Video games and violence go hand in hand. Video games of late have drawn debate about the violence being simulated and its effect on young players. While violence in video games is something to think about given their effect on kids and young players, epics from any religion are actually full of it. It’s only logical for the video game developers to look back into history and religion for fresh themes. Japan-based video-game developer Capcom has done just that, with new videogame Asura’s Wrath, a Hindu-theme based game.
The only problem with Asura’s Wrath — released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — is that it has apparently drawn Hindu’s wrath. Rajan Zed, president of U.S.-based Universal Society of Hinduism, criticized the game, and says “such trivializing and reimagining of highly revered symbols and concepts of Hinduism” was “upsetting for the devotees.”
Zed said that video-games developers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as these games leave a lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people and thus seriously affected the outlook and thought process of our next generation.
He added that “unless the developers could accurately and authentically deliver religious imagery and symbolism, they should not unnecessarily poke into religion.”
Game developers have to see what their main aim is: violence or mythology. If it’s violence they want, then they don’t necessarily have to look into mythology. If they are looking at mythology, then they better look at it seriously, because depicting mythology wrongly would affect a whole generation — a generation which might be getting its dose of mythology from video games. This new medium has a greater responsibility than ever, and it’s nothing trivial.
There is violence all right in Hindu mythology. It’s just a matter of looking for it and depicting it correctly. In fact, there’s a recent study which inferred that mixing religion with video games often results in violence. When you develop a game based on a fictional character you created, then you are free to do whatever you want. But, when you develop a game based on the mythology of a religion followed by a billion people, then you better get your research hat on and work your ass off. Otherwise you are bound to face some wrath yourself, not just the asuras’.
PS : From the folk tales and mythology I grew up with, Asuras aren’t good people. It’s in fact the asuras who were facing wrath, not the other way around.
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