Here we go again, someone is offended. This time, it is the Universal Society of Hinduism, whose President Rajan Zed is asking Blizzard to take down Symmetra’s new Devi skin from Overwatch, as it “trivializes Hinduism’s highly revered goddesses. Read his complete statement here.
Rajan Zed said “that in a video game set-up, the player controlled the movements of Devi, while in reality the devotees put the destinies of themselves in the hands of their goddesses. Moreover, Devi and its movements depicted in Overwatch did not match with characterization of the goddesses in the scriptures.” Talk about shoving your religion down other people’s throats. Need we remind you that there is a game where you can actually play as different Gods? We’re talking about Smite. Not to mention, Valve’s DOTA 2 has a taunt for Zeus that makes him look like Super Mario, complete with sound effects.
Zed stated that “Blizzard Entertainment needed to follow its own “core values” which included “lead responsibly” (As one of the world’s leading game companies, we’re committed to making ethical decisions), as in this case it was creating confusion in the minds of community about Devi by misrepresentation.” Here’s the thing. One community’s chosen group of ideals cannot be allowed to dictate what the rest of the world decides to do for itself. Moreover, this clearly brings out the inherent hypocrisy in religious groups. On one hand, Devi is being belittled by being reduced to a character in a video game. On the other, the women named after the same Devi in question are disrespected and undermined on a regular basis, and no one bats an eye. In what way does that make sense?
As far as leading responsibly is concerned, Mr. Zed needs to be reminded that Blizzard readily removed and apologized for Tracer’s victory pose that had caused an uproar. So it is a safe bet to say that Blizzard is not exactly in the business of offending people, well, unless you count the fiasco they released as Diablo III. But that’s a completely different point. They are known for creating memorable games and characters that people enjoy, and removing the skin just because one community doesn’t like it because of their religious views is pointless. That’s like asking Nintendo to stop releasing Pokemon games because some group feels that they’re “the work of the Devil”.
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