Religion and philosophy in games may take on a leading role, where games are produced by spiritually-focused developers who are trying to teach tenets of a religion. Conversely, religion and/or philosophy may be but a minor bit of the lore, serving to explain the motivation of game character(s). Either way, as in real life, the religion and philosophy in game serves as the inspiration for action.
Sure, there are plenty of games without any semblance of religion or not a bit of thought deeper than “this block goes here, this block goes there.” But those are also the games that don’t really engage the player on a deeper, core level. Entering and exiting a game of Tetris is about as difficult as … turning off the console.
Entering and exiting a game … adventure … quest? of Final Fantasy is not at all easy. You have to learn to play. And then, you care. You’re invested. And the motivation, the religion and/or philosophy of the game world matters. To some this makes the game better; for others, they are now driven by the dogma of the game structure.
For many, religion and philosophy make the world a richer, more meaningful place. Others feel trapped by the social and emotional demands they place on a person. It might seem that religion and philosophies can play similar roles within a game world. And this week, it is this discussion, religion and philosophy and their role in videogames, in which the writers of The Escapist engage.