Hindus Criticize Smite For "Trivializing" Their Religion

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Hindus Criticize Smite For "Trivializing" Their Religion


The Universal Society of Hinduism wants its deities out of Smite.

The Universal Society of Hinduism is once again up in arms over a videogame, this time Smite [https://account.hirezstudios.com/smitegame/], a multiplayer game that pits gods from various pantheons against one another in online arena combat. The game is currently in closed beta, with five gods - Artemis, Ra, Kali, Ymir and Sun WuKong - available for free, while others may be unlocked through gameplay or microtransactions. Developer Hi-Rez Studios says it plans to continue adding new gods to the game throughout the beta period and after release.

But Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, wants Hindu gods like Kali taken out of the game. He said that their inclusion in a videogame trivializes the deities and that controlling them with a gamepad or keyboard "denigrates" them and the faith of Hindus. Hindu gods are meant to be worshiped in temples and at shrines, he said, and not reduced to mere characters in games.

But it sounds like Zed is going to be disappointed. "Smite includes deities inspired from a diverse and ever expanding set of pantheons including Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Norse. Hinduism, being one of the world's oldest, largest and most diverse traditions, also provides inspiration toward deities in our game," said Hi-Rez Chief Operating Officer Todd Harris. "In fact, given Hinduism's concept of a single truth with multiple physical manifestations, one could validly interpret ALL the gods within Smite to be Hindu. And all gods outside of Smite as well. Ponder that for a minute. Anyway, going forward Smite will include even more deities, not fewer."

This isn't the first time the Universal Society of Hinduism has waded into the videogame fray. Zed made similar comments in March, when he criticized Asura's Wrath for "trivializing" Hindu gods and upsetting devotees. Then, and now, Zed invited the industry to "immerse" itself in Hinduism, but only if it did so "seriously and respectfully."

Source: Alpharetta-Milton Patch [http://alpharetta.patch.com/articles/alpharetta-game-developer-asked-to-stop-using-hindu-gods#photo-10468325]



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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I wonder if this is one of those societies that is one guy in a basement who bitches about this sort of thing.
 

Richardplex

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Saw this coming a mile away. Did think it was a bit odd for Hi Rez to include Hinduism along with dead religion's gods. Clearly, the only way to peacefully resolve this is to include Jesus as a hero.
 

Quaxar

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Universal Society of Hinduism, not affiliated with Universal Pictures Studios.

It's always a negative reaction to these kinds of things, isn't it? You never hear anybody say "Gosh, I sure am glad our God made the list of deities cool enough for this game. I am so glad to be a Hindu."
 

Corven

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Now lets see if the devs have the balls to make Jesus a playable character.
 

Lethos

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darkstone said:
Now lets see if the devs have the balls to make Jesus a playable character.
I was wondering this. They seem to be trying to avoid the giant elephant in the room.
 

Albino Boo

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All these gaming studious being hip and gritty to make a controversy by insulting a group that won't hit back becomes somewhat tiresome. I would praise them if them made Mohamed a player character but of course that means they might have to risk their life. Like all playground bullies they can dish it out, but run away from anything that they stand a real risk with.
 

Don Savik

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Yea no, sorry. You don't get to claim copyright over gods. They're free game for everyone to use.

Richardplex said:
Saw this coming a mile away. Did think it was a bit odd for Hi Rez to include Hinduism along with dead religion's gods. Clearly, the only way to peacefully resolve this is to include Jesus as a hero.
Today's religions is yesterday's mythology. In the future, whether we like it or not, Christianity and Hinduism will be taken as seriously as the Greek and Norse pantheon. Hindus might as well have a sense of humor about it to be honest. And whats so bad about getting killing sprees as a badass Hindu god? You think that would be a good thing.
 

Stripes

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I think its a shame that the Hindu gods arent used for something more interesting, its a really rich culture and they are using it for some lame fighting game. Its fine to use them because no one owns them, so long as it isnt being used to directly mock those of the religion in a non friendly way (though thats not cool anyway), and people who are going to get offended by their meer inclusion in a videogame arent worth listening to. Though theres no need to say degrading stuff about the religion in response to some knee jerk overeaction by one group.
 

Bazaalmon

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I can understand those with Hindu beliefs being upset, but c'mon, your gods are way cooler than the western god, which is just a person-thing hanging out in the clouds. He/she/it doesn't have a giant hammer or throw thunderbolts or have multiple arms or anything! Can't you just enjoy having some awesome deities, despite the game probably not being very good?

Also:
Jesus' special attack: Loaves and Fishes - A swarm of flying piranhas attack the opponent and super-dense loaves of bread deal bludgeoning damage!
 

Stripes

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albino boo said:
All these gaming studious being hip and gritty to make a controversy by insulting a group that won't hit back becomes somewhat tiresome. I would praise them if them made Mohamed a player character but of course that means they might have to risk their life. Like all playground bullies they can dish it out, but run away from anything that they stand a real risk with.
Why would you praise someone for maing a muhhamed character?
 

Richardplex

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Berenzen said:

Make it happen Hi-Rez.
Nail should be in his wrist, factually inaccurate. Otherwise that is the best thing I've seen all day.
 

SacremPyrobolum

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Dang, the Hindus just cant catch a break these days.

I suppose the religion is just not looked on as being as modern or mainstream as the other three faiths, and is often overlooked.

But I do agree to having the ability to have a Mohammad vs. Jesus vs. Moses three-way throw-down.
 

Morti

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Richardplex said:
Berenzen said:

Make it happen Hi-Rez.
Nail should be in his wrist, factually inaccurate. Otherwise that is the best thing I've seen all day.
Ditto here. If they're not limiting themselves to dead religions then let's get some Jesus/Yahweh action in there.
 

mindlesspuppet

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darkstone said:
Now lets see if the devs have the balls to make Jesus a playable character.
It doesn't really take balls to do this, as far as major deities are concerned Jesus is by far and away the most used in entertainment. That aside Jesus just really doesn't lend himself well to this sort of game. He's basically a scruffy homeless guy who's grandest ability is allowing himself to die, which isn't nearly as cool as a red elephant with four arms.