Hindus Ask PAX To Drop Smite

| 30 Aug 2012 18:45
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The Universal Society of Hinduism is asking PAX organizers to keep Smite out of the convention.

Hi-Rez Studios' Smite is a multiplayer fighting game featuring gods from various pantheons going at each other in divine, one-on-one combat. It won't actually be out for awhile yet, but in the meantime the Hi-Rez guys are making the rounds of various gaming conventions, drumming up publicity while giving gamers a chance to try it out.

The game isn't going over very well with Hindus, however, thanks to the presence of Hindu deities Kali, Vamana and Agni as playable characters. Rajan Zed, the head of the Universal Society of Hinduism, asked Hi-Rez in June to remove the Hindu characters from the game and then, when that went nowhere, called on QuakeCon to drop it from the lineup, which also went ignored. But he's keeping up the fight, and has now asked organizers to keep the game from being played or distributed at this weekend's PAX Prime.

Hi-Rez will reportedly have Smite playable on 50 stations at PAX, Zed said in a statement, and will be offering it for sale at "promotional pricing." But as one of the largest gaming events in North America, with a number of very high-profile sponsors, Zed said that PAX "should show responsibility and respect the feelings of upset Hindus."

"Goddess Kali and other Hindu deities were meant to be worshiped in temples and home shrines and not meant to be reduced to just a 'character' in a video game to be used in combat in the virtual battleground," he said. "Videogame makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people."

It's understandable that Zed wouldn't really be down with the whole "gaming culture" thing, but the odds of PAX keeping a game off the floor out of sensitivity to cultural issues are very long indeed. Far more likely is that we'll end up with PAX apparel covered in images of Kali sporting four dicks instead of four arms.

PAX Prime 2012 runs from August 31 to September 2 in Seattle.

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Oh come on! I'm a Hindu and the first thing I thought when I finished God of War was "how cool would it be to fight Shiva?"

To be fair, this group has every right to complain about the portrayal of their god in a video game.

Equally, everyone else has the right to completely ignore them, and go about their day.

I remember Bill Hicks on offending Christians...

"So, I'm doing a gig in the deep south, and these guys come up to me after the show, shove me in the chest, and go "come here!", musta been physics majors, I'm guessing, and they tell me they don't like what I said about Jesus... I told them, "So, forgive me!"

I love how PAX ended two days ago and this is still on the Most Commented list.

Gabe and Tycho are big Tribes fans and Hi Rez has done well by them recently in that respect...

That said, while their voices obviously carry a lot of weight at *their* convention, Robert Khoo handles all this stuff directly, not Mike and Jerry. He's a pragmatic guy; I expect he'd relay the concern on to the Smite devs, but leave the decision to them.

I'm sure there were also Greeks in the Classical Age performing various public religious rites and those of private cults offended by the representation of the gods in the epic poetry of Homer and the like. But, by a landslide, the Greeks embraced what was really the popular fiction (or non-fiction, as they might have esteemed it) of Homer. People still read Homer today, some of them even enjoy it; the religious rites of the ancient Greeks are now long dead. I'm sure there's some argument in there for the staying power of media in the mind of the people against the appeal of blind adherence to gods and idols.

What's really irking me about this is why this particular game seems to have put so much sand in their collective vagina? Smite isn't the first game and certainly not the first piece of media to use Hindu icons for cheap amusement.

So why has this particular game struck such a chord?

Two-A:

Nieroshai:
It's all fun and games til it's your own faith being portrayed by an outsider. People need to focus more on themselves within their faiths and less on whether anyone else respects them. Hell, I'm a Christian, I know none of you respect that. And I don't care, I'm here to talk games and nerdy crap.

I respect that, I'm a Christian too.

I feel that people need to learn to not push their beliefs into everything. Hinduism is the 3rd largest religion in the world, it makes sense that people would draw inspiration for it.

My favorite games, movies, and anime draw heavily from other myths and religions. Norse, Greek, Hindu, Japanese, Chinese, what have you. My favorite author, David Eddings, called it the Mythological Fishhook. There's something about these myths and creeds that draws us into them, and the story by extension.

I think we could all take a page out of the Hindu playbook and treat all religions as legit, but have your own favorite flavor. Life would be a lot more peaceful.

Could we please stop saying "Hindus ask..." whenever this particular group makes a noise? I doubt they represent a majority of Hindus. I wouldn't think it fair if the WBC was just called plainly "Christians" in every article.

It's depressing how often you have to point out to people that it's okay to be offended. Go on! Be offended! Nothing happens.
No, seriously. Let's follow this line of thought: Suppose you are offended by this game. Yeah? What then?......... You see?! Nothing happens as a result! It's perfectly okay to be offended!
Maybe I'm offended by the colour of your shirt Mr. Zed! What are you planning to do about that?
Nothing? Well why not?!
Offence is entirely subjective, ergo my offence is just as valid as yours!
Of course, it would be silly of me to demand you remove that shirt, because you should not be have to change your behavior around my sensitivities when I have the option of simply walking away from your stupid shirt.

Hindu deities were mean't to be worshipped... by Hindus.

The world doesn't have to take steps to avoid upsetting me, what makes any other human more special?

I still think Smite should include the Archangel Gabriel and Lucifer in their lineup. While not really "gods", per-se, they'd still make good characters, and maybe the hindus would chill out if they weren't the only modern religion whose deities were being trivialized.

piclemaniscool:
Every time I hear another gripe about this game, I try to relate it to a religion I'm more accustomed with. then I realize a hack and slash game starring Jesus would be hilariously awesome. Maybe fantasy RPG, fable style.

it's not so much another gripe
as the same guy/group griping to diffident people to stop promoting the game.

Every time I hear another gripe about this game, I try to relate it to a religion I'm more accustomed with. then I realize a hack and slash game starring Jesus would be hilariously awesome. Maybe fantasy RPG, fable style.

TheSYLOH:
What i really want to see is a team battle.
Moses, Jesus and Mohammad vs Zeus, Shiva and Thor.

Needs more dinosaurs. Many, many more dinosaurs. Perhaps as some kind of mount.

Schadrach:

Sleekit:

The Plunk:
I trust the Penny Arcade guys to stand up to these enemies of free speech.

still no characters from the Abrahamic religions i see.

why is that exactly ?..

oh yes...they are shitebags.

still /golfcalp in the name of "freedom of speech" eh ?..

especially when its quite clear they won't actually dare offend anyone who might actually be able to mess with them in return.

cowards.

Jesus could make an awesome Melee/Support if done right (set him up like a melee version of Hel, call the stance changes "Prince of Peace" and "I Bring Not Peace, But a Sword". Yahweh is OP, being invisible and all though. Since none of the Jewish or Muslim prophets are accused of being divine, it's kind of hard to use one of them as a "god" unless you think Mohammed and Moses could beat of Odin and Ra...

You can always go with when Yahweh was part of a polytheistic religion and bit less powerful.
Yahweh Sabaoth"God of the armies" make him a puppet master style champ.

What i really want to see is a team battle.
Moses, Jesus and Mohammad vs Zeus, Shiva and Thor.

Admittedly the Abrahamic religion team is support heavy.
Moses acts on Debuff with his curses of Egypt, Jesus healing and Resurrection and Mohammad does physical DPS and Tank.
The polytheistic team seems to have doubled up on lightning elementals, but has strong close combat capabilities.

alandavidson:

http://www.gamesheep.com/game/faith-fighter/

This game differentiated Buddha from Budai. + 5 respect.

As for the topic, from what I've seen of the game it looks pretty shit although I do find the idea of a fighting game made up of religious figures (including the Abrahamic ones) to be a pretty entertaining idea.

If people get offended so what? If their all powerful god(s) care they'll intervene if they don't they obviously don't care.

Everyone wins.

Honestly? Im all for bashing of all religions as equally possible (Im looking at you Taoism, you coward).

On the other hand, If Christians are fine having Jesus being a playable character, why the hell should Capitolism: The Religion be complaining?

Innegativeion:

Woodsey:

Sleekit:
still no characters from the Abrahamic religions i see.

why is that exactly ?..

oh yes...they are shitebags.

still /golfcalp in the name of "freedom of speech" eh ?..

especially when its quite clear they won't actually dare offend anyone who might actually be able to mess with them in return.

cowards.

Their job is not to include all the religions you've taken up a personal beef with. You might have noticed that Hindu deities are rather interesting looking, whilst anyone important in Christianity, Judaism and Islam is a bloke with a beard. So yeah, no shit they're not included.

Well, the SMT series managed to make judeo-christian entities look pretty interesting.

Demons and angels technically fall under the blanket of "abrahamic", after all. That includes folks like Lucifer, Gabriel, the guardians of edin with flaming swords, those really weird looking ones with like 6 legs and 3 arms (or whatever), and a dude named METATRON(no joke).

Plenty of wiggle room to make interesting characters, I guess the Smite folks don't think it'd be exotic enough?

No, I guess not. The game includes 5 religions, they have no duty whatsoever to include one religion to balance the books for including another.

If the designers aren't interested in digging through Christian fiction to come up with blokes like Metatron then that's abso-fucking-lutely fine because it's their game and they can include whatever the hell interests them.

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