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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I really wish it was a...

...multiplayer fighting game featuring gods from various pantheons going at each other in divine, one-on-one combat...

...but it's actually more of a 3rd person DotA clone.

Fruit fucking robots care not of God's and Men...

*cough

These guys are almost as annoying as the people bitching about the new Dante. At least they have a valid argument tho. Take the Hindu Gods out of your game. Show some respect and or decency. We get it, your ploy for free advertising has worked.

Krantos:
What they really need to do is balance the books.

Make Jesus a playable character.

Not quite sure how that would work given his philosophy, but they should make it work.

As a Christian myself, I would love to see that and imagine The Man would get a kick out of it.

Rather dying for your ideals than use violence does not exactly constitute a good video game protagonist in a fighting game.

>inb4 Penny Arcade makes a comic about it

samahain:
Is it me or maybe, just maybe, some Hinduists are losing focus here.
I understand defending your beliefs, however they ought to understand that it is NOT their deity on screen. It's a character with a cool name.

I want to see Jesus in a fighting game. Why not??? Huh?

up+b is his special attack and he can regain all his health that he may have lost.

As a Christian, I wouldd buy that DLC

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.

An organization is nothing more than "Lots and lots of individuals", so you just contradicted yourself here. And people are allowed to have a say in what is or isn't approved for kickstarter? If you don't like it, don't fund it! It's not like anyone other than those interested in the product being developed are paying for anything. Kickstarter's just a communication medium and safety net for investors.

image

I think you'd get a lot of favor from Kali if you sacrificed another deity to her.

Oh, what a shame, your god is a in a game and is a character beating other gods up. I'm sure if I looked hard enough I could find at least one game that essentially says my whole church is a corrupt evil empire and my god is either fictional, dead, and/or evil. Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it.

Anyways, I support there trying to follow their ideals but I don't think they are going to get anywhere. Gamers don't give a shit.

I this still an thing? What the hell.

Ey. If I can take Jesus being a recuring character in South Park, thee guys can take Kali being in a game. Just saying.

I think the main reason that they might be offended is the fact that the gods of their very much alive and practiced religion is coupled up the gods of old, dead mythologies rather than actual modern day religions

list taken from their website:

Current List of Gods
Greek: Zeus, Hades, Arachne, Artemis
Norse: Odin, Ymir, Hel,
Chinese: Sun WuKong, He Bo, Ao Kuang
Eyptian: Anubis, Ra, Bastet, Sobek
Hindu: Kali, Vamana, Agni

http://hi-rez.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/459/~/smite-closed-beta-frequently-asked-questions

that is dangerously close to actually imply that their religion is actually just a mythology while Christianity, Islam and Judaism are real religions (they all have a god that have been depicted in several ways, and plenty of deity-like characters like the devil, demons and angels that could be well implemented but aren't)

I know they aren't actually saying that, but the implications are there.

just sayin'

Silly people with their silly superstitions.

... I however strongly object to smite use of Odin! How dare they insult us pagans by not making Odin the kvltest blackest strongest character in SMITE!

Who does Rajan Zed think he is? How dare he speak for gods and convey their "wishes"? Vishnu and friends are presumably adults and can fight their own fights and voice their own discontent.

If the Hindu gods disprove they can go to PAX and make an appeal in person.Or they could just slaughter everybody on the premises, that would get the message through.

The question here is "Will PAX actually drop Smite because of this?"

The answer... they s'might.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAokay that sounded better in my head.

Seriously though, it's not like they started an angry protest against PAX, they're just politely asking for them to not include it. They'll probably include it anyway, but that's no reason to use this as a reason to hate all religions or anything.

You would think they would be interested in seeing this through as it would bring more interest to their beliefs which should be a good thing considering while they are a large religion, they are very concentrated in a very specific area.

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.

I think the reason that there are no characters from Abrahamic religion is that the both Allah and Jahweh are so undefined. We don't know what they are, we don't know where they are, we don't know what they look like, wedon't know where they came from, we really know nothing about them. It's not like with Zeus or Shiva or Kali, where we do have a reasonably defined look and personality.

wintercoat:

RaikuFA:
Wait till they see this, they'll flip their shit:

Pfft, that's nothing when you consider the fact that Shiva has been in almost every main series Final Fantasy and several of the spinoffs, and every single time he's a chick.

But that's in name only. This Shiva is more akin to the actual faith.

Theres also Vishnu, Ganesh, Parvati the list goes on.

They should play the game first, they might stop complaining when they realize that Kali is incredibly OP.

Yes, go to PAX for support. This couldn't possibly backfire in your faces. I'm just surprised these people are aware enough of the convention's existence to request the game to be kept out, but aren't knowledgeable enough about the people running it to know that's a bad idea. Ah well, whatever.

If you stop to think about it a bit, you'll realize that Hindus are in a weird place. They're an ancient religion, old as or older than just about every other pantheon portrayed in this game. This, as well as the fact that they are a polytheistic religious tradition means they get lumped in with ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Norse faiths. The problem is that, revival movements aside, Hinduism is still a major world religion. The others are not. There are still millions of practicing Hindus. Hellenismos, Kemetism, Asatru, and other 'neopagan' faiths are still tiny (and, it must be said, fully aware of how their religious figures have been adopted by pop culture. They generally go into the practice expecting this sort of thing.)

Not a lot of people get worked up over portrayals of Thor or Anubis because not many people still hold these figures in reverence. Hindus are going to be as sensitive as Christians and Muslims when it comes to their gods. The devs should probably have asked themselves, 'If we could justify it from a gameplay perspective, would we have put Jesus or Mohammed in the game?' If sensitivity to religion was a factor in the decision not to, they should have applied that same sensitivity to Hinduism.

This isn't to say that I thin PAX should cave, nor should the developers of the game. They are free to make the game they choose, play the game they choose, and let consumers decide whether what they have is worth anything. However, that shouldn't prevent us from attempting to gain some understanding of the people involved. It's possible to sympathize with both sides, no matter who you agree with. I think that Hindus should probably just let this go and go on with their lives. But then again, I'm not a Hindu.

samahain:
Is it me or maybe, just maybe, some Hinduists are losing focus here.
I understand defending your beliefs, however they ought to understand that it is NOT their deity on screen. It's a character with a cool name.

I want to see Jesus in a fighting game. Why not??? Huh?

That would be stupid. If Jesus ever got hit in a fighting game, all he would do is just turn the other cheek.

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