Posted by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

delete this?

#2 Posted by believer258 (12206 posts) -

It never impacted mine much at all, neither from a real-life religious perspective or from in-game.

"There are Nine/Eight Divines? Cool. Can any of them give me something useful or an interesting quest? No? Ah, well, why the hell should I care?" Besides, you can get pretty close to something of a demigod in those games anyway. Or, in the case of Shivering Isles...

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#3 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4495 posts) -

Being an atheist influenced a lot of my choices in The Walking Dead game. I noticed I was a lot colder than most other people who played the game.

#4 Edited by falling_fast (2284 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie said:

Being an atheist influenced a lot of my choices in The Walking Dead game. I noticed I was a lot colder than most other people who played the game.

not being religious doesn't automatically make you a total dick, what are you talking about

morality /=/ religion

#5 Edited by Agent47 (1892 posts) -

@damnable_fiend:Yeah exactly religion has no impact on morality,it's all in the person.

#6 Edited by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

@damnable_fiend said:

@Colourful_Hippie said:

Being an atheist influenced a lot of my choices in The Walking Dead game. I noticed I was a lot colder than most other people who played the game.

not being religious doesn't automatically make you a total dick, what are you talking about

morality /=/ religion

It doesn't seem like he was implying that, only speaking for himself.

#7 Posted by NyxFe (248 posts) -

While I too am an atheist I find it doesn't really have an impact on how I view in-game religions or gods.   I'm certainly not going to refrain from casting "pray" in Final Fantasy IV because I don't think there's anyone up there to pray to. Instead I wont use it since it becomes worthless about twenty minutes after you get Rosa in your party. 

If anything I find religion a fascinating topic, e.g. in games like Shin Megami Tensei, El Shaddai, Xenogears, etc. In fact I generally find religion interesting and know a fair bit about it (I've read the bible and the quran, and various other accounts of religions such as Shinto, Buddhism and Hinduism), which certainly helps a lot of the SMT series make more sense. If I had no knowledge of Hinduism I doubt I would have appreciated Digital Devil Saga the same way I did. 

#8 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4495 posts) -

@damnable_fiend: You're not wrong but it was an influencing factor that also affected some of my friends who are pretty religious. Morality isn't religion but it's stupid to think that it doesn't influence somebody's morals. One of my catholic friends didn't want that one chick from episode 1 to be allowed to kill herself because she thinks suicide means eternal damnation. I just let her kill herself because she was going to die anyways, so just make it happen faster.

#9 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3925 posts) -

@damnable_fiend said:

@Colourful_Hippie said:

Being an atheist influenced a lot of my choices in The Walking Dead game. I noticed I was a lot colder than most other people who played the game.

not being religious doesn't automatically make you a total dick, what are you talking about

morality /=/ religion

I don't think that's what he said at all. It was a pretty harmless observation.

On topic, interesting post. Would be hard being an atheist in Tamriel when you're talking to deities and praying at shrines to remove poison from your system. Also glad you didn't go with the 'oppressed atheist' route. That woulda sounded kinda crazy.

#10 Posted by TooWalrus (13257 posts) -
@bushpusherr: How do you feel the atheist view is at all different from a christian or muslim view when it comes to choices in games? You don't believe in a deity, they obviously don't believe in the game's fictional deity (like the nine), so really, your choices would be effected in the same way. The thing that unites us as people is the ability to separate the game's fiction from our perceived reality. I always pick the choices I find most interesting within the context of the game, and don't let my personal beliefs interfere.
#11 Edited by falling_fast (2284 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie said:

@damnable_fiend: You're not wrong but it was an influencing factor that also affected some of my friends who are pretty religious. Morality isn't religion but it's stupid to think that it doesn't influence somebody's morals. One of my catholic friends didn't want that one chick from episode 1 to be allowed to kill herself because she thinks suicide means eternal damnation. I just let her kill herself because she was going to die anyways, so just make it happen faster.

ok, that makes more sense now. thanks for clarifying.

I don't think that's necessarily "cold" though. you were doing it for compassionate reasons.

I'm not religious, obviously, but I couldn't, for instance, make myself play as an evil character in Planescape: Torment , because I ended up caring about the npcs too much.

Maybe I'm just a terrible role-player, but in games with good writing, I often end up playing as a sort of idealised version of myself, and I like to think I'm a nice person.

#12 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4495 posts) -

@damnable_fiend: That was just an example of religion influencing a choice. I went for a lot of choices that gave the most benefits because I tend to be more practical towards survival like leaving the screaming girl alive while I grabbed all of the supplies in the drug store.

#13 Posted by PillClinton (3297 posts) -

My inherent moral compass, disconnected from any dogma or deity, governs my decisions and beliefs, not any sort of religion. So I suppose that means I agree with you.

#14 Posted by falling_fast (2284 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie said:

@damnable_fiend: That was just an example of religion influencing a choice. I went for a lot of choices that gave the most benefits because I tend to be more practical towards survival like leaving the screaming girl alive while I grabbed all of the supplies in the drug store.

well uh, I hope I never end up partnered with you in a zombie apocalypse scenario, then :P

#15 Posted by GunGunW (60 posts) -

In Mass Effect, it boils down to being a cold-hearted jerk, or... less of a cold-hearted jerk. There was no goody-goody Christian morality there. I didn't really feel there as a way to come off as being like Superman or something and just being a complete nice good guy. I understand people had to die, but my religion couldn't really have affected me there because there was no way to do what I felt was actually right. Just the lesser of two evils.

#16 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4495 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@bushpusherr said:

In a game like Skyrim, there is a common understanding of "The Nine" (or Eight, depending on who you talk to) as religious figures. Anytime I had the opportunity to throw in my two cents, my immediate inclination (as my character) was of course to throw up two middle fingers and denounce them.

I find it funny when people can't seem to disassociate their beliefs and the entertainment they interact with. You don't always have to shove your religious or non-religious beliefs into everything you consume. That sounds more like ignorance for the sake of your own stubborn views than anything else.

You're such a fucking rebel, bro.

Huh? There are some games where it's easy to project yourself onto your own character (like Skyrim) but of course it would be ridiculous to do that to every game. How am I supposed to play as a more "christian" Nathan Drake in Uncharted? Games that have a blank slate character are easier to project yourself and your beliefs upon.

Don't be such a fucking jerk, bro.

@damnable_fiend: Hey I left the car battery back in that alley 2 blocks down, if you don't mind grabbing it. Yeah I'll still be waiting here for you, trust me.

#17 Posted by President_Barackbar (3474 posts) -

You know, its interesting. I might not be religious, but I'm not an atheist, and I remember playing the New Vegas expansion Honest Hearts, which features the LDS (Mormon) Church pretty prominently. One of the characters is a Mormon missionary, and at one point he explains to your character what his faith is. Your choices were: Express an interest in his beliefs and agree with him (what I suppose is the choice for people who are actually religious or roleplaying a good character), act confused (what I chose, because it stands to reason that someone in a nuclear wasteland after total societal breakdown would probably have no idea what any form of Christianity is), or to laugh at him and mock him for his "crazy" beliefs (the choice for very vocal atheists who like to openly mock people who believe in God, or are roleplaying an asshole). I read the last choice and thought "Huh, sounds like whoever wrote this has spent at least 5 mins on any internet forum, because that sounds like some of the nasty hate-filled rhetoric I've heard people say on the net."

#18 Posted by captain_clayman (3328 posts) -

Haha I've started to notice my non-belief affecting my enjoyment of story in games, and all media. I think it's the reason science fiction has interested me way more than fantasy. Fantasy stuff always seems to have religious and divine aspects. Like you said with the "9 divines" of elder scrolls, if you were in a world where it was absolutely provable that they exist (because of magic and dragons and shit) there's no reason not to believe it. But in the real world, all of that is just...well, fantasy.

However, with sci-fi, the awesome part about it is that it might actually be a plausible future scenario. For instance, decades ago, you had people like Jules Verne writing intriguing sci-fi about planes and submarines and missiles and things that were based on plausible technological advancements, and then those things were invented with shockingly close resemblance years later. Fallout might be kinda campy, but a nuclear apocalypse was and still is a real fear of the future for a lot of people, and something like that might not be far off if we were to press the shiny red button. Star Wars, however, is totally different because it's essentially fantasy in space, (the force is basically just magic, jedi are basically wizards, lightsaber is basically excalibur) with no real connection to the world we live in.

#19 Edited by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

@TooWalrus: I think it really just comes down to the sense of immersion. If you are really attempting to get into the story of a game, ideally you are trying to role play your character, and make decisions on their behalf. I don't have the experience of what it is like to be a religious believer in any sense at all. I cannot relate to that position. While the gods in those games are of course not the deities that people believe in in real life, I feel like role playing those types of characters would be more natural for people who are religious in real life. I suppose my point was that I'm not very good at "pretending" to be a religious character in games.

@Napalm: I'm not shoving my religious opinions into everything I consume. The specific games I mentioned have situations that explicitly involve religion or religious ideas. I'm not opening up Hotline Miami and saying "How does my view as an atheist frame what I'm doing here?" I talked more in general about how my overall religious opinion may have a partial influence on my tendency to favor underdog/ fighting against authority type stories. Thanks for being a dick about it.

#20 Posted by mlarrabee (3064 posts) -

I'm a dedicated Christian and I never give in-game religion a thought, in any game, ever. Although Dead Space's Unitology kept bringing Scientology to mind, but that was solely because of the names' similarities.

I never thought of Skyrim's shrines as anything more than (really widely spaced) loadout selectors.

Looking over your post, I find it striking. The reported ratio of theists to atheists in the United States is over eighty percent, but only nine percent of those polled in 2008 said that their religion was the most important thing in their life 1. I believe, while theism may be more common, irreligion is much, much more prevalent. I didn't imagine the irreligious felt much hostility considering the hostility the religious feel.

#21 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

My beliefs don't contribute to how I play games in the slightest

#22 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

The specific games I mentioned have situations that explicitly involve religion or religious ideas. I'm not opening up Hotline Miami and saying "How does my view as an atheist frame what I'm doing here?" I talked more in general about how my overall religious opinion may have a partial influence on my tendency to favor underdog/ fighting against authority type stories.

That makes more sense, because it sounds the exact opposite in your OP. My mistake.

I typically go by feel. The hypothetical situation of religion isn't very interesting to me anyway.

#23 Edited by keli911 (14 posts) -

I am an atheist and i always start with a good guy which is basically how i would behave if i were in these situations (no random killing or stealing or cheating people out of their stuff) but after that "main character" i usually make another evil character if the game is good as is the case with bethesda games and bioware just to see how the difirent situation would have palyed out. But in a game like skyrim my first character doesnt denounce the divines because it is pretty evident that the world works in a much more spiritual plain and it has nothing to do with authority it just has to do with the truth of the matter.

#24 Posted by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

@GunGunW: I wasn't meaning to insinuate that Mass Effect was an overly religious story or anything, I was just meaning to illustrate how my overall religious opinion has had a partial influence on my favoring the "stick it to the man" type of attitude. I probably could have been more clear about that.

#25 Posted by GunGunW (60 posts) -

@bushpusherr: Oh no, sorry, I was trying to say that's how my beliefs affected my game. Since it couldn't since I couldn't play using my direct state of mind, it didn't have that much of an effect on how I played the game.

#26 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

I like religion in games because I can usually see what these awesome gods look like, unlike in real life where it's all made up.

#27 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

I remember feeling similarly in different games as well, like Final Fantasy X ("Hey, Yuna, fuck your pilgrimage we can find a better way to do this").

Isn't kind of stupid to criticize religions in video games which clearly establish at least some type of divine presence? Or are you criticizing her methodology? Because the game very clearly addresses that as part of the plot. Your next paragraph might address this, but it may have been lost on me, as I'm not too keen on Elder Scrolls mythos. (Keep in mind that this is all coming from a fellow atheist.)

#28 Posted by TooWalrus (13257 posts) -
@bushpusherr said:

@TooWalrus: I think it really just comes down to the sense of immersion. If you are really attempting to get into the story of a game, ideally you are trying to role play your character, and make decisions on their behalf. I don't have the experience of what it is like to be a religious believer in any sense at all. I cannot relate to that position. While the gods in those games are of course not the deities that people believe in in real life, I feel like role playing those types of characters would be more natural for people who are religious in real life. I suppose my point was that I'm not very good at "pretending" to be a religious character in games.

@Napalm: I'm not shoving my religious opinions into everything I consume. The specific games I mentioned have situations that explicitly involve religion or religious ideas. I'm not opening up Hotline Miami and saying "How does my view as an atheist frame what I'm doing here?" I talked more in general about how my overall religious opinion may have a partial influence on my tendency to favor underdog/ fighting against authority type stories. Thanks for being a dick about it.

Yeah... That's all fine if that's the way you prefer to play games, I've got no problem with that at all. I just don't think it makes sense the way your describing it, or trying to justify it. Like, the claim that "I don't know what it's like to be religious so I can't relate to my character in Skyrim" doesn't seem valid. I don't have the experience of what it's like to point a gun at a human and pull the trigger. I don't know what it's like to drive a Lexus through a billboard, and I don't know what it's like to defeat my shadow and summon a damn persona, but these are all things I enjoy. I think the point you were trying to make may have been valid, but like @Napalm: said, the OP makes it seem like you let your atheism control your game experience, and let it spoil the fun because you don't have a very vivid imagination.
#29 Posted by believer258 (12206 posts) -

@mlarrabee said:

I'm a dedicated Christian and I never give in-game religion a thought, in any game, ever. Although Dead Space's Unitology kept bringing Scientology to mind, but that was solely because of the names' similarities.

I never thought of Skyrim's shrines as anything more than (really widely spaced) loadout selectors.

Looking over your post, I find it striking. The reported ratio of theists to atheists in the United States is over eighty percent, but only nine percent of those polled in 2008 said that their religion was the most important thing in their life 1. I believe, while theism may be more common, irreligion is much, much more prevalent. I didn't imagine the irreligious felt much hostility considering the hostility the religious feel.

I'm curious as to what you mean by "irreligious". Do you mean someone who doesn't really classify themselves as either atheist or religious, essentially people who don't care either way?

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#30 Posted by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

@mlarrabee said:

Looking over your post, I find it striking. The reported ratio of theists to atheists in the United States is over eighty percent, but only nine percent of those polled in 2008 said that their religion was the most important thing in their life 1. I believe, while theism may be more common, irreligion is much, much more prevalent. I didn't imagine the irreligious felt much hostility considering the hostility the religious feel.

I think the hostility comes from those within that 9% that try to enforce their opinions as law / public policy (and succeed). I don't think the irreligious have any hostility towards other people believing something different to them, just when they try to impose it upon them.

#31 Posted by myketuna (1757 posts) -

@keli911 said:

I am an atheist and i always start with a good guy which is basically how i would behave if i were in these situations (no random killing or stealing or cheating people out of their stuff) but after that "main character" i usually make another evil character if the game is good as is the case with bethesda games and bioware just to see how the difirent situation would have palyed out. But in a game like skyrim my first character doesnt denounce the divines because it is pretty evident that the world works in a much more spiritual plain and it has nothing to do with authority it just has to do with the truth of the matter.

I basically do this. I'm pretty much a boy scout, but there are times when I strike out on folks and pull that Renegade option.

@bushpusherr: You ever think it works the other way around? Like you naturally have a "stick it to the man" attitude and that had partial influence on your religious beliefs?

#32 Posted by mlarrabee (3064 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@mlarrabee said:

I'm a dedicated Christian and I never give in-game religion a thought, in any game, ever. Although Dead Space's Unitology kept bringing Scientology to mind, but that was solely because of the names' similarities.

I never thought of Skyrim's shrines as anything more than (really widely spaced) loadout selectors.

Looking over your post, I find it striking. The reported ratio of theists to atheists in the United States is over eighty percent, but only nine percent of those polled in 2008 said that their religion was the most important thing in their life 1. I believe, while theism may be more common, irreligion is much, much more prevalent. I didn't imagine the irreligious felt much hostility considering the hostility the religious feel.

I'm curious as to what you mean by "irreligious". Do you mean someone who doesn't really classify themselves as either atheist or religious, essentially people who don't care either way?

Irreligion is anything from not giving two figs about religion, to actively hating it.

#33 Posted by notdavid (842 posts) -

I usually play my RPG characters as atheists, but they also end up being lovey dovey bleeding heart liberals.

#34 Posted by ki11tank (683 posts) -

I'm an atheist, I'm an American.

BFD get over it, you won't change shit on either side so don't waste your time. That's the way I look at it.

#35 Posted by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: I had stated later that if I actually lived in those worlds that those beliefs made sense...but that I just can't seem to role play that way, and consistently dissent.

@TooWalrus: I think the issue is that the question of religion is a huge part of my life and something I dedicate a lot of time to, and care deeply about. Trying to role play as someone with the opposite opinions isn't something I find myself able to do. I think that is why it is so significant for me, while the other things you mentioned are of course trivial. And these things don't spoil my fun, I was merely trying to elaborate on how I find it affecting my decisions.

@myketuna: A good question, but I still think it's very much the opposite. It's not hard at all to see in the public sphere where the public sides on a matter of religious importance between believers and non believers (evolution vs creationism, political attack ads against candidates for simply not believing, people being asked to resign, millions of dollars in tax breaks in my home state for the Creation Museum people to build a "Noahs Arc Park", etc). Resistance to this kind of stuff is usually shouted down by the majority quite quickly. These things became much more important to be as I've gotten a bit older and they are more relevant to me, and I feel that definitely shaped my outlook.

#36 Edited by LifeByDegrees (248 posts) -

I'm Christian- Mormon (Nick name for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

The religions followed by characters involved aren't very much of a concern- so much as what the practical implementation of said beliefs are.

A while back- after reading an article by a leader in the church- I decided that I would do my best to not have my characters do things I wouldn't do.

A more extreme example was my play through of Dishonored- which - both after thinking about the actual nature of the character I was playing (protector of the Empress- overall good guy- trying to not get corrupted- probably a friend of many of the soldiers and people involved)- and the logic I mentioned previous.

I didn't steal or kill if I could help it- which left me more broke then the norm- but also seeing the mechanics of the game in a different light as well.

One of the major points that I took away was the issue of dissonance of what we do in virtual words and how we treat those around us as well as life in general.

I don't automatically expect that those who would do something in a video game would do the exact same thing in real life- but I don't personally want that to become a regular part of my way of life.

In the mindset of belief relative to games- the issue I tend to run into the most is tendency of games to pander to what are less constructive and more base natures of humanity.

Gratuitous and out of character or sometimes entirely out of context content that games would probably not have missed in all reality.

#37 Posted by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

@ki11tank said:

I'm an atheist, I'm an American.

BFD get over it, you won't change shit on either side so don't waste your time. That's the way I look at it.

I don't think I mentioned anything about changing anyone's ideas...I was simply trying give some context for where my perspective was coming from.

#38 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@bushpusherr:

In this world, it makes sense. In a fictional world, though, it really doesn't. Kinda hard to say you don't believe in God when you're smacking Izanami in her smug skeleton face.

#39 Posted by captain_clayman (3328 posts) -

@notdavid said:

I usually play my RPG characters as atheists, but they also end up being lovey dovey bleeding heart liberals.

It happens with me too, because it's living out the things you wish you could do but you couldn't. If I had the power to be, I'd love to be a bleeding heart liberal and then give away all of my money to help people in need, but I can't. But in a video game where you play as a guy who saves the world, it's usually a good choice to be a generous guy.

#40 Posted by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@bushpusherr:

In this world, it makes sense. In a fictional world, though, it really doesn't. Kinda hard to say you don't believe in God when you're smacking Izanami in her smug skeleton face.

I totally agree, that's why I was drawing parallels between the characters I play and Odysseus; playing as kind of willfully defiant, despite the obvious inferiority.

#41 Posted by TooWalrus (13257 posts) -
@bushpusherr said:

@TooWalrus: I think the issue is that the question of religion is a huge part of my life and something I dedicate a lot of time to, and care deeply about. Trying to role play as someone with the opposite opinions isn't something I find myself able to do. I think that is why it is so significant for me, while the other things you mentioned are of course trivial. And these things don't spoil my fun, I was merely trying to elaborate on how I find it affecting my decisions.

I find this interesting, as most atheists have a very laissez-faire approach, they're mostly "stop worrying and live your life." The hardened criminal in Grand Theft Auto 4, the face-shooting soldiers in Call of Duty, the pill-popping alcoholic in Max Payne... these are all features that are pretty much the opposite of my life as well, yet I'm able to play the roll. I suppose this is just a personal issue.
#42 Posted by JasonR86 (9728 posts) -

I am a religious person so I guess it would make sense for me to say my religion has impacted my decision making in games but I really can't say that it has. No game has really ever felt that important to me that I would have to do some soul searching before I made a decision that would impact it.

#43 Edited by bushpusherr (852 posts) -

@TooWalrus: Absolutely a personal issue with how close the topic is to me. And again, really only pops up if the a game (even just a part of the game) specifically involves an explicit religious reference. I don't think twice about all the other things you mentioned either. However, if I had a deep personal history with alcohol abuse, or experience with the military, that might frame my interactions with those games differently as well.

#44 Posted by ki11tank (683 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

@ki11tank said:

I'm an atheist, I'm an American.

BFD get over it, you won't change shit on either side so don't waste your time. That's the way I look at it.

I don't think I mentioned anything about changing anyone's ideas...I was simply trying give some context for where my perspective was coming from.

Maybe misunderstood my point or poorly conveyed it myself, as a fellow atheist who went through a give a shit phase I've learned nothing will change so feeling like you're getting the short straw isn't worth the time. Hence my BFD comment, just get over it and move on, people won't change for you so it's just wasting your time thinking about it as you can be just as successful by not and have more time.. I do/am.

#45 Edited by Animasta (14727 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

*** This is not meant to address the merits of anyone's particular beliefs, only to talk about how mine influence how I play games ***

I am an atheist, and I don't believe in anything supernatural. I also live in the United States. Given the ratio of believers to non-believers in my country, and how big of a factor religion is in the public square, I've grown resentful of religious authority and feel as though I occupy somewhat of an underdog position. I wouldn't presume to call myself "oppressed" and insult everyone out there who actually is, but even just saying that much should make my position clear.

just realizing that, you are better than most internet atheists out there, so good job.

edit; I pretty much have a hard time doing anything evil (that is to say choosing anything evil) not because I'm religious or more accurately not religious but because I'm a giant softy.

#46 Posted by VisariLoyalist (3000 posts) -

Gaming for me is a religion

#47 Posted by FierceDeity (358 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

Sometimes the situation is more direct. In a game like Skyrim, there is a common understanding of "The Nine" (or Eight, depending on who you talk to) as religious figures. Anytime I had the opportunity to throw in my two cents, my immediate inclination (as my character) was of course to throw up two middle fingers and denounce them.

That must be kind of awkward when your go to pray at shrines to cure diseases/receive blessings.

#48 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

pretty interesting. religion doesn't effect my gaming at all. at least i don't think so. i play the game that i want to play.