Scientology Spoof Takes Grand Theft Auto V Ads Viral

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Scientology Spoof Takes Grand Theft Auto V Ads Viral

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Rockstar Games has taken the Grand Theft Auto V ad blitz viral, with a new site seeking followers for a religion dubbed the "Epsilon Program."

Since Grand Theft Auto III, each game in the series has featured dozens of jabs at modern culture. From crass consumerism to American foreign policy, the Grand Theft Auto developers have a throwaway gag for everything, and their next target is apparently Scientology.

A new site recently launched by Rockstar Games asks potential converts if they "want to be happy and free from thought," before asking potential Grand Theft Auto V players for their personal info. It's not what it seems however. Instead of joining a virtual religion, dropping your info (and, most crucially, a photograph) into the website instead inserts your name into a pool of potential characters for the upcoming open-world sandbox game. According to the "Terms" section of the viral site, the Epsilon Program is actually a sweepstakes of sorts, designed to give fans "an opportunity to be cast as one of five Epsilon Program members in Grand Theft Auto V."

There's no word on how extensive a role as an Epsilon Member might be, but if past games are any indicator, we expect these devout followers to voice a few lines heard at random by the player which take blatant shots at organized religion as a whole, and in particular, Scientology.

Why Scientology? Rockstar's reasoning appears simple: Since it was founded in 1952, the church of Scientology has been the target of numerous controversies. In recent years it has attracted a number of prominent Hollywood stars (most notably, Tom Cruise), and their involvement, coupled with the church's hyper-secretive nature and seemingly alarming practices have made Scientology a popular go-to institution for those hoping to decry the practice of blindly following any organization.

Plus, Rockstar needs to fill its quota of recognizable, modern groups at which the in-game radio stations in Grand Theft Auto V can take a swing. It just wouldn't be a GTA game without blunt satire filling the virtual airwaves.

If you're interested in joining the Epsilon Program, you have until midnight on May 27 to drop your personal information into the virtual hat. We've got no idea what happens from there, but if you're selected, expect Rockstar to be in touch.

Source: Epsilon Program

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Ah, the Church of Scientology. Any religious organization that ruined countless lives through deceit and trickery deserves as much ridicule as possible.

Actually the Epsilon Program and Kifflom has been in the GTA universe for a really long time, going back even to GTA Vice City.

I like how the guy in the image has that Max Payne permanent raised brow + slight smirk going on...

josemlopes:
Actually the Epsilon Program and Kifflom has been in the GTA universe for a really long time, going back even to GTA Vice City.

Correct. However, this site/promotion is brand new.

Earnest Cavalli:

josemlopes:
Actually the Epsilon Program and Kifflom has been in the GTA universe for a really long time, going back even to GTA Vice City.

Correct. However, this site/promotion is brand new.

Ah, yes. I was just saying that for people to know that its part of a long joke that Rockstar has been doing.

josemlopes:
Actually the Epsilon Program and Kifflom has been in the GTA universe for a really long time, going back even to GTA Vice City.

Came here to say pretty much this. I... don't actually remember them being in Vice, but it rang a bell immediately from San Andreas. By either huge coincidence, or more likely MASSIVE CONSPIRACY, the very first section of this two hour long radio show is the one I was looking for. Enjoy, kids.

Also, Chris Formage's voice is amazing. I hope they've got the same guy for V. And that he's a mission giver.

I'm pretty sure there were also some hilarious adverts involving getting money to build a rocket, but I'm not even sure if that was in SA, let alone where I might find them.

josemlopes:
Actually the Epsilon Program and Kifflom has been in the GTA universe for a really long time, going back even to GTA Vice City.

Yeah, I seem to remember the leader of Epsilon Program being on WCTR in San Andreas, arguing with Lazlo and Darius Fontaine, the founder of Inversion Therapy.

Ldude893:
Ah, the Church of Scientology. Any religious organization that ruined countless lives through deceit and trickery deserves as much ridicule as possible.

So all of them?

We're gonna get allot of parody cults in a single game if your only criteria is ruining lives, each and every one of them has that down to a fucking art form.

However I sadly won't be joining this. Got a strict no fotograph on the internet policy. I managed to stay off it up to now, ain't gonna put it up for a silly promo.

Thetan lawyers don't have internet access, right? :P

Good luck to Rockstar in their promotion. Any jab at Scientology is fair game in my book.

I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

1337mokro:

Ldude893:
Ah, the Church of Scientology. Any religious organization that ruined countless lives through deceit and trickery deserves as much ridicule as possible.

So all of them?

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

I love Rockstar so much for this. Not because I have any particularly strong feelings about Scientology, but because I love how tongue-in-cheek they are. They remember that they are making an entertainment product and that seems to fit into their whole business model as well.

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

1337mokro:

Ldude893:
Ah, the Church of Scientology. Any religious organization that ruined countless lives through deceit and trickery deserves as much ridicule as possible.

So all of them?

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

I sort of agree with you, but at the same time, I feel like Scientology shouldn't get a free ride even though I can't explain from neutral perspective why it shouldn't if major religions do. I guess the problem there is whether one should look at Scientology as a religion or a cult. While I can understand your ire with religion in games, having a belief system that portends to the supernatural does not automatically exhume you from criticism or parody. So how does one judge one religion (say: Islam) against another (say: Scientology)? By what standard are we to examine to sets of faith-based beliefs and call one sillier than the other or "obviously dubious", and therefore, an acceptable target? Are we just ready to say "Fuck Scientology" and lambast them in a game only because they're less popular than Islam, and therefore a cult?

I think so. But I'm an atheist, so I'm admittedly a tad biased.

The Inquisitive Mug:

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

1337mokro:

So all of them?

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

I sort of agree with you, but at the same time, I feel like Scientology shouldn't get a free ride even though I can't explain from neutral perspective why it shouldn't if major religions do. I guess the problem there is whether one should look at Scientology as a religion or a cult. While I can understand your ire with religion in games, having a belief system that portends to the supernatural does not automatically exhume you from criticism or parody. So how does one judge one religion (say: Islam) against another (say: Scientology)? By what standard are we to examine to sets of faith-based beliefs and call one sillier than the other or "obviously dubious", and therefore, an acceptable target? Are we just ready to say "Fuck Scientology" and lambast them in a game only because they're less popular than Islam, and therefore a cult?

I think so. But I'm an atheist, so I'm admittedly a tad biased.

I might be biased, but personally I don't give Scientology a free ride because:
1) there's no real core philosophy to it that I can see, beyond 'this is why we have problems' and 'make money'. Christianity? "Forgive others and believe Jesus is your savior". Buddhism? "Give up material possessions to achieve enlightenment". Islam? "Follow these pillars of faith." Granted, each of those religions is more complicated than that, but you can at least get a general idea.
2) even its founder didn't believe it and, in fact, said that the best way to make money is to found a religion.
3) it's a very aggressive religion. Sure, Jehovah's witnesses might get annoying but they don't threaten to sue if you make fun of them. In my experience, individual members of a religion are much worse than the religion as a whole. Scientology, on the other hand, seems to enjoy suing (or threatening to sue) anyone who wants to make fun of them (see Issac Hayes, the voice of Chef on south park)

The Inquisitive Mug:
Are we just ready to say "Fuck Scientology" and lambast them in a game only because they're less popular than Islam, and therefore a cult?

Well, yeah. Scientology is nuts.

I don't plan on entering this. I just don't want to have a nutjob cultist NPC walking around with my face.

Expect lawsuits and defamatory accusations towards Rockstar. Because of Scientology's Fair Game Policy. Which supports members attacking any and all who are critical of Scientology. They had one of their earliest critics investigated for terrorism, and had a plan set up to murder her. In official Church documents.

HalfTangible:

The Inquisitive Mug:

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

I sort of agree with you, but at the same time, I feel like Scientology shouldn't get a free ride even though I can't explain from neutral perspective why it shouldn't if major religions do. I guess the problem there is whether one should look at Scientology as a religion or a cult. While I can understand your ire with religion in games, having a belief system that portends to the supernatural does not automatically exhume you from criticism or parody. So how does one judge one religion (say: Islam) against another (say: Scientology)? By what standard are we to examine to sets of faith-based beliefs and call one sillier than the other or "obviously dubious", and therefore, an acceptable target? Are we just ready to say "Fuck Scientology" and lambast them in a game only because they're less popular than Islam, and therefore a cult?

I think so. But I'm an atheist, so I'm admittedly a tad biased.

I might be biased, but personally I don't give Scientology a free ride because:
1) there's no real core philosophy to it that I can see, beyond 'this is why we have problems' and 'make money'. Christianity? "Forgive others and believe Jesus is your savior". Buddhism? "Give up material possessions to achieve enlightenment". Islam? "Follow these pillars of faith." Granted, each of those religions is more complicated than that, but you can at least get a general idea.
2) even its founder didn't believe it and, in fact, said that the best way to make money is to found a religion.
3) it's a very aggressive religion. Sure, Jehovah's witnesses might get annoying but they don't threaten to sue if you make fun of them. In my experience, individual members of a religion are much worse than the religion as a whole. Scientology, on the other hand, seems to enjoy suing (or threatening to sue) anyone who wants to make fun of them (see Issac Hayes, the voice of Chef on south park)

I see. It's not a matter of trying prove their beliefs are somehow more "true" than other religions, but more a matter that all their views are shitty and harmful, with virtually none of the redeeming qualities or actions found in other, major religions. Basically, Scientology has it coming. I can vibe with that.

Storm Dragon:
Well, yeah. Scientology is nuts.

I don't plan on entering this. I just don't want to have a nutjob cultist NPC walking around with my face.

I suppose not. It would be a bit Wolfenstein having a contest to put your face on a nazi.

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

1337mokro:

Ldude893:
Ah, the Church of Scientology. Any religious organization that ruined countless lives through deceit and trickery deserves as much ridicule as possible.

So all of them?

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

Well to be quite honest what's the difference? Whether you pay the 8% church tax or you pay for audits. Scientology just steals money more blatantly, L. Ron even said the best way to make money is to sucker people into a religion.

Sure I get it it's not a nice thing to say and that particular religion might mean allot to people... but those same arguments apply to Scientologists. They are happy giving these charlatans their money, their religion gives them whatever fuzzy feeling other people get from theirs. Though again in my eyes it should be a cautionary tale of just how blatant religions can get with ripping you off and people still won't notice. In fact they will even threaten you and harass you if you dare to point out the basic flaws in this ponzi scheme of a religion. (Golden Pope Throne anyone?)

They do it to each other all the time to, so why not join in with the fun whilst they don't realize we're laughing at all of them.

If it makes you feel any better I despise them all equally, unless it's the Roman Catholic church. That ranks slightly lower on my list simply because of the evil they have perpetuated even in modern day. Might add Mormons slightly above them because they have a book that literally says black people are evil. Kind of weighing child molestation and racism against each other, tough choices, tough choices.

1337mokro:

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

1337mokro:

So all of them?

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

Well to be quite honest what's the difference? Whether you pay the 8% church tax or you pay for audits. Scientology just steals money more blatantly, L. Ron even said the best way to make money is to sucker people into a religion.

Sure I get it it's not a nice thing to say and that particular religion might mean allot to people... but those same arguments apply to Scientologists. They are happy giving these charlatans their money, their religion gives them whatever fuzzy feeling other people get from theirs. Though again in my eyes it should be a cautionary tale of just how blatant religions can get with ripping you off and people still won't notice. In fact they will even threaten you and harass you if you dare to point out the basic flaws in this ponzi scheme of a religion. (Golden Pope Throne anyone?)

They do it to each other all the time to, so why not join in with the fun whilst they don't realize we're laughing at all of them.

If it makes you feel any better I despise them all equally, unless it's the Roman Catholic church. That ranks slightly lower on my list simply because of the evil they have perpetuated even in modern day. Might add Mormons slightly above them because they have a book that literally says black people are evil. Kind of weighing child molestation and racism against each other, tough choices, tough choices.

I have a feeling you would enjoy "The Pope Rap (Modern Day Profit)" by Trevor Moore. It's a catchy little gangster rap by the pope in which he brags about all of the money the church brings in, poking at a lot of the shady and unethical things in the history of the papacy. There's even a Whitest Kids U Know style music video of it on YouTube for added hilarity.

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

1337mokro:

Ldude893:
Ah, the Church of Scientology. Any religious organization that ruined countless lives through deceit and trickery deserves as much ridicule as possible.

So all of them?

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

I see what you're getting at, but I'd be interested to know what games you're thinking of that take a jab at religion specifically, especially in its modern day form. I'm not all that hardcore a gamer but to my mind games tend to focus more and jabbing at either religion in it's oldest form, during it's heretic burning slave owning days or at the modern day institutions. In which case I don't see the difference between that and mocking any other institution like the Government, the military or business (especially science).
In fact possibly the worst to my mind would be the Assassins Creed series which out and tells you that religion is wrong (especially in the ending of AC3).
Do let me know what you think though. As an atheist maybe I'm just not paying attention to it all that much.

TrulyBritish:
I have a feeling you would enjoy "The Pope Rap (Modern Day Profit)" by Trevor Moore. It's a catchy little gangster rap by the pope in which he brags about all of the money the church brings in, poking at a lot of the shady and unethical things in the history of the papacy.

TRULYBURITISH! Y U NO ADD LINK!?

I do it 4 U :)

Njoy it people :D

1337mokro:

TrulyBritish:
I have a feeling you would enjoy "The Pope Rap (Modern Day Profit)" by Trevor Moore. It's a catchy little gangster rap by the pope in which he brags about all of the money the church brings in, poking at a lot of the shady and unethical things in the history of the papacy.

TRULYBURITISH! Y U NO ADD LINK!?

I do it 4 U :)

Njoy it people :D

Lol, dude, I posted that, not TrulyBritish. Unfortunately, YouTube is blocked on these computers (I'm offshore at the moment), so I couldn't get a link.

1337mokro:

TrulyBritish:
I have a feeling you would enjoy "The Pope Rap (Modern Day Profit)" by Trevor Moore. It's a catchy little gangster rap by the pope in which he brags about all of the money the church brings in, poking at a lot of the shady and unethical things in the history of the papacy.

TRULYBURITISH! Y U NO ADD LINK!?

I do it 4 U :)

Njoy it people :D

Goddammit Mokro :P How did you even manage to confuse me in this?

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

No, by all means, take a look at all religions. Sceptical thinking can be applied to everything. Besides, if an idea is so poorly constructed that it's threatened by the lightest scrutiny, then it shouldn't be supported.

A world where good ideas are favored over bad ones is highly motivational. Jab away!

TrulyBritish:
Goddammit Mokro :P How did you even manage to confuse me in this?

The Inquisitive Mug:
Lol, dude, I posted that, not TrulyBritish. Unfortunately, YouTube is blocked on these computers (I'm offshore at the moment), so I couldn't get a link.

I have NO Idea what happened. I just pressed the quote button on the escapist nothing else.

Anyway sorry British are free to go, TIM managed to frame you for his crime, my bad :P

As for you TIM you are absolved of your sins by the Church of the FSM :D

12 cents someone takes this out of context and claims video games are promoting religious scams. Yeah, that's right. 12 cents. Cos I roll with the big boys!

1337mokro:

TrulyBritish:
Goddammit Mokro :P How did you even manage to confuse me in this?

The Inquisitive Mug:
Lol, dude, I posted that, not TrulyBritish. Unfortunately, YouTube is blocked on these computers (I'm offshore at the moment), so I couldn't get a link.

I have NO Idea what happened. I just pressed the quote button on the escapist nothing else.

Anyway sorry British are free to go, TIM managed to frame you for his crime, my bad :P

As for you TIM you are absolved of your sins by the Church of the FSM :D

S'alright Mokro, just don't make a bit of it ;)
May his noodly appendage grace us all.
Ramen. *bows head reverently*

TrulyBritish:

I see what you're getting at, but I'd be interested to know what games you're thinking of that take a jab at religion specifically, especially in its modern day form. I'm not all that hardcore a gamer but to my mind games tend to focus more and jabbing at either religion in it's oldest form, during it's heretic burning slave owning days or at the modern day institutions. In which case I don't see the difference between that and mocking any other institution like the Government, the military or business (especially science).
In fact possibly the worst to my mind would be the Assassins Creed series which out and tells you that religion is wrong (especially in the ending of AC3).
Do let me know what you think though. As an atheist maybe I'm just not paying attention to it all that much.

Alright, I apologize if I'm a bit ranty in my reply but there's certainly more than just two games worth mentioning:

Oh yes, Assasin's Creed is probably one of the worst of the games, which is ironic because before the whole "religion is a lie" thing existed, believe it or not, it was one of the more ideal games for Christians, as it had a familiar setting, limited blood/gore, and wasn't set in the "darest we not touch upon it" modern day setting that some more conservative Christians seem afraid to even touch upon in books or novels.

Bayonetta is another bad one for Christians. It mainly is a mockery of Catholicism but it seems to generalize Catholicism as the only form of Christianity (as do unfortunately many, many other pieces of media that use Christianity as an 'influence), meanwhile people such as myself are -very- Protestant in our beliefs and put no weight in Purgatory or similar concepts that Caqtholics hold very dear. I get that it's supposed to be over the top and silly, and that's fine in my opinion. I don't like how it seems to casually treat Christianity as its plaything with which it can use the title without understanding the subject matter. I actually didn't complete it because it got to the point of "how much more BS am I going to hear/see that's missing the point before I get to the ending?" got a bit too frequent. I loved the combat and I even found some of the characters potentially interesting, but it would have been far more preferable if they'd just gone with the standard dark fantasy set up rather than using the general ideas of Christianity to wipe their crack with and then tossed them out as script notes. It's a sad day when Witchblade (based on my reading of the first volume) and Marvel's Runaways are more on target about even Catholicism than a game that's supposedly setting it's entire universe in a Dante's Inferno inspired tale.

Darksiders also gets a bit of ire but they at least sort of get closer to the main point, although they just make Heaven authoritarian (which is way off the board if you've ever read Mere Christianity) and Hell as chaotic. Essentially this makes God the prim and proper nerd with an attitude problem and Satan the volumptuous and bitchy party girl. Neither of them is actually better or worse, they're just both a bunch of tossers. Also it makes the Archangel Gabriel a murderous sociopath -- not the first thing to do that though, looking at you, 'Constantine'.

DmC is... eh, it's actually not as bad as most, at least the reboot isn't, but they still mess up the concept of Nephillim. They're supposed to be of a fallen angel (as in -- an angel no longer in God's service who's bound to earth. Think somewhere between Darksiders and that Nicholas Cage movie where he's an angel) and a woman. Not of a demon and and angel (who are both technically seraphim, it's just a matter of who they serve), not of a devil and a human, not of God and a human, but of a fallen angel and a human. It's not like they couldn't have worked with that.

El Shaddai -- First, guy from the dev team for this one who at Comic Con who called Christianity a "mythology" on national TV while talking about a game that you should be hoping would appeal to Christians. Yes, you. *Flicks forehead* You don't get to talk anymore. You just insulted one of the most underserved niches who would have eaten a genuine Christianity centric AAA game up like no tomorrow. You might think it's a myth, but that doesn't matter if you want your game to sell! If I had to make a game set in an atheist universe, you wouldn't be hearing me break out in the middle of a gameplay demonstration condemning the protagonist's actions as sinful -- that's not how you do things. And also, since this was made in part by the same guy who helped make Bayonetta -- dude what is your issue with trying to mess with Christian ideas and adding things that really just cross a line? Homo-eroticism was really necessary for your story? Really? It's like as if I were to make a game about Darwin studying animals, but then having him hump a woodpecker as a "funny mini-game" and having him look like a delusional madman who people just were mesmerized by and loved because he was entertaining. I'm not asking any game developer to have to ignore their views but take into consideration what you're saying with your work. I once was writing an episodic fanfic what-if series of Super-Man set during the 1930s, and I weighed my options before I made Green Lantern be the main antagonist due to his earlier incarnations having racist inclinations, and my blog only got at most around a thousand views. Your work gets seen by hundreds of thousands if not millions. If you think life is all just one big joke and you can do what you please and it doesn't matter, fine, but that still means I'm just as free to not like it.

And you know what's ironic? One of the best games I can think of for Christians is one you probably never would have thought of. Dead Space. Seriously. Isaac Clarke is a more Christianly protagonist than most, despite some cases of mental instability, especially if we're talking a Protestant protagonist due to his dealings with the church of Unitology (yes, for some Protestants, that's what Catholicism looks like. The Inquisitions didn't make very warm feelings between the two differing Christian paradigms). It's a series about a man fighting evil while just trying to save those around him, putting himself at risk and only killing other people when he has no choice. He's caring, he's got weaknesses, and it seems almost by sheer will and faith that he survives at times. There are even numerous references throughout the series that suggest sometimes both pro-Protestant and pro-Agnostic tones, especially if you look at the universe in a similar way to Shaw's religious defenses in Prometheus. There are story allegories, enemies representing certain sins potentially, certain tests of strength and will, moral dilemas and consequences... it all works surprisingly well. And I doubt Visceral ever intended it to be. But you know what, in the case of the church of Unitology, they got the cult mentality right. And I hope Rockstar does so too, because if you do it right, you make a great example of what goes wrong with such organizations.

I am not writing this to proclaim Christianity, I just want my religion to not be treated as a joke because some people don't believe it. I get that a majority of the people on this site are atheist, and you know what, I'm okay with that. You believe what you want to believe, but if someone is going to use something I believe in or something they claim is what I believe in in a game, comic, book, or movie -- they better be damn sure they get it right or I will totally call you on it. I would expect no less if atheism was misrepresented and any of you took upset towards it.

I'm really hoping that makes sense, and if not, I apologize, as I am tired at the time of this writing.

TheMyffic:

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

No, by all means, take a look at all religions. Sceptical thinking can be applied to everything. Besides, if an idea is so poorly constructed that it's threatened by the lightest scrutiny, then it shouldn't be supported.

A world where good ideas are favored over bad ones is highly motivational. Jab away!

I think you mistake my meaning. I am actually -very- critical of my religious faith in Christianity, and am always on the look out for ever being proven wrong with a logical argument, it's just a matter of the sheer overflowing excess of atheists that spew nothing but hateful memes and hurtful insults they call "humor". I'm not saying it has me wiping my tears in a corner either, frankly if anything it's just tiring and gets in the way of ever being able to respect some atheists due to what really sometimes feels like an adolescent overcompensation for their actual doubts/genuine belief in God (or gods), just that they hate Him(them) for some random reason.

Parakeettheprawn:
Oh God, so many words to read at nearly 3 in the morning *sigh*

Sorry, I'm a bit tired so I can't really do your post justice. It doesn't help that I haven't played a lot of the games you've mentioned so I really am speaking from a position of ignorance.
I would be interested to know which games do you think are actually being critical of religion, and how many are actually just butchering the mythos or how it's used? It's like when you talked about DMC it wasn't about saying (it seems) much about God or the practicality of religion, but more using an established ideal for it's setting. I'd perhaps reckon it to the resurgence of Norse mythology in today culture (I think Too Human was supposed to be based on it?). It's not actually critical or philosophical, it's just a good/lazy starting point for a story.
Other than that there's a lot you say that bears thinking about, but maybe when I get some decent sleep :)

Parakeettheprawn:

TheMyffic:

Parakeettheprawn:
I really find it funny what they're doing here, but there's one thing that keeps worrying me -- there are people who are going to try to apply this to all religions, not just obviously dubious ones like Scientology. More demotivational low-jabs... great.

No, by all means, take a look at all religions. Sceptical thinking can be applied to everything. Besides, if an idea is so poorly constructed that it's threatened by the lightest scrutiny, then it shouldn't be supported.

A world where good ideas are favored over bad ones is highly motivational. Jab away!

I think you mistake my meaning. I am actually -very- critical of my religious faith in Christianity, and am always on the look out for ever being proven wrong with a logical argument, it's just a matter of the sheer overflowing excess of atheists that spew nothing but hateful memes and hurtful insults they call "humor". I'm not saying it has me wiping my tears in a corner either, frankly if anything it's just tiring and gets in the way of ever being able to respect some atheists due to what really sometimes feels like an adolescent overcompensation for their actual doubts/genuine belief in God (or gods), just that they hate Him(them) for some random reason.

Your original statement is that only some religions are fair game for humor.

PS. 95% of the world is religious. I've never experienced "a sheer overflowing excess of atheists."

Parakeettheprawn:

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

Its always fun when from a religion point of view it is totally okay to bash all nonbelievers all the time but whenever somone starts bashing back they start screaming "we are being oppressed we want equal treatment". Religion was bashing us for THOUSANDS OF YEARS, and now you cant take one or two games that return the favour?

Parakeettheprawn:
~realy big snip~

It realy shouldnt suprise you as much that there arnt as many games with a 'faithful' depiction of your particular choice of religeon.

There are a LOT of different interpretation of just the bible out there, most of which disagree on eachother on several fundamental aspects. Then theres Muslims, Hindus, etc. all with their own sub-groups. A game made to appeal to protestant Christians may no do so well with Catholics, and likely worse with Muslims, while each one of those groups is likely much less offended by a game that ignores religeon altogether. (not to mention I would be suspicious of a game recommended by a jehova's witness)

Then theres the fact that Christinity for better or worse has seeped deep into western culture and history. Culture has a habit of constantly being changed and reinterpreted, and the bible is no exception.

Lastly a lot of the less-then-fond opinions about games come from people who are happen to be devoutly religious in some form or another. No this does not necessarily work the other way around, but in a lot of cases, it does.

In short, Christians are not a very attractive marktet to develop games for. Theres simply no way to do it without at least part of them biting you for getting God's beard wrong or something, and you will probabaly alienate other religeons and athiests as well.

Strazdas:

Parakeettheprawn:

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything here, or some sort of religious apologist, I'm just... well actually, yeah, I'm bit tired of how religion often gets treated with games. It rarely seems like even supposed "Religious" games made by people of a particular religion understand how to make it work right. I'm not saying there shouldn't be secular games or anything -- I'm fine with that, I just want equal treatment, which supposedly is supposed to exist despite the amount of religious bashing I've been seeing recently...

Sorry, sort of went off on a tangent there.

Its always fun when from a religion point of view it is totally okay to bash all nonbelievers all the time but whenever somone starts bashing back they start screaming "we are being oppressed we want equal treatment". Religion was bashing us for THOUSANDS OF YEARS, and now you cant take one or two games that return the favour?

Oh, you want to compare being oppressed?

Spanish. Inquisition.

Bloody. Mary.

Spain. In. General.

Jesuites.

Protestants have been burned at the stake a lot more often than atheists, to my memory.

And you know what I find interesting. I never ever really felt like bashing atheism or any particular atheist. In fact I usually get along better with atheists than the stereotype conservative Christians. But assume that I think that my case is any more significant than, I don't know, the atheists who can't homeschool their children easily without using Christian curriculum since most homeschool curric' only caters to Christian homeschoolers? That really frigging sucks for them, but it gets treated as a non-issue because most homeschoolers are just fighting for their bloody right to do the practice in the first place. I actually think it's really unfair and wish we had a more balanced representation there -- I mean, hell, there are at least a few atheist books but I doubt you'll find homeschooling curric' for Hindus or Muslims. That's -not- a good thing.

You can come at me with "first world problem, lulz", you can come at me with the "wah! Atheism wasn't treated as nicely as it is now! (Nevermind it was actually popular in a good number of cultures, it just had more trouble during the reign of the Catholic Church as a super power)", but you will not find someone who is unaware of the fact that his problem is his and not necessarily yours.

You know what really comes to mind as a big thing you might want to consider next time you try to take a crack at responding to something like this -- if you want to actually outdo religion behave BETTER than those who represent it! NOT WORSE! "Oh, we felt we were treated badly, therefore we should be able to casually flip them off whenever we want" is not a good way to prove your point. You are not being bloody Django Unchained by posting a "God sucks" demotivational on the internet, and assuming you are is just pathetic. All you're doing is slinging mud in someone's eye, losing a potential supporter.

I was right there feeling bad for the people upset about Shiva's portrayal in Smite, even though as far as I'm considered she's just a drawing on a wall and/or a statue people crouch in front of spewing words that will come to naught. But for someone else, it matters, and if I was damn well going to be using her in a game, I'd make sure I got my material right rather than just go "meh, I don't believe in this bitch therefore I'll make her have five billion breasts and spew horrible dick joke one liners".

Equal representation is equal. You want to show the crusades as really just a bunch of greedy grabs for power by Europe? Be my guest, because that's entirely what they were. You want to show Darwin as just a guy with a theory, even admitting himself that it was probably flawed and would need re-examining -- go ahead. Both are the truth.

1337mokro:
Got a strict no fotograph on the internet policy. I managed to stay off it up to now, ain't gonna put it up for a silly promo.

Don't you think it is a little paranoid? And that is coming from a guy who doesn't own an Facebook account.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the risk. But completely avoiding an jeopard that pretty much everyone in the world is submitted to is often paranoia.

It is like when there was that breach on PSN, everyone's account was hacked and all... People freaked out. I instantly tought "well, if MY account was stolen, I would freak out. Since EVERYONE'S information was stolen, then what the hell... I don't have that much money. My credit card is just one among millions. It is not MY problem. It is everyone's problem, to be solved by everyone.

I don't mean to critcize, really. Just food for thought.

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