I consider myself a casual gamer. I love playing games but not overly obsessed with them – unless EA Games puts out a new The Sims or some really violent or interesting game comes out, then I’m a hermit.

One game I’ve recently played is God of War. I’ve played 1 and 2 and I’m thinking about getting 3 (I’ve tried the demo), it’s not a bad series. Usually I can play a game without analyzing it – okay, I analyze a little but that’s just the person that I am. While playing, you have to pretty much slaughter the pantheon because the character, Kratos, is a myopic guy who backed out on a deal he initiated with Aries, the God of War. Besides seeing an example of why people should never make deals with deities, it became a little weird slaughtering some of the very deities I pray to. I know I kinda cringed some when I had to rip off Apollo’s head pretty gruesomely to use him for a lantern and a weapon in GoW 3 because weeeeeeeell, he’s the god of creativity, the sun and music. I think as I had to make Kratos slowly pull and twist the head of Apollo, sinew by sinew I would say, “Sorrrrrrreeeee. I have to do this to progress in the game! This is totally not personal, I like ya! Plz don’t give me writer’s block and creative dry spells.”

While playing, a thought hit me: “There are a lot of games and movies based on various mythologies but I wonder what would happen if there were a Christian version of God of War? I dunno… maybe title it Son of God or Saviour or something. Like someone wants Jesus to bail them out of something in exchange for undying servitude and then gets sick of it but Jesus doesn’t like that and thus Heaven or Hell! Let’s rock!” I have a feeling if someone had to play a game where they had to stab and pretty much obliterate their deity – I dunno, stab the spear of destiny straight through Christ and try to break the holy dude apart using the cross or something – it probably would ruffle a few feathers because of the common complaint, “Dude! This is…aw man, I am so going to Hell. He did not die on the cross for this.” Granted, Aries is a god of war so it’s a good setup for a bloody action game but if you’ve been around gaming for a long enough time, you learn just about anything can be a bloody action game. Look at American McGee’s Alice and Alice: Madness Returns (my favorite series). Heck, I think I even played a game on Newgrounds once where Jesus got sick of being Mr. Nice Guy and went on a straight rampage, even used his cross for a weapon. The thing is, however, if there were a big release of a game that type or one where Jesus plays the bad guy you’re supposed to destroy, it would still rile up a lot of people because of how much instilled reverence Christianity has that other religions don’t get.

There are so many games based on mythology. There’s even this list on Wikipedia that tells you the bulk of games that involve them. I especially remember Shin Megami Tensei because of how it used beings from various pantheons and mythologies, even the Abrahamic* ones, which just about never happens. This is spiffy but the downside of using gods in games is that the gods kinda get rendered to seem like pretend, as if they don’t exist and were nothing but stories told way back when before the Abrahamic religions came along. Depicted as ancient thinking, pretty much.  For example, though the superhero Thor is indeed a character, he is a creative spinoff from the actual Nordic god of the exact same name.

Sticking with Thor but going beyond games. The most recent popular movie is The Avengers, which has two Nordic gods in the whole showing, Thor and Loki. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I would pay massive money if Christ were ever included or had his own flick in such a fashion, where his likeness is turned into a superhero down to the matching name, and have to fight evil that way (I dunno, he’ll fight the Devil or something). Commonly in movies, either the gods of old will aid the explorer or adventurer, be the source of a curse, a challenge for the modern average person, anything that polarizes what is supposed to be the norm (which is usually Christian focused), or turned into a superhero to help save the world. They’re comedies or actions, but more dramatic movies about faith are usually reserved for Abrahamic faiths – okay, Islam and Judiasm, though it doesn’t risk getting whittled down to fodder like other the pantheons, does get demonized (especially Islam) so it’s mostly Christianity that mainly gets the chance to be seriously considered in film. I mean, The Passion created a lot of stir when it came out and I mean a lot. I think about two people died during viewings, there were cases of stigmata in the theatre and there was mucho controversy. Even The Secret and The Da Vinci Code were taken with seriousness and those were a joke of a movie, book and theory but because it was related to Christianity, it didn’t get sloughed off as simply bad movies in and of itself.

Now, would I become offended if there were as many God of War games as there are Final Fantasy? Nope. Didn’t stop me from getting God of War 1 after playing the demo, which didn’t stop me from getting God of War 2, and that didn’t stop me from trying out the demo of God of War 3. There are already so many pieces of media that involved non-Abrahamic mythologies (Hercules, Thor, The Avengers, Kid Icarus  etc etc) that it would not make me rage, really – I mean, there was already a lot of action going on in those pantheons’ mythologies so why not? As long as the pantheon is not demonized (*koff*constantproblemofafricanreligions*koff*) I’m a spiffy kitty. I mean, I’m thinking of looking at Thor and maybe The Avengers because hey, Nordic deities. I’m a sucker for superhero movies and mythology. Plus I think it’s a little cool that there are games where I can interact with some of the very deities and sprites I believe in and I can watch movies where they’re being awesome or odd or however they are. Despite it all, it’s pretty rad, just has its weird feeling parts.

Black Witch Meet and Greet next Saturday!

Where: At the Washington Monument in Baltimore, MD
When: June 9 @ 12 PM
Why: Meet Black Witch and socialize with other Black Pagans
What: Meet and greet. If it is not too far a walk, to a metaphysical shop and library. There will be cupcakes cakepops.
*Abrahamic: Christianity, Islam, Judaism