Quantcast
Community Discussion: Blog by Robert Cousineau | Robert Cousineau's ProfileDestructoid
Robert Cousineau's Profile - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android




About
My Name is Rob, and I am a amateur writer and gamer. I write blogs about pretty much everything under the sun from video-games, to tabletop rpgs, to old TV shows. My common online Alias is Necroscourge, and I subscribe to quite a lot of betas. I am also the Admin of the New World of Darkness Roleplaying Website Jagged Shadows
Badges
Following (1)  


There are those that are blissfully unaware of what the title of this game actually means. Left Behind is an christian real time strategy game based on renovating parts of the city to provide resources to equip people you convert to your side by harassing them with disciples and your favorite music until they join you. These core game mechanics are supplemented with a religious naming schema, amazingly bad AI, and a very dated RTS engine.

Without even bringing up the religious values of this game I can point out how bad this game is. That's right, the fact its propaganda is the absolute least of my concerns. By main concern as a diehard RTS player is that this is the third game in the series and they are STILL USING THE SAME ENGINE AS THE FIRST GAME. That's right. The absolute best programmers the christian faith has to offer and they can't be bothered to make the game better between releases. Or use a separate engine.

In fact, there is actually a fourth game in the series that nobody cares about. I got my copy free from a "Please for the love of the lord have our game" promotion they were having in which if you liked their facebook they gave you a copy of LB3 free. I paid way too much for it. On the bright side, since the game uses the exact same engine and resources as the last two games its only fair that Left behind 3 still has all of the content from last offerings. Same 3D models, same campaigns, same AI, everything. Left behind 3 has roughly as much new content as a $2 expansion.

I never bothered too much with the games campaigns. The original games campaign follows a man after what could only be (According to a regular right wing lunatic) the Rapture and proof that we must all repent. So he does what any rational, logical person would not do after the rapture. Fly alone to New York City completely unarmed during what would have to be major rioting, find his fellow right wing lunatic friends, renovate an old church, and convince people god wants them to repent. Then the police do the logical thing and deploy to prevent them from hurting anybody only to be repelled by the power of song.



That brings me to the funniest part of the game. The Tribulation Forces are for some reason referred to as "Good" and the Police are branded "Evil". Forgive me for using logic but when the game feel like an "Occupy Movement" simulator I don't blame the police for wanting to take care of it. The third installment of the game adds the third faction, the Atheists. The Militia are a bunch of nut-jobs. Unlike the religious movements new recruits get a semi automatic rifle and the games tech tree is extremely simplified compared to the other two factions.

Since the militia recruits combat units they absolutely will not hire women while the other two factions have no problem putting them to work as singers and medics but never soldiers. That's right, females are not allowed to use guns in this series. I find it odd the army is immune to religious attacks as well as refuses to utilize females as there is both a long record of greatly honored christian soldiers and female combatants capable of being cited well before the first games release. Oh right, I forgot the games subject matter.



The campaign goes on, and there are also additional campaigns each added by the other versions of the game. The general layout of every mission is "PRAISE DAH LAWD! WE GAHTA GO DO THINGS FOR OUR SAVIAH!" and proceed to riot around the map, invading real-estate to turn into structures dedicated to siphoning the cities resources to a religious militia that if the player chooses can elect to hire soldiers in mass and amidst much praying and shooting simply mow down cops until your religious staff can complete its goal.



There are effectively two kinds of ways to defeat your foes, song and violence. You can either serenade your enemies or shoot them. Of course the game extremely prefers a peaceful approach but only if you are the side of the loonies. The army lacks the ability to be swayed by song and the police can have problems with a military strategy. You see Spirit is rated from 0 to 100, and by music or chanting/swearing the spirit is either raised or lowered depending on your faction. Evil likes low Spirit while Good prefers high. What the game also does not tell you until its too late is that having too many characters with low spirit close to each-other (Like say... a platoon of soldiers) will result in demons manifesting. This is an issue unique to Evil.

Said demons are for some reason not allied with Evil and will begin to wreak great vengeance and furious anger upon the members of the police force that brought it into existence. Quite oddly there are not flaming sword wielding angels that poof into existence to start chopping people apart. This alone requires Evil to play a substantially different way than a Good player can as they need not worry about the penalties of trying to focus on musicians.


Oddly enough, a bunch of hipsters with microphones could not sooth satans thirst for blood

Blatant propaganda fills the dialogue both in the campaigns as well as the voice acting itself. The racist (All recruited characters are bleached white), sexist (Only males can be of any profession), and hostile Tribulation Forces all speak in soft happy voices and their lines are filled with stuff like "Praise the Lord", their units are called nice names like "Worship Leaders". The Peacekeepers on the other hand all resemble the badguys from The Stand, speak in crackly hate-fueled growls, and utilize evil satanic metal music and pop stars. The Army is portrayed as murderous psychotic rednecks with guns. Gee, I wonder who the programmers are rooting for?

But the absolute worst part of the game is not its poor control and graphics. Its not the borderline offensive portrayals of the police and army. Its not the glorification of popping caps for the lord. Its not even the outright negligence in properly designing the game. The worst part of the game is how unplayable skirmish mode is.



The above picture is of an enemy base during a match. In team multiplayer the game's AI freaks out and relies on constantly producing vehicle units. You see the vehicle unit AI is also broken, to this day I have never seen a tank unit be capable of firing its turret. So all the AI will do is crank out units but never actually use them. As a result playing skirmish is pretty much useless. This issue has existed since the first edition as well. Three packaging's of the game and the AI is still broken.

Now to be fair according to the ad-copy of the fourth game many of my gripes have been rectified. Angels, Female Soldiers, and a campaign for the Army. But to be honest the ship has already sailed and the series is a failure in the eyes of true gamers. Never pay a cent for this game, even if you for some reason like the concept of a rts where you obey a invisible deity and openly kill police officers while rioting in his name.

The multiplayer functionality has been turned off for a long time, the stories missions are all the regular uninspired affair of "Build this, do that" with different layouts and enemies faced all the while spouting conspiracy theories. Combined with a functionally useless skirmish AI you have one of the worst RTS games ever made. This game clearly lacked the funding, creative direction, and originality even indie game developers can bring to the table. The Left behind series of games is a terrible plague of bugs and poor design.

Ironically, the core gameplay elements really are not that bad, only half implemented. As evidenced by games like Gangland and Apox the concept of base-expanding while training soldiers is not the problem, the games subject matter is. All of the religious motives of the game greatly bring out the incompetence within and make it all the more painful to sit through.
Photo Photo Photo








A few weeks ago I posted long blog message about Trion Worlds bad advertising and alienating its user base with that bad advertising. The post was simply titled "Masters of Bad Advertising: Trion Worlds", I then took pictures of and cited the cases of improper advertising as well as wrote an extremely long essay on it.

In essence I brought up that the Trion Worlds Team thinks its alright to goad thousands of players into refreshing their facebook page all day. Here I have a screenshot of Trion Worlds endlessly posting Beta codes for a game that thousands of players have already signed up to play the Beta for but were not allowed to because only the Facebook codes actually mattered. Therefore you had to waste your entire day refreshing the page in the hopes you would receive a code.



I also brought up that there is (Or was) very shameful advertising (Below) That seems to be claiming because the game has over 30 players its better than every single game on the market. I am no longer just insulted by the fact this advertising exists but that my initial post was removed without any notification by Destructoid.



For those that don't understand what I am talking about, heres the simple format:

1. Rob(Me) got pissy and wrote a post on his manperiod about Trions advertising and how its killing their userbase (And that their game is not that good.... Yes I have played it and actually got another beta code today. All the bad press you ever wanted coming right up)
2. Rob went on vacation to drink Trion out of his mind
3. Trion forces destructiod to ILLEGALLY remove a community blog on their behalf
4. Rob comes back to see ABSOLUTELY NO EMAIL telling him his blog was tampered with
5. Rob does not figure this out for five days


This is all amazingly offensive. Trion Worlds is actively attacking bloggers that bring up how bad of a development company they are! You are not allowed to edit your bad press at all. By trying to stop bad press they are only opening up more and more bad press upon themselves. They do not have the ability to delete blogs on their website that are following their terms of use, as that violates their free speech on the site and would lead to users not wanting to post on their blogs. Their terms of use very clearly states that unless I post nothing but hatred and racism my post should be fine.

Why suddenly does Trion feel its ok that they can delete all their bad press away from running such terrible advertising? Why does destructoid maintain staff that think its ok to delete community made posts without citing their terms of use? They are not allowed to wantonly delete posts just to dodge bad press.
Photo Photo








#10: Alien Invasion


Ever since the earliest days of modern media we have had the firm belief there may be additional life in the universe. Whether it be the collectible Mars Attacks cards or The Things, Alien invasions in the media just seem amusing to wonder about. I think it unlikely only because as a famous gentleman once said "Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition." Simply put if aliens do exist and plan to land on earth to unceremoniously wipe out our species it will be hard for us to see it coming.

The concept of non-human space-faring life is not too hard to find perfectly possible as it was even a decade ago. We know now through recent scientific discoveries that not only is the universe gigantic in scale but constantly expanding through means currently perplexing to our greatest minds. In addition with finding the Higgs Boson its also not that hard to suggest that if mankind has the ability to make such scientific progress one can only wonder if there is an older species of sentient humanoids that has already taken such steps and beyond? Did they evolve with the need to be a retarded, religious dick as many of our kind have? How did they progress to the space age? And do they come in peace?

While some of my other theories proposition alien existence, this is the theory that we are to be enslaved or be attacked before developing the technology required to adequately defend ourselves. My younger readers are suggested to read the comics for Mars Attacks for an adequate suggestion of how well that fights probably going to go. I am going to give you a big hint....


Not well.

Pros
*Salvage
While movies and media frequently suggest those with the better weapons always win and that human guns are around as useful as throwing rocks at a panzer suggest that humans would be crushed by such an attack, most of these suggestions date back to the 80's. By now, you should just expect that we have hidden weaponry designs that are possible but not capitalized on for one reason or another. We would have around enough firepower in theory to take down at least a few aliens and use their weaponry against them. Anybody that has played Xcom will know this.

*Better Government
Well yeah, they just see us as mindless cattle and kill us for their own amusement but at least the homicidal alien overlords are honest about their wars. Or they may seek to just simply enslave us. In either case, its much better than the Bush Administration.

Cons
*The whole "Death to Humans" thing
You better hope they just want to enslave us. If not, then its going to be damn messy. You think Vietnam was bad, wait until you see your friends and family death-ray-'ed by little green men. All hail our glorious alien masters!


*Bottom of the food chain
In the natural order of life, creatures evolve the abilities to mesh with their environment in practical ways. This is reflected on the food chain. If you were to take a great predator such piranha and stick them in a fish-tank; the tank likely lacks the kind of predators required to keep the piranha in check, resulting in nothing being able to stop the creatures from eating their fill and destabilizing the ecosystem. Lets assume for the sake of argument that Humans are at the top of the foodchain (That title actually goes to Jay Leno's chin) and that we assume that aliens with their greater firepower are a superior predator. To place aliens in a predominantly human environment then asks the question of who is more resourceful in the conflict. If human strength is not enough to repel the alien forces than the aliens have taken the role of top predator (And thus, effectively the top sentient beings on earth.)


#9: Dystopian Future


If you have no idea what this is, I suggest you open up a new tab and go watch Bladerunner so you have more or less the general idea of what such a future would look like. A predominant focus on electronics and science. The infrastructure required to maintain it resembling a gigantic computer superstructure building that we all live inside. Markets and bars established besides network nodes in grungy sub-floors. The elite of the world having their lovely condos and penthouses far up in the sky where they can breathe without issue. The strong rule the weak. And there are many of weak people.

The economy of such mega-cities is somewhat vestigial. Those near the top positions that control the government have absolutely no need for immense wealth, they already own everything. They have their wealth purely to avoid the common classes having access to it. Such corporations likely have their fingers in so many pies that only corporations on their level or greater actually matter to them politically. The power of the individual is gone, now we are the consciousness.

With all of this political power and unlimited government ability it is only expect-able that science would make great leaps in questionable capacities. Disinterest in the human condition leaves us to desire to be better than human. Lets face it. Your life sucks. You are nothing more than a petty beggar on floor 54 laying amid your own waste. Suddenly you have the chance to save yourself by signing away your life to the corporation. They rebuilt you. Your muscles interlaced with metal synthweaves. Your eyes can see in every definition and way. If you stand still, you can hear the clicking of your lung filters. You are no longer just a everyday punk. You are cyberpunk

The actual future however is very dim. With power so hopelessly away from the working class its very hard to call the working classes existence truly living. The everyday need to squabble and end other lives would consume the world. With the all-mighty dollar losing much of its empirical value who cares how much scrip you have? As long as you have clothes on your back and a gun in your hand you have everything you need to survive. And some kibble.

Pros
*Advanced Technology
As before, without tangible church-sanctioned limits on technology we then work harder and harder towards getting the flying cars they promised us like, two decades ago. Its only natural to assume such a future would actually lead to all that we attribute it to. If not directly cyber-technology than meta-human abilities can be expected. Simply put, without political bodies trying to halt progress, progress shall move forward at an increasing and expanding rate.

*Cultural Melding
When you have billions of people living in a series of mountain-high superstructures littering the earth like gigantic towers, its hard to focus on the colors of people that make up that mass. If a corporation was so high up on the pecking order and control of a city they would likely not care about exterminating any particular race. A great melting pot, ending racial hatred. Though that's only on paper. Stupid people will always find a reason to kill somebody slightly not like them.

Cons
*Corporation Control
In past examples of pyramid schemes such as religion or cigarette companies, they have been understandable only because of the size of the pyramid. A better example would be the American governmental pyramid schematic. At the very top are those that control the acting president, with the actual president underneath. To accurately have an idea of the tangled web a mega-corporation would represent now image this pyramid to be copy/pasted ontop of itself several times to form an even bigger pyramid. It suddenly gets very difficult to even understand who actually controls who besides looking directly at the top. As you might imagine, getting communication through such a large mass of competing personalities is slightly difficult.

*Stagnant Economy
The reason modern economies work is supply and demand. If you control all of the supply in the city with no demand than you only half the equation. Clearly this can be sold to another entity for money. Here in lays our problem. In such a future, mega-corporations would be in control. Each of them as powerful as a country but funded like a cigarette company. That is to say its resources are near endless. With the people at the top having so much money they completely control any and all cities that possess. This proves an issue, since all of the worlds money is shared by a handful of private concerns the masses have limited financial ability, leading to squalor. All of the money is right at the top with no money on the ground for the commoners to feed their children. Sure, you could sell your soul to the corporations but do you really want that?
Photo Photo








To The Public

Greetings my friends, my peers, my critics. As those that believe in mass mind control claim, the end is indeed nigh. Naturally this world collapse will not be anywhere near the one that you may be considering, or advertised by the brainwashers. Fire and Brimstone? The Coming of "The Four"? The Rapture? All scientifically impossible. Though I think panic would be the last thing we would feel if all of the christians disappeared.

Through various rigorous psychological studies and media research I have been able to narrow the coming end down to twelve possible conclusions. What would exactly become of us I really cannot say. Each of these predictions are ranked by possibility, with those near the top have the most hard science behind the theory. Each theory contains both arguments for and against this conclusion as well as its pro's and cons'. There is always a reaction to any action afterall. Drastically changing the world tends to do that.

Always be vigilant. The End is only of our world, not its inhabitants. Every case of the end I have theorized has laying evidence pointing towards human survival. Our ability to adapt shall always overcome whatever change will occur. Basic Evolution.


#12: Utopian Superfuture


Overview
The theory of Utopia can be traced back to the earliest days of science. The theory involves science and technology curing all ailments of society and body. Cancers, Diabetes, even AIDS cured instantly by the miracles of scientific progress. Flying vehicles, all appliances operated by small scale simplistic artificial beings. The reason I consider this scenario most unlikely is simply the amount of sudden changes every single person on planet earth would have to make at the exact same moment.

I say personal change because of what Utopia suggests. A lack of crime, disease, and despair. With the pinnacles of science and human nature combined together to create a bright sustainable future for use all. Good examples of depictions would be the video-game called Anno 2070. For the most part the cities portrayed in the game are all the creation of public organizations dedicated to repopulating the planet with humans. Without the personal change of current human nature this resolution is very unlikely. The urban human being is a bottom feeding parasite that seeks nothing more then destruction and poisonous substances, interlaced with recreational hate fueled sex with brainless orange thug-princesses.

That human nature dooms such a potential future to the much more likely dystopian future that hinges on human society adapting poorly to advanced technology and the continued existence of private governmental conspiracies aimed at keeping the human public misinformed such as the Jewish Faith or the Republicans. While the theory of "The World of Tomorrow" is an inviting one, we must sadly realize that it is outside of possibility without full scale change of human nature. Even if we began to move that way, it would eventually be undone by the simple way people act. The technology would likely be re-purposed towards destruction and control by the government.

Pros
*World Peace
Its a comforting thing don't you agree? The thought that one day every man, woman, child, and republican could live without murder, violence, and hatred? Through generations of inbreeding and substance abuse Humankind has been infected with a evolved pack instinct. Human Males with average or better testosterone production usually inhibit feelings of territorial control like most other hunting pack beasts. With this comes the inability to overcome the instinctual anger this behavior promotes. Without that behavior it is very likely mankind could enjoy a scientific utopia.

*Uninhibited Scientific Progress
Religious Groups always seek to hinder free thought and scientific progress, believing we already have all of the knowledge we require. You see, The less knowledge a human being possesses the easier it is to brainwash and control the thought patterns of the being. By blocking intellectual progress, we can be goaded into acts of senseless violence much easier (Example: The Crusades) By removing any and all limits on scientific progress and enacting plans to educate the public we can further improve the quality of the human gene pool.

Cons
*Comfortable Existences
Without violence, it is hard to say there is any true conflict. Or even any glory to being human. While humans exhibit a normal predisposition to solving conflicts with violence there is just as much a mental human requirement of high adventure. A built up Utopian society would inherently limit acts of physical and political violence. Our existences would be limited only to what the world itself allows us to do. By that age in technology we no doubt would have a electronic replacement for violence or and outlet, but the underlying problem still exists in the theories current conception. Without a sufficient outlet for human needs, society will change to reflect the lack of fulfillment and sabotage the concept of Utopia.

*Initially Unstable
As stated before, this theory relies on a large series of instant changes in not only human nature but the nature of various political bodies tailored through control and black ops tactics. How would organizations designed to Exterminate, Control, and Confuse act when being forced to suddenly adhere to social guidelines passed to the people in mass? The dominoes would have to fall perfectly, without doubt terrorist attacks staged by American authorities would limit the chances of such a theory coming to existence.

Conclusion: Highly unlikely, but scientifically possible.

#11: Magic Reawakening


That's right. I think everybody becoming peaceful is less possible then magic being a possible force of nature. The concept is essential the thought of what sparked the original legends passed down from years and years of retold stories. What if Orcs, Ogres, and Elves did exist? Flinging spells and curses across great battlefields circled by dragons? But the power was locked away somehow, and I know this may seem cliche but its not hard to know what world religion may be the culprit.

Lets face it. Almost all legends are based on at least some world truth. The yeti may not exist, but there was a hairy man in the woods at some point at the very least. Though acknowledging the existence of possible magic then brings the question of if it is sealed how would it be released? Being a possible force of nature the scientific community by definition cannot comprehend it would be impossible to give a proper suggestion to the steps one would take to achieve such a future.

For all the human public knows the leading men of the world must chant "Magic" and touch their toes together while naked. It is also impossible to properly judge the significance and strength of the magical forces itself. The reason it may of been sealed could very well be its ability to destroy mankind, or it could truly of been for jealous reasoning.

Pros
*Cultural Changes
The addition of magics, myths, and spells to everyday to life can do a lot more than you may think. Suddenly every aspect of the day may involve some kind of magic charm or word. Things such as travel and healing would be trivialized by magical means to complete such tasks both easier and cheaper. Common and stronger forms of self defense would likely exist to combat such magical attacks. Rules of modern engagement as well lay completely changed by the inclusion of spells.

*Adventuring
With magic existing once more it is only a matter of time until magic brings back whatever accompanies it. All sorts of creatures existed in past legends of ancient times. The possibility of such creatures once again existing linked to magics re-immersion is a valid concept. Therefore it is only understandable that groups of civilians would arise and do battle with such threats, bringing forth a new type of economy and an acceptable change of society.

Cons
*The "Fuck Earth" Spell
What if there was a really, really, really good reason Magic was locked away? In the past discovery of a until then alien concept existing linked to one of the greatest destructive powers existing on earth, the A-Bomb. The possibility of Magic possessing an equal or greater destructive power does exist and is a very real concern. Its only a matter of time until some crazy mage tries to summon satan or blow up the world after-all.

*Possible Religious Unrest
The very day the scientific community is thwarted by possible existence of anything in their favorite book even possibly being true is going to be a great blow to logical thought and shift political strength right back to the religious parties. Almost all scientific progress is in immediate threat of destruction by the arrival of the magical world. Its worth considering the drawbacks of letting such a group of individuals have such a advantage of society. So mahy people willing to be controlled in the name of a fictional being.


Conclusion: Entertaining possibility but highly unlikely.


Next time: Theories #10 and #9








The American public is rather stupid when it comes to assigning blame. No matter what, if it looks the same; its obviously a clone. This line of thinking has ruined countless original IP's in the past based entirely on graphical style decisions. People are very quick to cry "CLONE!" if the screenshot looks close enough to another game. And my god at first glance Tryst looks like Starcraft 2.



Though that in itself really is not very fair to say. What about it IS alike? The UI and art style. While attributes of a cloned game they are certainly not the only factors involved. If anything the gameplay video released by Blue Giant reminds me of the failed Bulgarian RTS game Worldshift. Worldshift was an RTS with a singleplayer campaign with the concept of unlocking skills and abilities that can be equipped to your units.

Units also have the ability to capture buildings, presumably for resources. The real clincher on what Tryst is emulating will no doubt be the base building system. Both factions seem to have a series of units split into infantry, armor, and air. In the video supplied bases seem to be rather small, and unit limits fairly low to keep action fast and furious. Combined with eight player free for all a full match of tryst must be quite the site. With so many available units however I worry about unit balance.

Strategy games are infamous for only having a few viable units out of their large arsenals. So I worry about such a new company inexperienced with unit balance having such large amounts of unit types. Though that ties in with the item system, which I also worry about considering the companies inexperience.



If anything, it would be much more fair to call Tryst a clone of Worldshift. Equipping unit types with items? Focus on smaller groups of units? Overgrown and natural Sci Fi setting on a strange planet? That's World-shift alright. Though to be fair the uneducated masses only call Tryst a clone because its a Sci Fi RTS with stylized 3D graphics. They could care less about the actual gameplay mechanics (You know, the parts of the game that are the only reason you play the game?).

I admit, Blue Giant is an Indian company trying to cater to American audiences. Their first game was called Apox, the goal of the game was to utilize resources found in the wasteland and destroy your enemies. As a whole, most American gamers hate strategy games. I am really not sure why, but most gamers simply have too short of an attention span to play a real strategic game like Civ 5 and settle for the amazingly easy to play beginner strategy games like Warcraft 3 or Starcraft that require little in the ways of thinking. As such, Apox fell in obscurity only because of its price tag and lack of true advertising. Shooters can get away with a lack of advertising because of the demand, while strategy games need to work hard to entice gamers.

Tryst so far seems to be running in the right direction. The game is very much in closed beta and at its earliest stages in playtesting, and I am curious to see where they take the game. Multiplayer matches are amazingly small at only eight players, and with rumors that Tryst will be free to play that won't do. The game also has two factions, that in itself is a rather brave statement made by Blue Giant in a industry that requires you to add a third faction because three is better than two (Because Starcraft did it).

I myself am very curious to see if Tryst really lives up to its hype. The game is clearly not a Starcraft 2 clone, Tryst actually looks balanced. Keep an eye on this game, its going to blow people away. If the game is truly going to be free to play as rumors have stated than we may have a new national pass-time.








I will admit this up front, I am essentially an atheist. One that has no problem ranting and raving about western religions. I normally mock Christianity and Islam for this, but the idea of whole societies holding the same rare taboo is less unique to the west than you may think. Everybody has heard the Christians rant and rave about well, everything. Everybody has heard about Islam getting somewhat miffed about Muhammad being depicted. But really, as a foundation every society has that one thing that thou shalt not do. For the religious, its either sinning or depicting gods in media.



For those not in the know, SMITE is the upcoming MOBA Tower Defense game depicting gods doing combat in third person. This concept if of course nothing new. One could argue Brutal Legend and Sacrifice did it already (But it has levels, so it's obviously like a million billion times better). There seems to be a large amount of controversy surrounding this. Specifically the Hindu Goddess Kali. She is the Goddess of TIME AND CHANGE. Now, I find this all very interesting because as a non-religious man I simply do not understand why making fun of fictional characters is bad. On a logical level, this should not even actually be a problem.

This essay is more or less a further thought experiment on an existing MMOSite article asking if one is offended by religion in video games which I have participated in the comments section quite a bit. My main question is why is it so bad to update depictions of a mythic figure. On the left is a traditional illustration of the Goddess Kali, complete with blood and gore. On the right we have the same goddess not covered in gore but in 3D. According to the Hindu people the right image is the bad one.

This of course is nothing new. There are tons of instances of the Hindu people asking companies not to portray their god in any sense of the word. There have been beers, mints, and other products depicting Kali that have been protested by the Hindu. The main argument seems to be we're making money off the religion they make money of. And white people are evil. Other than that, I can't see a damn other argument. Kali in SMITE is actually wearing more clothes than the usual depiction of the often naked goddess, so the sexism argument can't apply.

Here are a few quotes from Zed, the leader of the Hindu controversy. This all started last week but Hi-Rez so far has refused to drop Kali as per their demands.


"Moreover, portrayal of goddess Kali, who was highly revered by Hindus, appeared like a porno star in the SMITE version shown on the company website, which was quite distressing for the devotees,"
-Zed, Hindu Leader (About Smite)
"game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects and no faith, larger or smaller, should be plundered. As these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people; it would create more misunderstandings about Hinduism, which was already a highly misunderstood religion in the West."
-Zed, Hindu Leader (Same article)

Ok, we like sex. I won't say you are wrong sir. But honestly Kali's chest in SMITE is only slightly larger than the other image provided in this article by Wikipedia. Every depiction I have seen placed Kali as a rather slender woman, and many images show her nude. The only difference I see is that Kali is in 3D in SMITE, which is hardly controversial. How would Zed want her portrayed? As for leaving impressions on young people, I don't have the heart to tell Zed that in a few decades its likely the west will wake up and renounce organized religion altogether.

Its interesting, and always has been; that people really like picking and choosing when it comes to aged works. The old image is "good" because its old and derived from the original stories but a newer depiction is "bad" because 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth' The Second Commandment. Despite how the new image is just newer yet derived from the original stories. Kali never really wore too much in the ways of clothes, and if she were to exist she would probably look pretty close to SMITE's depiction.

This is the same concept as getting murderous over seeing a image of Muhammad. We can talk about the gods, but not fantasize about their appearance? We can praise them but not portray them in the light of comedy? Why is it such a taboo to re-imagine a god that was originally just imaged into existence in the first place. While we do have proof of several great prophets at some point existed we have no proof they could actually do the things we claim they could.

The bible itself is a collection of stories that to date has been edited by various people over a thousand times. I dare not make any assumptions about the Hindu religion only because Zed would disprove. But so far I see a lot of people claiming that the original pictures are ok because they are old and the new pictures are sacrilegious because they already decided what the goddess looks like. Wheres the part of their book that says that if your picture is drawn past the year 2000 its heretical? Its a double standard common in religious structures. The fact the Hindu are so worked up about this really makes them lose quite a lot of respect in my eyes. Its a 3d model in a video game, a video game made fully in a fictional perspective with non-copyrighted fictional characters that don't actually exist in the mortal realm. Wheres the problem?