Immersion-breaking premises

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Mr.Squishy:

omicron1:

Mr.Squishy:

And the difference between Christianity and a twisted cult is what?

Bigotry really doesn't belong outside the R&P section, sir. Do you have an actual point?

Are you saying bigotry is okay in the R&P section? Because I think the mods might disagree with that. Sir.
And yes, my point was that I was asking an entirely legitimate question out of curiosity. An explanation of the rather fuzzy (to me) distinction between Christianity and a horribly twisted cult would be rather appreciated.

Ma'am. Sorry - I'm a bit touchy about denigrating comments lately.

Now, the distinction between Christianity and cult is as follows: The Bible laid out room for exactly one savior. Any "prophets" or "messiahs" come late are simply writing their own take on things. They have habits of creating a cult centered around themselves, in which they are, if not revered, then placed on an equal pedastel to God. They tend to have odd "rewrites" of the Bible - golden tablets, holy cities in Arabia, personal planets - stuff like that.
Oh, and they always seem to call themselves something other than "Christian" somehow

It is arguable that Infinite is not attacking Christianity directly. But you know what? I dislike "Evils of organized religion/religious fundamentalism/religious extremism" stuff just as much. So I'm sorry, but any Aesop the game gives concerning those is still my affair.

Wow, the people in this thread really dislike Christianity. I suppose I should be used to that on this site by now, but it's still rather disappointing.

Anyways, to address the OP's concerns, I did see some of the things you're talking about when I was playing. I think it did an adequate job of distinguishing Comstock's bizarre little cult from mainstream Christianity, but a few things - like the baptism - cut it a little close to me. I found it a little odd that it was Comstock finding religion that turned him into a hateful, evil person - the implications of that seemed a touch bit heavy-handed by my perspective. Of course, it's worth keeping in mind that Bioshock games are about the dangers of extremism, and Comstock's interpretation of religion is nothing if not that. I doubt that any anti-religious tones were intentional, and overall I think that the game is a fantastic story that has a lot to say.

In terms of the actual question at hand, I have to say that I share the OP's discomfort about media and people in general just writing off all religion as pure evil and every who has even the vaguest sort of faith as an hateful, ignorant monster. It's the same sort of ludicrous, ridiculous prejudice that leads to the kind of extremism that Bioshock games so effectively rally against.

Not unlike the kind I've seen here...

Zhukov:
Know that I am currently resisting the urge to leap for your throat for daring to criticize my beloved Infinite.

*ahem*

Anyway, for me it was Homefront.

A game set in the near future in which North Korea invades the USA. Yeah. And they don't do it by a way of a pact with the ancient gods of evil or anything, they just do it with conventional military force.

Now, I'm not American. So I don't object because of, "Oh, how dare they show those dirty Norks invading my beloved homeland! That would never happen, not to AMURICAH!"

No, I object because it's ridiculous. A small, impoverished and nigh on starving nation invades the most powerful country on earth, a country that, lest we forget, also sports a considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Yes, they try to explain it by saying the USA went into severe economic decline. Okay, fair enough, that could happen I guess. But going into economic decline doesn't make your nukes all magically disappear and it doesn't turn bloody North Korea into an international powerhouse. It also doesn't make every nation in Asia suddenly so weak that they somehow get curb-stomped by bloody North Korea.

Bah!

That one is simple, just replace North Korea with China and things begin to make more sense.

Crysis did something similar, apparently The Peoples Republic of China does't like being portrayed as the bad guy.

I don't really see how this is attacking Christianity. Although I'm not religious I was raised Roman Catholic and went to four years of Catholic high school, so I'd say I have a pretty solid background and understanding of Christianity. I'd suspect that if Bioshock was trying to ridicule religion they would have presented more of a satire on the New Testament. Instead it puts America's Founding Fathers into positions of Deification. While this could represent the Trinity, the symbols are off and the people are not representations of one deity.

Comic Sans:
I am afraid I have to join the chorus in telling you that the religion in Infinite is not, in fact Christianity. It could not have possibly been more obvious. It uses similar terminology, but has completely different tenants. I mean, did you look at it on more than a base level? They believe that Comstock is a prophet, that his daughter is a Jesus like figure of prophesy. Their symbols are a key, sword and scroll. They worship the founding fathers. I don't think there is a single cross or other Christian symbol in the game besides the angel statues. So what part of them made it unclear that they were in fact NOT mainstream Christians?

Really dug this post, actually part of the reason I wanted to weigh in. It gave me a solid jumping off point.

The story seems to be more about the extreme perversion of American ideals, such as Manifest Destiny, racism during that period in history, general feelings against immigration, and the populist reform movements that were springing up around the country. OP I understand how important religion can be to some people, but you seem over sensitive in this case. The game is more of a commentary on America at the time.

On the topic of breaking immersion, I just could not handle Dishonored. Just being pushed down a path that was so obviously wrong drove me crazy, it seemed like he lost all of his reasoning and critical thinking skills in prison.

I always felt that Infinite was dealing more with the perversion/corruption of an ideal than anything else. It did so with Objectivism in the first Bioshock, and also deals with the extremes of socialist ideals in the same game

Worshiping the Founding Fathers for their ideals of freedom, liberty, etc.? That's all good and dandy

Worshiping the Founding Fathers and using their ideals to promote institutionalized racism? That's no good!

OT: I've never really felt total immersion in a game before; my brain usually finds ways to keep my mind in reality >.>

Picked up where I left off on Dragon's Dogma yesterday. I actually find that game to be pretty immersive...until a pawn says something compleetly obvious. Some of the gems I heard yesterday was:

"ARMED BANDITS!"
(standing in front of a cottage) "I think that's a cottage"
(Fighting hellhounds) "Fire does nothing!"
Oh, and the ever common:

"WOLVES HUNT IN PACKS!"

Also doesn't help when someone makes a pawn with a squeaky voice. Thankfully my pawn doesn't and she's kinda popular...I think. Haven't checked the 'leaderboards'

omicron1:
I can't get into the new BioShock. It's not really its fault - it's mechanically great, very pretty, and overall the very definition of a good game. No, my problem with the thing lies with its premise.

For those couple cavemen who missed it, BioShock Infinite is about magical racist Christians (*wink wink nudge*) in the sky. They're led by an amalgam of Mohammed and Joseph Smith, and the game spares few expenses to keep shoving this in your face as you play. "See? Those idyllic-looking folks that look like a church emptied itself over the courtroom are RACIIIIST!!!" "Here, have some vaguely Christian-by-way-of-King-James fluff!" "Baptism/drowning, folks!"
It's for all the world like someone at Irrational took that

to heart and decided to make their very own Evil Christian Museum Display.
And that's not even mentioning the paranoid patriophobic wing of their Sky Museum.

So I can't get immersed at all. Maybe if Irrational had made clear that this is not Christianity, but rather a horribly twisted cult, it could have worked. But as it is, my suspension of disbelief fell from the skies even before I reached them ingame, with those self-important needleworks on the walls of the lighthouse.

From then on, I cannot take anything seriously. It's all just a set-'em-up knock-'em-down animatronic display with an Aesop I actively oppose, and I can't get more out of it than as a playground for explosions and casual looting.

(TLDR)
All that to ask, are there any titles that did this for you? Broke immersion before you really started by way of a ridiculous or offensive premise or story? And how (or how long) did you keep on going after?

I'm pretty open minded when it comes to immersion and forgiving videogame settings and narratives their peculiarities... For me, I find realistic modern shooters where other humans are meat sponges that absorb bullets like a punching bag before getting dropped takes me out of the experience a bit... Crysis 1 was the most egregious example of this I can recall of the top of my head, especially since it had such a high fidelity commitment to visual realism, the Korean army regulars 5-15 hit (excepting headshot) health bars jarring.

Regarding Bioshock Infinite and Christianity... I don't think at any point it actually claims the citizens of Columbia are that. It borrows a lot of elements, but it's a pretty clear blasphemous cult whose Christian elements have been turned on their ear; IE following a self declared prophet with his own bible... He says he's been spoken to by God and occasionally an Arch Angel, but never declares himself Christian, as such.

Basically what I'm getting at is it strikes me as fairly self evident it's not vanilla Christianity from the basic presentation.

Jesus is mentioned exactly once in the game. Comstock calls himself a prophet, a clear case of blasphemy. They're NOT Christians. Also, it's 1912, the only difference between 1912 America's racism and Columbia's racism is the elevation.

omicron1:

Mr.Squishy:

omicron1:

Bigotry really doesn't belong outside the R&P section, sir. Do you have an actual point?

Are you saying bigotry is okay in the R&P section? Because I think the mods might disagree with that. Sir.
And yes, my point was that I was asking an entirely legitimate question out of curiosity. An explanation of the rather fuzzy (to me) distinction between Christianity and a horribly twisted cult would be rather appreciated.

Ma'am. Sorry - I'm a bit touchy about denigrating comments lately.

Now, the distinction between Christianity and cult is as follows: The Bible laid out room for exactly one savior. Any "prophets" or "messiahs" come late are simply writing their own take on things. They have habits of creating a cult centered around themselves, in which they are, if not revered, then placed on an equal pedastel to God. They tend to have odd "rewrites" of the Bible - golden tablets, holy cities in Arabia, personal planets - stuff like that.
Oh, and they always seem to call themselves something other than "Christian" somehow

It is arguable that Infinite is not attacking Christianity directly. But you know what? I dislike "Evils of organized religion/religious fundamentalism/religious extremism" stuff just as much. So I'm sorry, but any Aesop the game gives concerning those is still my affair.

I'm sorry, but your definition of cult could still be applied to christianity. Christianity itself is made up of many other religions, or, to take the most obvious angle, builds off of the Jewish faith, complete with a "messiah" who wrote his own take of things and built the cult around himself, placed on an equal pedastel to God. (Also, props on referring to Mormonism (Golden tablets) and possibly Islam (holy city in Arabia) as a cult in your description, however subtly. Bit hypocritical if you ask me.)

Also, while you might not like the religious cult angle, that has nothing to do with suspension of disbelief and immersion. Dangerous religious cults can, have, and do, happen. I'm not saying all religious people are nutty, but you can't call it unrealistic for a dangerous cult to form. History and current events speak against you.

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