Escapist Podcast: 089: Religion in BioShock, David Jaffe and Playing Nice

The Escapist Staff

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089: Religion in BioShock, David Jaffe and Playing Nice

This week, we talk about one person's reaction to an early scene in BioShock Infinite, David Jaffe's recent proposal for game journalism, and why we all need to try to be a little more nice to each other.

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bravetoaster

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Oct 7, 2009
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Susan, google "naked volleyball". First result's a website "Dedicated to outdoor volleyball at Southern California nudist clubs."

Agreed, though--that is a weird choice of things to do naked.

Edit: Also, equating religion with sexual orientation or gender identity strikes me as a poor comparison--the former is either a choice or typically taught to you by parents, the latter is (at least to the best of my knowledge) not a choice and not taught. Both may be things that people consider parts of their identity, but it seems like you run a risk of unintentionally alienating or offending people by putting it that way. I'm not trying to be a jerk about that, and I'm sorry if I come off as such.
 

mastermarty

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Feb 13, 2010
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This sound's weird, but I actually had to check if the escapist had add's. I just don't notice them anymore, so I don't really get why you would use add blockers. The only add's that annoy me are the one's with sound... Those may just disappear into the deepest pit of hell to continue they're wailing there. But still, even those you can easily just ignore after a while.
 

DrRockor

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On the ad's, I have been watching the back catalogue of Feed Dump and I think I've watched the Iron Man 3 ad about 50 times now and yes it gets real annoying but I'm still going to watch them because I like the idea of you guys eating.
 

bdcjacko

Gone Fonzy
Jun 9, 2010
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The first time I spoke with a member of the escapist it was over ads because I was using ad blocker because I got a really nasty virus from an ad once. She understood where I was coming from and suggested I become a pubclub member so they can still get some sort of revenue stream off my page views.
And I agreed. Being an accountant and all, I quickly realized that the $20 a year they get from me is not really enough, kinda wish there was some sort of donation box as well.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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bravetoaster said:
Susan, google "naked volleyball". First result's a website "Dedicated to outdoor volleyball at Southern California nudist clubs."

Agreed, though--that is a weird choice of things to do naked.

Edit: Also, equating religion with sexual orientation or gender identity strikes me as a poor comparison--the former is either a choice or typically taught to you by parents, the latter is (at least to the best of my knowledge) not a choice and not taught. Both may be things that people consider parts of their identity, but it seems like you run a risk of unintentionally alienating or offending people by putting it that way. I'm not trying to be a jerk about that, and I'm sorry if I come off as such.
Oh, of course. I was just trying to illustrate that readers are more likely to come to the defense of, say, someone being harassed for sexual preference or race than they are for someone being mocked for being devout. It wasn't an ideal analogy at all - just trying to say that it seems that it's typically open season on anyone who admits to being religious.
 

bdcjacko

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Jun 9, 2010
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I disagree with religion being a choice. To me a choice is what shirt to wear today. Beliefs and religion are a fundamental part of who someone is that can change and evolve over time, but it is never as simple as deciding I believe or don't believe this today. It is a series of choices and how you were raised, just like economic status. I mean you wouldn't insult someone for beif middle class would you, and that is just as much of a choice as being Hindu.
 

klown

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I can see why that baptism would matter more to him than something like killing people. I can divorce myself from the fact that Booker is killing and over throwing tons of people, because he is not any religion. But the idea that a person can go through a baptism, and fake faith, just to get into this city to do his job, is beyond my own outlook in the world. That to me is more sacrilegious then the mass murder.

I think on the view point of why Geek/Nerd culture can attack religion the way they do, Ms. Lashani hit it on the head. The world has decreed we can laugh at stupid people, and we place stupidity in the metaphorical stocks and throw tomatoes at them. Look at things like Jersey Shore, or Ridiculousness, or like Wipeout. This comes into the Nerd culture where we can laugh at the person in class who doesn't understand complex differentials because to us they are stupid. Nerds tend to look at religion as stupid, there for we can laugh at them, and tell them how stupid they are.
 

LysanderNemoinis

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Nov 8, 2010
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I don't think the religion-bashing is a product of "stupidity," because if the religion in question was Islam, with the exception of a very, very, VERY small minority, you would not hear anyone in the gaming community attack it. For me, I think it comes down to politics more than anything else. From numerous polls on The Escapist and elsewhere, gamers are very much on the left side of things, a very liberal community. And if you haven't noticed, liberals (generally speaking) aren't very accepting of Christianity/Catholicism where at the same time they'll fall all over themselves to stick up for and apologize for other religions (especially Islam) at the drop of a hat.
 

Crimson_Dragoon

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Jul 29, 2009
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I picked up Ad Blocker a few months ago for issues I was having with other sites and then kind of just forget about it. But this and the article from Ben Kuchera have reminded me what I'm doing and the effect it has. And for that, I would like to sincerely apologize. There's no excuse, especially for a site I've been getting so much enjoyment from for the last few years. I know its not much, but I have just renewed my club membership, and plan to keep it active for as long as I'm on this site. Thanks for the great work you all do.
 

2fish

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I think the underdog ideal doesn?t help. I mean many religions can be seen as the rich established team in the mighty ducks and many gamers/geeks/ect feel like we are the underdog team. So we support other underdog teams and rally against any big established teams even if it makes no sense to do so.

Fanatical game supporters is also a good chunk of the reasons. Add on any bad experiences people have had with a religion or group. Bam a nice mix of explosive personalities.

Also many of the logical people will avoid the conflict as they have no issue with his choice and don?t feel like entering a yelling match with the internet. The only way to win is not to play when it comes to internet yelling matches.

 

tkioz

Fussy Fiddler
May 7, 2009
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On the subject of adblock (I'm a pubclub member FYI) there are things you need to understand, I don't know the average age of your audience, but people in their early to mid 30s have been online for 10-20 years now, we saw the very very worst of the advertising industry online, we saw the growth of popups, popunders, flash, gifs, etc, etc, etc, etc. some of us we'll never tolerate advertisements again, the well has been poisoned, our goodwill is gone, blame the people who ruined it, don't blame the people who were pushed into avoiding all advertisement online, don't just complain about how we're selfish (as I said I give you money every year, three years running now), you need to woo us back, and complaining wont do that.
 

JoaoJatoba

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Dec 31, 2010
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Most people don't know how to debate, to hear an argument and try to argument back (if possible), or to respect issues that cannot be discussed (for whatever reason).

About the religious dude, I can respect his reasons, I can debate if he is right or not, but I don't see any reason for being angry with the whole act...
 

TheBestPieEver

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I don't run addblock on the escapist and I rarely get anything more than a banner at the top and an add at the bottom.
 

Dastardly

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Apr 19, 2010
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The Escapist Staff said:
089: Religion in BioShock, David Jaffe and Playing Nice

This week, we talk about one person's reaction to an early scene in BioShock Infinite, David Jaffe's recent proposal for game journalism, and why we all need to try to be a little more nice to each other.

Watch Video
Good, even great, writers need editors for the same reason Adam Sandler and Robin Williams need someone else in the director's chair. When they're left to their own devices, with no one to say No, they tend toward the overly ridiculous and the stupid. When someone is there to focus their energy, you get Oscar-worthy stuff.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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LysanderNemoinis said:
I don't think the religion-bashing is a product of "stupidity," because if the religion in question was Islam, with the exception of a very, very, VERY small minority, you would not hear anyone in the gaming community attack it. For me, I think it comes down to politics more than anything else. From numerous polls on The Escapist and elsewhere, gamers are very much on the left side of things, a very liberal community. And if you haven't noticed, liberals (generally speaking) aren't very accepting of Christianity/Catholicism where at the same time they'll fall all over themselves to stick up for and apologize for other religions (especially Islam) at the drop of a hat.
Interesting and valid point. Hadn't considered that, but you're definitely not wrong.

tkioz said:
On the subject of adblock (I'm a pubclub member FYI) there are things you need to understand, I don't know the average age of your audience, but people in their early to mid 30s have been online for 10-20 years now, we saw the very very worst of the advertising industry online, we saw the growth of popups, popunders, flash, gifs, etc, etc, etc, etc. some of us we'll never tolerate advertisements again, the well has been poisoned, our goodwill is gone, blame the people who ruined it, don't blame the people who were pushed into avoiding all advertisement online, don't just complain about how we're selfish (as I said I give you money every year, three years running now), you need to woo us back, and complaining wont do that.
We never said you were selfish. In fact, I spent a lot of time saying I understand exactly why people use Ad Block.
 

Agayek

Ravenous Gormandizer
Oct 23, 2008
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Susan Arendt said:
Interesting and valid point. Hadn't considered that, but you're definitely not wrong.
Honestly, from where I sit, the most likely reason (though there will truly be as many different reasons as there are people) is going to be simple "us vs them" mentality.

In general, the kind of people who embrace gaming and embrace the gaming community, tend to be the kind of people who reject faith, for whatever reason. It's definitely not a rule, but most gamers are at least to the point of agnosticism, and a significant portion (I doubt it's a majority, but it's probably the single largest group) are outright atheists.

When you get a group like that, people that don't fall under that banner become easy targets. Much like how racial segregation allows/drives racial hatreds to fester. Gamers, generally, are not religious, and even if they are, they don't generally discuss religion among each other. As a consequence, it tends to breed a... distaste? for religious thought and a dismissal of it as superstitious nonsense.

Is that necessarily fair? No. But the thing is, gamers are just people. We're going to suffer from the same flaws and facets that every other group of people suffer from. We're not magically immune to it because it's us. Generalization, xenophobia, and the promotion of one's group at the expense of others' are all incredibly common traits throughout human history. Is it really so surprising that we would express our own versions of such?

Now, I don't want to come across as if I'm supporting it, because I'm not. When that shit happens, we need to call attention to it and try to stop it.

But we also need to recognize that we're all only human, and we're largely no better, or even substantially different (at the core), than any other group of humans out there. Fifty thousand years of evolution have hardwired us to be a tribal people. We instinctively have our "us" (generally defined by the monkeysphere, though I'm unsure of the technical term for such) and our "them" (everyone else), and we will always prefer "us" over "them".

If we ever want to change that, it will take a substantial amount of work, and it may not even be possible without changing the pieces that drive our most basic desires and instincts.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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Apr 8, 2020
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Audio editing bothers me to no end in TV shows.

I love NCIS and Abby is my favorite, but when it comes to audio? Dear God, no. I love it when she says something like, "I ran this through the audio software I create and....", and I'm sitting there and thinking, "Hey, it's Protools. I love that software!"

As for the amount of hate that's been around as of late, I've actually gotten to the point where I specifically say something positive, or stated cautionary optimism in a thread since it's gotten to the point of ridiculousness. Not that I'm expecting that the people leaving comments will be more positive, but I just think that not everything deserves to be filled with "witty" hate fueled comments.