Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Game with God

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the yhwh-games-with-us-all dept.

PC Games (Games) 877

Andrew writes "GamerDad has an article up about how religion is handled in computer gaming, titled 'Game With God'. The article features quotes from Sid Meier, Jane Jensen, Will Wright, Peter Molyneaux, Phil Steinmeyer, and Richard Garriott. Here's a snippet: 'While religion and spirituality add a lot to a game world, they often aren't used effectively. 'I don't think there are any games that treat religion at anything more than a superficial level,'; says Firaxis founder and Civilization creator Sid Meier. PopTop Software's Phil Steinmeyer agrees, noting that 'Religion is ignored in gaming, or if it is portrayed, it's wildly caricatured.'"

cancel ×

877 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

uh,, Black and White anyone? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739184)

"don't think there are any games that treat religion at anything more than a superficial level,"

In Black and White you ARE god.
The game covers everything from how many ppl warship you to weather they build you a temple...

Plus being god, you get toset the rule or "morals" of your ppl.

Re:uh,, Black and White anyone? (3, Interesting)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739265)

How does the particular religion you create for yourself affect the population? Apart from setting their 'morals,' I mean. Do your citizens persecute heretics? Can you tell the difference between 'worshippers' of one player versus 'worshippers' of another? Or is the 'you're God' aspect merely a superficial explanation of your control over the 'citizens' and game environment like it was in Populous? Because although I haven't played the game myself, when I have seen it played and heard it explained, it seemed merely a vehicle to explain the gamer's level of control over the game world. It didn't have anything to do with real religion.

Re:uh,, Black and White anyone? (4, Funny)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739432)

You obviously didn't order the Anti-Semitic Expansion Pack!

Re:uh,, Black and White anyone? .... AND MORE (1)

jakel2k (736582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739293)

Also there is populous where you act as god. Not to mention SimCity, SimEarth, SimLife... that you pretty much play god. (SimEarth you are basically Guai, (sp?).

There are also lots of games where daemons :) from hell are an active part of the game. I recall a friend playing a game where you control Hell or Heaven and basically run these two places like SimCity, where you would process souls, (don't recall the name, someone please reply with the name of the game.)

Re:uh,, Black and White anyone? (3, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739301)

Another game which really delves into religion is Final Fantasy Tactics. In fact, it could be argued that the main point of the whole game is a critique on Christianity.

As for myself, though, I learned everything I needed to know about religion from Dungeon Keeper.

Re:uh,, Black and White anyone? (1, Offtopic)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739306)

I bought B/W the day it came out.

High hopes, buggy execution. The game needed some serious work and it never got it, not to mention the developer community did not spring up around it fast enough, the SDK really needed to be released at the same time as the game was.

Also, the gesture system sucked, badly. The hotkeys were faster, more reliable, and overall much easier to use.

The alignment system was quirky, the moster AI was dopey, all in all, I think I got maybe a month or so of play time out of it, mostly trying to get it working. . . .

Re:uh,, Black and White anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739387)

a month!

a month of listening to 'villagers need food'!

took me about half an hour before killing them all and deinstalling. what a piece of shit that game was.

Re:uh,, Black and White anyone? (4, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739317)

That's what the press releases said. In reality your influence on people is limited to issuing commands (chop tree, worship, build house, ...), making them love or hate your titan and blasting them with diverse spells. No such thing as defining morals. The temple is built in the beginning (doesn't require any moral fiddling, you just get there, pluck some trees and drop a few workers at it, finished) and any building is ordered by you as well. People can love or hate you, but that just determines the look of the temple, they never ran in fear or something even though I used christian conversion methods (believe or die!).

Not surprising (5, Insightful)

Xhad (746307) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739191)

It's hard to feature serious topics like religion in an only semi-serious art medium like video games. I konw the RPG fanatics think video games are an art form just like movies, but the reality is that most video game stories are as deep as the average action flick.

What's the typical action flick treatment of religion? Barely existent if at all, and usually just an excuse to give people cool special powers.

Re:Not surprising (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739249)

my g0d pwned ur g0d, ur g0d sux

Semi-serious? (5, Insightful)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739267)

Semi-serious? That's just an artifact of the youth of the medium and the lack of a real artistic indie segment.

There's nothing about the gaming medium itself that is semi-serious. It's perfectly capable of tackling any topic just as well as narrative fiction on celluloid or page.

Calling the medium semi-serious as of now is an unfortunate but true overview, but implying the medium is incapable of more is shortsighted and wrong.

Re:Semi-serious? (2, Insightful)

Xhad (746307) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739398)

While I agree it's theoretically possible for video games to become more serious storywise, I honestly doubt it will happen.

The first reason is cost of creation; the lack of a real artistic indie segment is the fact that good artists are rarely good programmers and vice-versa. No one is going to play a game that doesn't work even if the story is awesome, so any gamer indie market will always gravitate toward playable games with little to no storyline in the absence of either: -Dev tools that make it so that any kid can make a working video game -The occasional fluke -Some method of pairing the handful of good writers with enough spare time and the good programmers with enough spare time Similar pressures exist in the corporate environment, although in that case it's more like "Why am I going to take away money from the programming and visual design (risking making the game unplayable) when we could just make the game good and tack a superficial storyline on top?" Again, an unplayable game is a bad game even if the story is brilliant, and game companies are looking to sell games. So I wouldn't say the medium is incapable of "high art", but the medium does favor "low art" heavily.

Re:Semi-serious? (4, Insightful)

(54)T-Dub (642521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739453)

I think it has less to do with the medium than it does with the audience. 99% of the dorks (and gamers) that I've met are aethiest or at least agnostic. As history shows, technology (read science) and religion don't mix well. Science tends to try to explain phenomena with laws that govern nature, while religion tends to use historical beliefs.

Most of the science fiction that I've read has been the same way. Religion tends to be refered to in an historical reference or as a backwater inhibiting aspect of a small group of society.

It's also interesting to look at the progression of religion as science has progressed. In the times of the greeks religion was used to explain elements of physics (why things fall, why things move through the sky). Once these things were explained with science religion moved to the body. It was used to explain illness and the interworkings of the body. Now that we have modern medical science God has moved to our head. He is used to explain our emotions like love and anger. Once we fully understand brain chemistry where will God go next?

Re:Not surprising (1)

Jon Proesel (762574) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739367)

I konw the RPG fanatics think video games are an art form just like movies, but the reality is that most video game stories are as deep as the average action flick.

Yes, most video games don't have great stories. Neither do most movies. That doesn't mean that both mediums aren't capable of achieving great heights of story-telling.

God shall smite thee.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739195)

If thou has thou character worship a false deity or god.

Anything but (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739198)

As long as it isn't more Christian rock!

Re:Anything but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739454)

"Christian rock" is an oxymoron. Remember how rock was touted as the devil's music back in the 60's?

Personally, I would go one step further. (5, Insightful)

Bold Marauder (673130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739204)

I would state that not only is religion handled "ineffectively" in most games, but between the wish to be politically correct and catering to the predominantly anti-christian sentiments in the gaming community most games end up being downright disdainful of christianity.

What is worse is the fact that most games put out by christians fall into one of two categories; blatant propaganda which is more concerned with pushing a message than with providing an enjoyable gaming experience, and "fluff" mostly written for children.

What the christian community urgently needs is a development company to emerge which can balance both the needs of the gospel, and the needs of the game playing experience.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739232)

why even bother?

is it causing a huge issue to not have religion saturating every single facet of peoples lives.

and i dont mean to forget all religious aspects. but the gospel is not needed at every street corner.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (2, Funny)

ramdac (302865) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739290)

Heh... those needs are primarily, mutually exclusive.

gaming = violence. RULE RULE!!
gospel = love, tolerance.

you see... difficult.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (1, Insightful)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739446)

Heh... those needs are primarily, mutually exclusive.

Really???

Inquisition = violence. RULE RULE!!
Salem Witch Trials = violence. RULE RULE!!
The Roman Empire adopting Christianity to expand its control and influence = violence. RULE RULE!!
The Crusades = violence. RULE RULE!!
The Czars establishing and controling the Orthodox Church to place themselves as God's Proxy on Earth = violence. RULE RULE!!
The Dark Ages = violence. RULE RULE!!

Hmm, if games took a realistic look at Christianity throughout history, they may well be even more violent...

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739302)

I'm with you on the first two paragraphs, but as for your proposition, how do you propose to make a "Christian" video game? I can't think of anything that would fit the bill that wouldn't be cheesy or superficial.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (1)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739449)

It would go like this: you are a heavily armed mercenary holding a shotgun. You walk into a room filled with demons holding some hostages. You start blasting away with your shotgun. Every time you kill a demon, you hear an angelic chorus singing "Halleluiah" and "Onward Christian Soldiers".

If you kill a hostage accidentally, the entire game freezes and a fire and brimstone preacher comes on screen lecturing you about how you are going to hell for breaking the 5th commandment. The Christian Game Company is automatically notified via e-mail and within minutes a prayer counsellor is made available for you to call on an 800 number. You call up, and you pray, and you cry, and you pray some more. It's a little like church, except you can't wait to leave to play a computer game or something. OK, so it's EXACTLY like church. When you're finished with your phone call, the prayer counsellor sends a message to your PC via e-mail that unlocks the game so you can continue to play.

I for one can't wait to play it.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739321)

It's not so much that religion is ineffectively handled; it's more that certain religions are usually targeted for ridicule. It's considered hateful to discriminate or ridicule someone based on their religion -- with the sole and unique exception that ridiculing any flavor of Christianity is acceptable.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739329)

It took a whole 5 posts to find someone who believes religion == christianity. Amazing.
Furthermore, non-christian is not anti-christian. Please make a note of this, as there are a variety of religions out there. Some are built solely for a story line, similar to Star Wars, and to a lesser extent Stargate. This is probably the best way to write a game without pissing people off. Set it in the context of a game-based religion. It usually won't be the basis for the story, but it may contribute.
Next someone is going to tell me I'm going to hell for disagreeing with this post.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739440)

"Please make a note of this, as there are a variety of religions out there. Some are built solely for a story line, similar to Star Wars, and to a lesser extent Stargate. This is probably the best way to write a game without pissing people off."

Nope, you'll still piss people off.

Fundamentalists will think your made-up religion is real and/or is a facade for Satanism, and that you're trying to recruit people.

Case in point: their opinion of magic in Dungeons & Dragons.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (1, Troll)

JohnnyCannuk (19863) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739345)

Of course the gaming community is downright disdainful of Christianity. Most gammers are relativlee intellegent and can see through the hokum. Christianity itself is historically anti-imagination and anti-intellectual. How exactly could you put that into a video game? Video games are meant as an escape from the real world, a fantasy. Why would you try to put into a game that which many are trying to escape from?

I promise to stop being disdainful of Christianity when they stop being disdainful of my beliefs.

Oh and BTW, in case you were wondering, video games don't handle Buddhism, Judiaism, Islam, Shintoism, Hinuism or any other religion very well. That you assumed "religion" is synonomous with Christianity shows complete hubris.

Isn't that a sin?

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (5, Insightful)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739421)

Tell that to Augustine or Galileo, some of the greatest minds were devout followers of the church. I'd be willing to bet that they rank higher on the intelligence scale than you do.

The best games that handle religion are the ones with invented lands, invented people, and an invented religion. Think Morrowind.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739437)

"Of course the gaming community is downright disdainful of Christianity. Most gammers are relativlee intellegent and can see through the hokum."

I see you don't play games...

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (0, Offtopic)

hiero (75335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739463)

"Most gammers are relativlee intellegent ..."

I take it then that you are not a gamer?

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (0, Funny)

dunsurfin (570404) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739400)

Great idea, personally I am looking forward to:

Quake IV: WWJD
Sin City: Deliver Watchtower to the Ungodly

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (3, Insightful)

VoidWraith (797276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739410)

Here's a short inequality statement to help solve your problems.

Religion is not only Christianity.

And I don't think the Christian community needs any of that. I have plenty of Christian friends who are perfectly satisfied with the way things stand. The only reason they don't go out and buy DOOM3 is because their hardware can't handle it. You don't need a game to portray Christianity, that's what people go to church for.

Re:Personally, I would go one step further. (1)

Kedyn's Crow (566552) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739424)

What the christian community urgently needs is a development company to emerge which can balance both the needs of the gospel, and the needs of the game playing experience.

But why do you think that it is necessary for christianity to be represented in video games at all? Christianity has always spread very well through traditional methods such as word of mouth and the good example set by its adherents. To me a pro-christian game company semms as unnecessary as a pro-irish game company or a pro-canadian game company.

Not just in video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739215)

but the clerics in Baldur's Gate or any other D&D type game are pretty god heavy. Mind you, they're not "traditional" gods, as it were. Verily, they smite just the same :)

BALDR not TRADITIONAL? (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739445)

I take it you're not talking about this Baldur [wikipedia.org] then.

Religion is terrible (-1, Troll)

caluml (551744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739222)

Mod me down if you're religious, up if you're not.

Games? (0)

emazing (778569) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739224)

Outside of video games, I can't think of any game that portrays religon.

Re:Games? (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739259)

Chess has bishops

Re:Games? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739300)

ever notice that bishops and knights don't move straight, and well the king and queen can swing both ways.

Re:Games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739261)

I think that the "Christianity" game portrays it well enough, though the rulesets are getting a bit musty. Their corebook's author has yielded even more creative design liberty than Gary Gygax himself.

Escapism (5, Insightful)

DocStoner (236199) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739225)


I always thought of games as escapism. Many wouldn't define religion as escapism, or at least those that strictly adhere to their faith.

To me, the two do not mix well.

YMMV

Re:Escapism (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739349)

Religion is the ultimate escapism. You're so utterly unable to deal with reality, that you pretend some mystical being controls everything.

Religion IS escapism (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739438)

What can be more escapist than denying the worth of this whole universe? A non-escapist religion would be more worried about ethics than theological problems.


All religions I know of assume the existence of another, spiritual, universe that's truly important, compared to our material universe, which is considered more or less irrelevant. Their reasoning goes more or less like "we do not have to worry about this life, eventually we will all die, so we should be more concerned about what comes after death."


But that assumes the existence of that unproved afterlife. What if it doesn't exist? What if this life is our only chance and, once it ends, everything is over for us? To refuse to even contemplate this possibility is the Mother Of All Escapisms.

All I know I learned from Civ2. (5, Funny)

Slayk (691976) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739226)

Run through the tech tree, then go for Fundamentalisim. There repercussions for that form of government were far outclassed by the *amazing* ability to build wealth and power for your fight against the infidels.

Yup. Not portrayed realistically at all.

Re:All I know I learned from Civ2. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739318)

Yeah, get to "future tech" and make the switch. Then the Howitzers and Tanks went rolling along the rail-lines to chew up massive amounts of territory...

Man, I need to see if anyone's gotten civ2 to work in linux yet...

Maybe... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739227)

Maybe it's because people smart enough to program computer games are also generally smart enough to figure out that religion is a crock of shit.

bah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739228)

religion is for the weak

Gaming with God? But I'm at work right now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739229)

Gaming with god is highly under-rated, unfortunately, the games I'm currently playing aren't accessible to most.

Current games include:
"Repair that vintage car amplifier"
"Tweak that EQ"
and "I need to run more wire in my car, 660+ feet isn't enough" (the new version with "Over a furlong!" on the box)

Re:Gaming with God? But I'm at work right now... (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739333)

When I read the whole "Gaming with God" thing, I was more picturing the "Ultimate Santa-Claus DM in the Sky" sort of thing. Gaming with God would be pretty neat... you could finally prove that yes, in fact, God *does* play dice with the universe (and never botches!).

Too much realism (2, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739241)


Religion is ignored in gaming, or if it is portrayed, it's wildly caricatured
So, is this yet another case of game designers trying to imitate the real world too closely?

-- MarkusQ

ULTIMA ANYONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739253)

In Ultima you had to be a paragon of Morality. You were allowed to steal, lie and cheat but it would affect your Karma. You were the avatar and you were meant to a be model of what a true hero should be. You had to show compassion, sacrifice, etc, etc.

It's one of the few games where you actually should follow your religon in the game but didn't have to.

Obviously not talking about Japanese Games... (5, Informative)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739254)

In Japan, religion is often portrayed quite heavily in games. Japan in general has a more liberal relationship with religion than the western world, and works of fiction aren't really lynched for not showing the church in a good light.

If you want some GOOD examples of religion in games, try Xenogears, Grandia, or Tales of Symphonia. All quite good games that deal with religion quite heavily. In the case of Xenogears, it was almost not released in North America, as the church would consider it to be almost blasphemous.

For a North American game dealing slightly more than average with religion... try Eternal Darkness. The game features a bit of the inquisition, and the main characters are using magick based a lot upon the pagan practices and rituals. I would guess that the church would be none too happy about this one either.

Re:Obviously not talking about Japanese Games... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739299)

Since the Church came up with a lot of that bullshite in order to scare their sheep into not asking why innocent people were being massacred, I'd guess that if they care at all, they are secretly pleased.

(Not that it would help for them to ADMIT it, even today.)

Re:Obviously not talking about Japanese Games... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739441)

You just don't get it, do you? Sigh...

So what's the big deal? (0, Flamebait)

mattbot 5000 (645961) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739257)

It's not like organized religion spends serious time contemplating whether the rail gun or plasma gun is more effective in eliminating aliens. Religion and video games are equally make-believe and there's really no reason we should expect either of them to address the other.

Religion (5, Funny)

falzer (224563) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739258)

As long as the gods in nethack are pleased, I'm fine with it.

Re:Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739397)

Bah. Time to go kick some altars.

Europa Universalis I and II (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739260)

Religion was an integral part of the game...

Well (3, Interesting)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739262)

As far as taking religion on a deeper level, video game designers are probably less willing to take the dive.

The main reason I see is the potential controversies that could arise for a video game, say, that dealt particularly with a certain religion. The game would invite backlash from religious zealots that take the values instilled by the game designers on face value rather than for entertainment/educational value.

Granted, many video games nowadays openly invite controversies with sex, violence, and the what-not. However, a game has yet to take the pioneering step to bring religion into the circle. Until then, most game designers will settle for dancing on the outer loops of the controversy circle, and avoid potentially sensitive issues.

It exists for shock value. (4, Interesting)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739263)

Using (or abusing) religion in certain ways manner way adds significant shock value to entertainment. People (in the US at least) are generally taken back by what they perceive as evil religious symbols or inverted ones from the mainstream. A prime example of this is Doom. I think most people feel more freaked out when they walk down a hallway and see certain symbols on the walls. Anime does this a lot too. Evangelion, for example, draws from mythology that is very recognizable to most Christians and it can be very disturbing for some.

Whether any of this is good or bad is not my concern, but I will say that it is getting very annoying. Religious nerves have been plucked far too much by a lot of entertainment and usually it's use just signals a great lack of creativity. If you really want to unsettle or disturb your playing or viewing audience, try to come up with something new.

Re:It exists for shock value. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739396)

Whether any of this is good or bad is not my concern, but I will say that it is getting very annoying. Religious nerves have been plucked far too much by a lot of entertainment and usually it's use just signals a great lack of creativity. If you really want to unsettle or disturb your playing or viewing audience, try to come up with something new.

I agree -- the game atmosphere would be far more unsettling to me if the anti-christian elements were replaced with christian ones.

This is a good thing. (4, Insightful)

ZeroGee (796304) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739268)

A "serious treatment" of religion is not needed in games. Maybe in a form of edutainment, but not a game! Do you want to play SimWorshipper, where you choose your religion (Buddhist, Hindu, Islam, Christian, and Jew, with Sikhs and Wicca forthcoming in an expansion pack) whereby you must go to synagogue/church/mosque once a week, or click to use the prayer mat, or else sit outside and meditate with nature? Then after 20 game-years have elapsed, you start trying to convince your game children to marry within the religion? Of course, we could always do "The Passion of the Christ, the officially licensed game," and give Icon Entertainment another few hundred million dollars, allowing you to be beaten for an hour and try to still stay alive by mashing the circle button. You could also argue there's been no real treatment of "sex" in video games either. Let's make a realistic sex game where the sheets smell and you have to do laundry, you have to rummage through your underwear drawer for condoms, and your roommate comes home in the middle and you have to suddenly get quiet! No thanks. Games don't have to address everything. They're supposed to be FUN.

Re:This is a good thing. (1)

mdvlspwn99 (172473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739363)

Realistic sex in games? Slashdotters wouldn't know if it was realistic or not.

Re:This is a good thing. (1)

EtherBoo (636012) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739411)

I need to agree....but honestly, who here wouldn't want to play a video game remake of Pulp Jesus?

How can you simulate God in games? (2, Insightful)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739272)

Who'se AI programming could be considered good enough to simulate God? How would God come into play in, say, Doom3 or The Sims? Do you lose if you are sinful?

Re:How can you simulate God in games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739390)

IDKFA
IDDQD
IDSPISPOPD

Re: How can you simulate God in games? (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739461)


> Who'se AI programming could be considered good enough to simulate God?

Easy solution: just let one of the players be God, and give him arbitrary power to change the game state at will. You'll soon find all the other players giving him money and sucking up to whatever he wants.

Pardon the cynicism, but there you have it.

Of course there's religion in gaming!! (0)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739274)

Which games don't have a "God" mode?

Religion IS superficial (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739277)

"'I don't think there are any games that treat religion at anything more than a superficial level,'"

That's because religion IS superficial.

And no, this isn't flame bait. It's truth.

That's because... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739278)

'Religion is...wildly caricatured" in and of it's nature. Religion is silly; belief without proof.

Science is the new religion in that it's belief in repeatibility. Frankly, religion is just holding us back man.

Now let's clone something.

understandable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739281)

Hey, the most vocal in major American religions, it seems,
(Christianity, Islam, Judaism) look like caricatures to me.

(and this leads me to ignore religion, at least in mass media)

OTOH, I'll bet a few great games could be based on
historic/fictional "holy wars". Supernatural acts or not.

It's easy... (1)

fostware (551290) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739282)

My momma always said "Don't argue religion or politics. No-one wins and everyone arguing looks bad" Games are pretty similar...

However, Hitmen and sex-crazed Singles are all OK ^_^

Sacrifice and selflessness (1)

wanerious (712877) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739288)

It is interesting to imagine what kind of game could result from rewarding players who choose to abdicate power and serve others.

Black and White.... (3, Funny)

mdvlspwn99 (172473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739298)

I like games where I am god. And if the villagers didn't like it, they got a thrown in the ocean!

Or I'd feed them to my creature.

Re: ligion (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739303)


I find plenty of religion in games - clerics and druids amass, ritual sacrifices, pentagrams and much much more. There's even a whole genre dedicated to where you play a god!

Or did the author perhaps want jewo-christian religion? Sorry, it doesn't easily lend itself to games, except as a church building or sacrificial ritual. Face it, singing hymns and sitting still praying isn't all that exciting, compared to slaying and casting spells that actually do something you can see.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re: ligion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739335)

jewo-christian? ... Let's just call it Judeo-Christian shall we?

I think it hasn't been explored enough (3, Interesting)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739384)

Jewish mysticism has been only peripherally explored by Japanese game designers (quick example: what's a "Sephiroth"?) and mostly as window-dressing.

Also, Catholic priests are, broadly viewed, the basis for D&D clerics.

Both the Kabala and early Christian mysticism are rich footings from which to explore religious concepts in a game- I think they're mostly ignored by Americans because it's easy to offend people that way- which is fair enough.

However, I think a game based around the book of Revelations would be utterly awesome (perhaps an adaptation of "Left Behind"? I don't think much of apocalyptic stuff but it would sure make a good game.)

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the religious concepts you grew up with aren't very interesting and don't have any real mysteries to explore. But even a cursory review of what's out there (ever hear of the gospel of Thomas?) reveals a great deal.

Slashdot Poll: Which Religion are You? (0, Offtopic)

SqueakRu (212186) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739319)

I imagine that this has been done before, but I'm sure a majority of people who read this site fall into "Atheist, Agnostic or Non-Practicing" or "Church of the Divine Cowboy Neal".

evil (1)

ogewo (652234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739339)

Heretic and Hexen were a couple of games based on the dark side of religion. I also said a little prayer every time I turned a dark corner.

idle hands (-1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739340)

Rock & Roll is the Devil's music.

oh please (3, Interesting)

glMatrixMode (631669) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739348)

"religion and spirituality add a lot to a game world"

Oh please. These must be really weird times, when people even _think_ about putting spirituality in games.

Games unite people. Religion separates people.

Re:oh please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739444)

u camping fag

Reason To Keep Religion Out of Games (0)

ultrasonik (775562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739351)

Turning the other cheek to your enemy is not nearly as much fun as fragging him with your BFG9000.

The Ultima Series? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739358)

In particular Ultima IV is basically your quest to become a savior of the people. Different religions have also been crucial in other Ultima games. Nothing Judeo-Christian but plenty of religion.

The best God Games are in books (3, Informative)

Creosote (33182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739359)

There's plenty of imagination of what the God-role might be in a computer game. I'm not a big fan of Andrew Greeley, but he did stake out this turf in The God Game [amazon.com] a decade ago. Or, for a high metafictional take on a real-life role-playing game with a godlike director, there's John Fowles's The Magus [amazon.com] . And I suppose the best Death-of-God Game would have to be Lucky Wander Boy [luckywanderboy.com] by D. B. Weiss.

A Precisions Strike.... (0)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739370)

... on the "Fish-Without-A-Bicycle" problem.

easy (1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739373)

If you have a chip on your shoulder, take aim at Christianity. It's an easy target and you'll get applause from the gamer community for bashing. Every other religion of the world must be treated respectfully, though.

Re:easy (0, Flamebait)

Wubby (56755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739457)

Give me a break! Don't start the "Oh whoa is me, a little helpless persecuted christian, oh waaa!" crap!

Christianity is big the big guy the way MicroSoft is, not because is any better than the rest, only more ruthless!

Has Christianity been persecuted in history? Yes, starting 2000 years ago.
Has Christianity done the same to others? Yes starting slighty less than 2000 years ago. (Approx 33 yrs less.)

And since when has Christians treated ANY other religion with respect! (Not saying they all deserve it, but still a valid question!)

AHEM (2, Informative)

Mr_Malcontent (792689) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739376)

How about Billy Graham's Bible Blasters?

One exception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739381)

The GTA series nailed Scientology.

Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739389)

The reason religion is so often ignored in games is because it's complete bull.

Gamers tend to see the man behind the curtain.

Religion in gaming (1)

Japong (793982) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739391)

I think a large reason for this is that many, many games for the hardcore gaming audience deal with killing in some way. Your Half-lifes, Warcrafts, GTAs usually involve killing a lot of people (There are other genres, like racing and sports games which are also popular but don't really lend themselves to religion all that well, Mahatma ghandi's Racing Rally Challenge not withstanding).

It's difficult to make a game about Jesus (or whichever all-good deity) that will appeal to these people. So far game developers have turned the game into some sort of holy war, and more or less ignore all those religious calls for forgiveness and compassion, as in Requiem: Avenging Angel and Messiah.

For now, I could see something like Ultima IV's need for morality being integrated into games that featured religous characters, or possibly incorporated into some aspects of The Sims. However, I don't think there's enough gameplay options in today's market for them to be a viable alternative as a genre on their own.

How about : The War in Heaven (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739394)

st person shooter where you play an angel
Tring to defeat satan, while learning about the bible.
( wicked cool )

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/warinheaven/ [gamespot.com]

As it should be! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9739405)

I get enough religious bullshit from talking to people online, in real life, etc. The *last* place I want to see it is when I'm playing a frickin' videogame.

Who hasn't exclaimed (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739408)

Who hasn't exclaimed "Kill'em all and let god sort 'em out" in a gore-spree in [insert FPS here]?

Keep Religion in the Church (1)

MagnaMark (468484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739414)

Religion has as much place in the video game as it does in the science classroom.

(And I mean that to be half serious, half flamebait.)

God you say...? (1, Funny)

liloconf (560960) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739442)

IDDQD

A v P v Big G (2, Funny)

Cave Crickett (623643) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739447)

I would love to see Alien -vs- Predator -vs- GOD

Why should we care? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9739448)

Most gamers don't care for religion because with the modern world we get it forced upon us repeatedly by a failing group of people living in olden times. Like we don't care for being PC most the time, it's something we don't believe in and if we don't believe in it then we have no respect for it.

I live my life as I see fit, I don't need a book several thousand years old for advice. Recently I was in church (funeral) and all that came to mind was "Man God is selfish...". Religion fitted a world hidden in mystery, not a world full of science and people trying to get money from it.

If people wish to live in the past then that is fine but they shouldn't try and force it on others.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>