The latest Europa Universalis IV developer diary explores the effect organized religion can have on mankind's attempts to form a unified societal construct.
Say what you will for organized religion, but it can't be denied that humanity's various attempts at worshipping idealized deities has spawned some brilliant art work over the past few millennia. Of course, it's also led to the deaths of tens of millions of "non-believers," but you take the good with the bad, right?
Today's flippancy toward mass slaughter comes courtesy of that video embedded at top-right, the latest developer diary for Paradox Interactive's upcoming grand strategy title Europa Universalis IV. You may know Paradox as the people behind the brilliant, intensely addictive Crusader Kings II. The Europa Universalis series shares many commonalities with that game, such as its meticulous level of detail and slavish devotion to historical accuracy, but instead of pitting Vikings against Dark Age Irish nobles, Europa Universalis IV drops players into the shoes of any number of European rulers from the Renaissance to the end of the Victorian era.
Those of you who know your world history, will automatically realize what a huge role religion played in every facet of daily life back then. Everyone else, just trust us: People were crazy for Jesus back then. He was even bigger than The Beatles! Point being: Europa Universalis IV recreates the prominent effects of religion in a virtual setting, which allows you to play as a pious, god-fearing ruler, or, if you're shooting for historical accuracy, you can simply pervert the concepts which lie at the base of every organized religion and use this faith-based weapon to crush your enemies under a swarm of well-armed zealots.
If the Crusades proved anything, it's that slaughtering people en masse is almost too easy if you've convinced people that your wanton murder is sanctioned by higher powers.