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Religion, Violence, and Beyond: How Far is Too Far in Fiction?

By JK Evanczuk on Thursday, April 30, 2009 - Comments Off

That's God vs Buddha of FaithFighter, folks. We're placing bets on who will win...not really, cause we don't want to get firebombed.

An influential Islamic group successfully protested against the video game Faith Fighter, pictured above and also after the jump, claiming that it was offensive to Muslims, Christians, and just about all of humankind. The game, made by Italian design company Molleindustria, features such religious figures as Jesus, Mohammad, and Ganesh duking it out martial-arts style. I think the Globe and Mail describes the game best:

In the game Faith Fighter, caricatures of Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad, Buddha, God and the Hindu god Ganesh fight each other against a backdrop of burning buildings. God attacks with bolts of lighting and pillars of fire while the turbaned Muhammad can summon a burning black meteorite.

Which is hilarious, just because the whole thing sounds so dumb. Molleindustria claims that the game was meant to “push the gamers to reflect on how the religious and sacred representations are often instrumentally used to fuel or justify conflicts between nations and people.” But the game’s website declares, “Give vent to your intolerance! Religious hate has never been so much fun!” Uh, OK.

Whatever. The point is, some Italian company made an offensive and silly game, religious groups understandably got pissed, and the game had to be revised to be not so offensive (now there’s a big black dot over Mohammad’s head, you see). So while Molleindustria has gone on to make Faith Fighter 2, I’m left here with a nagging question: how far is too far in storytelling? Read more »

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