Study Shows Video Games Show Religion As Violent, Problematic

By William Usher 2012-02-27 12:44:40 discussion comments
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What do you think of religion? What do you think of video games? Well, if you don't mind either one that's fine. However, a recent study from the University of Missouri found an interesting conundrum: religion in video games is usually presented as problematic and violent.

Greg Perreault, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism found that most mainstream games that include the use of religion usually depicts religion in a violent light or in a way that poses as a problem that the gamer must overcome.

Perreault said that....
“In most of these games there was a heavy emphasis on a “Knights Templar” and crusader motifs,”... “Not only was the violent side of religion emphasized, but in each of these games religion created a of problem that the main character must overcome, whether it is a direct confrontation with religious zealots or being haunted by religious guilt.”

The games Perreault examined included Assassin's Creed (which actually has a disclaimer at the beginning of each game saying that the designers come from different religious backgrounds and creeds) as well as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Final Fantasy XIII and Mass Effect.

Perreault concluded that the designers aren't intentionally trying to persuade people into thinking religion is evil or bad or consistently attached to violence (because the same could be said of love, money or anything people can obsess over *cough*Iraq war*cough*) however he does find the relationship between the two mediums interesting...

“It doesn’t appear that game developers are trying to purposefully bash organized religion in these games,” ... “I believe they are only using religion to create stimulating plot points in their story lines. If you look at video games across the board, most of them involve violence in some fashion because violence is conflict and conflict is exciting. Religion appears to get tied in with violence because that makes for a compelling narrative.”

Well there you have it. I think extra marital affairs also create a lot of conflict but for some reason we don't usually have to deal with that in games except for maybe in Grand Theft Auto.

You can check out the complete findings over at the University of Missouri Website.
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