seed.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Unofficial-Holy-Bible-Minecrafters/dp/1632207303

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