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  • Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

    Curious what thoughts are on something like this Cathedral Map. Something like this speaks more to me than a vague comment such as Virtual rape as it raises a number of issues regarding intellectual property, religious freedom and the desecration of it in the context of gaming.

    The interesting comment for me:
    But David Wilson, a Sony spokesman, told The London Times: "It is game-created footage, it is not video or photography. It is entertainment, like Doctor Who or any other science fiction. It is not based on reality at all. Throughout the whole process we have sought permission where necessary."
    Now, does the cathedral need to be photographed or filmed for it to infringe on property rights? We all know this cathedral could be rendered as an almost exact facsimile.

    Another point... I've played many fps games set in churches, temples, etc... as real battles have been fought in these places, but considering this is a sacred space to many people, how ethical is it for purposefully detach these spaces from their traditional and indtended setting to make simulated killing entertainment?

  • #2
    Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

    Claiming sacred and desecration is a bit like claiming rape and violation. Just like people were saying virtual rape is meaningless because there is no real attachment to the character involved or lasting repercussions to the act, there are no sacred virtual objects simply because they are virtual. Now if people were going to the Manchester Cathedral map on multiplayer servers to hold virtual mass and then someone tossed a grenade at the preacher then you'd have a leg to stand on, but it would still be flimsy. If the church produced and sold a virtual church program online so people can log onto their servers and explore the building while listening to a mass and church music and someone stole the code to turn it into a FPS then you'd have a problem.

    Resistance: Fall of Man is a first person shooter. As a first person shooter its primary purpose is to have you shoot things in first person. Placing religious or sacred context on its content is just plain silly because its not used to promote or affiliate itself with the church in anyway.

    I remember there being a Manchester map for RTCW:ET. I'd knife out stain glass windows and shoot down with my Thompson at the axis trying to blow open the side door. Does this mean I'm going to go breaking the windows and planting dynamite in real life?

    On a related note: If the game featured a fully detailed muslim mosque or buddist temple then I'll bet they wouldn't offer a complaint or even a wimper of protest. Probably because the church would hold to the belief that the 'sacred structures' of other religions isn't sacred at all. They'll tell you to respect those buildings in real life and tolerate the heathens, but they won't mind if you build a FPS around the idea of shooting terrorists in mosques.
    My sanity is not in question...
    It was a confirmed casualty some time ago.


    Light, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ticked me off.



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    • #3
      Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

      Is it in poor taste? Probably. (Although the article is a bit lacking on details, so we can't really tell for sure.)

      But is it illegal? Or does it infringe on religious freedom? No. Not in the slightest. You can't copyright a landmark. You can't stop someone else from building something that looks similar to your landmark. I don't think the church really has a case here.

      At best, you could make the argument that Sony should change the name of the in-game cathedral. But it would be a pretty weak argument.

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      • #4
        Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

        de_sprits approves.

        There have been plenty of games with battles in forests. Pagans hold forests sacred. There have been plenty of games with battles in buildings. Capitalists hold business buildings as places of worship. There have been plenty of games with battles in outer space. Above the clouds is where Heaven is supposed to be.


        It's just another grab for attention. If the archetect holds the copyright to the plan and chooses to file a lawsuit, so be it. Beyond that, game on.

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        • #5
          Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

          Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post
          de_sprits approves.

          There have been plenty of games with battles in forests. Pagans hold forests sacred. There have been plenty of games with battles in buildings. Capitalists hold business buildings as places of worship. There have been plenty of games with battles in outer space. Above the clouds is where Heaven is supposed to be.


          It's just another grab for attention. If the archetect holds the copyright to the plan and chooses to file a lawsuit, so be it. Beyond that, game on.
          Just to keep things clear with terminology. Pagan is another label for heathen from Christianity. Similar to how negro and the 'n word' were used to refer to african americans in America. In a broad sense it means "not monotheistic" and in the much narrower sense it means "not christian".

          Pagans don't hold trees sacred. Hell, DRUIDS don't hold trees sacred and thats what they're most commonly associated with. The best comparison would be shamanistic beliefs in the order of nature or spirits that guide aspects of world.

          For some reason I have no problem discussing the good and the bad of organized mind control we call religion. It does irk me somewhat when people misrepresent a religious ideal though. Seriously, if you're going to poke at someone's blind faith, at least have what they're blindly following right. Gotta give them that much respect at least. ^_^

          Cheers for having two practicing wiccan friends and a druidic pen pal. ;)
          We don't call cops pigs, so don't call nonchristians pagan or heathens. Unless its in jest or off handed from a skew in order to make a point.
          My sanity is not in question...
          It was a confirmed casualty some time ago.


          Light, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ticked me off.



          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

            I see you've been waiting for someone to mention pagans so you could let that out of your system. If it weren't for the "Unless its in jest or off handed from a skew in order to make a point" at the end, I'd think you went off the handle at "paga" without reading the following sentences and realising I was being sardonic for the lol-factor. It's a good thing I didn't blur the Agnostic/Atheist line, I may have received a . :D

            "were used to refer to african americans in America."
            Were? They're still using it. Black Americans, too. Not just the blacks with dual citizenship with an African country. Especially the kids. Apparently calling each other bad names is a game they invented because they were bored and couldn't be bothered to go to the library and train their reading skills.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

              Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post
              "were used to refer to african americans in America."
              Were? They're still using it. Black Americans, too. Not just the blacks with dual citizenship with an African country.
              Heh... I used to work with a paramedic that is a naturalized US Citizen from South Africa and is whiter than I am. I loved demonstrating to some of the black guys and gals that I worked with that they were racist.
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              • #8
                Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

                Lots of kids make FPS maps of their schools. One was recently arrested for it:

                http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/02/1839251
                Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                • #9
                  Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

                  Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post
                  de_sprits approves.

                  There have been plenty of games with battles in forests. Pagans hold forests sacred. There have been plenty of games with battles in buildings. Capitalists hold business buildings as places of worship. There have been plenty of games with battles in outer space. Above the clouds is where Heaven is supposed to be.
                  I don't think relativist arguments really go anywhere except to some place where the nihilists play... or, it's like Dick Cheney, if you can get people asking the wrong questions, its like the original question was never asked. Now... pagans aside (myself being raised Catholic... which is really a closet pagan with serious issues) I think the big deciding factor is sacred vs. the profane in the online world, is there such a thing as the sacred on the internet when the internet is really a representation of the real world and not the thing itself.

                  Originally posted by Tarenth View Post
                  Just like people were saying virtual rape is meaningless because there is no real attachment to the character involved or lasting repercussions to the act, there are no sacred virtual objects simply because they are virtual. Now if people were going to the Manchester Cathedral map on multiplayer servers to hold virtual mass and then someone tossed a grenade at the preacher then you'd have a leg to stand on, but it would still be flimsy. If the church produced and sold a virtual church program online so people can log onto their servers and explore the building while listening to a mass and church music and someone stole the code to turn it into a FPS then you'd have a problem.
                  Can the internet be considered a sacred place? My first thought after hearing about virtual Mass in Second Life made me acutally laugh... the internet offer representations, not the real experience, yet even the representation takes on a meaning of its own to people so wrapped up in their computers, right? Who knows.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

                    Wow. That's being dumb.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

                      Originally posted by Tarenth View Post
                      Cheers for having two practicing wiccan friends and a druidic pen pal. ;)
                      We don't call cops pigs, so don't call nonchristians pagan or heathens. Unless its in jest or off handed from a skew in order to make a point.
                      I have a pagan friend, she is insulted when she is referred to as wiccan, since most people ar familiar with wiccans. Pagan does not mean the same as heathen, so lumping the two together as meaning the same thing is more insulting to her than calling her a heathen directly. Wiccan is a modern mishmash of pagan beliefs with modern flair, like Mormanism is modern Christianity with new teachings.

                      For some reason I have no problem discussing the good and the bad of organized mind control we call religion. It does irk me somewhat when people misrepresent a religious ideal though. Seriously, if you're going to poke at someone's blind faith, at least have what they're blindly following right. Gotta give them that much respect at least. ^_^
                      Nice try though.
                      |TG-6th|Snooggums

                      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

                        I'm a Christian and I never even came close to thinking that de_spirits in CS:S (or anything like it) was offensive. Some people are too easily offended. Sometimes I really really hate how politically correct our society is. Buncha wusses need to toughen up a bit.
                        "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

                          Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                          I have a pagan friend, she is insulted when she is referred to as wiccan, since most people ar familiar with wiccans. Pagan does not mean the same as heathen, so lumping the two together as meaning the same thing is more insulting to her than calling her a heathen directly. Wiccan is a modern mishmash of pagan beliefs with modern flair, like Mormanism is modern Christianity with new teachings.
                          You do realize that Pagan is to Wiccan as Christian is to Baptist right? Pagan is a label used to any belief that is not monotheistic because they are frequently dissimlar enough to defy being lumped under a single classification.

                          All Wiccans are Pagan. All Voodou are Pagan. All Druids are Pagan. But not all Pagans are Wiccans, Voodou, or Druids.

                          All Baptists are Christian. All Methodists are Christian. All Catholics are Christians. But not all Christians are Baptists, Methodists, or Catholics.

                          Wicca is also not a modern mishmash of pagan beliefs. It is a very established set of rituals and beliefs that go back through the ages beyond the rise of Christianity. It may seem like a mishmash because so many religions actually steal from each other that things get tangled up between them.

                          Heathen is actually a slur used by someone of one religion against one of another religion. By definition Christians consider Pagans heathens and vice versa because neither share beliefs.

                          Of course your friend would be insulted when called a Wiccan. Its just like calling a Methodist a Protestant or a Roman Catholic a Baptist. Its a mislabel of a specific set of belief with another specific set of beliefs different from your own. However since Pagan and Heathen are so interchangeable in the Christianity dominated spheres (I'm in the US so that counts) its like calling a Methodist a Christian. Since Methodists are Christians its replacing a specific set of beliefs for the more generalized classification.
                          My sanity is not in question...
                          It was a confirmed casualty some time ago.


                          Light, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ticked me off.



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

                            Originally posted by Tarenth View Post
                            You do realize that Pagan is to Wiccan as Christian is to Baptist right? Pagan is a label used to any belief that is not monotheistic because they are frequently dissimlar enough to defy being lumped under a single classification.
                            I fully understand the terminology, which is why when you equated pagan to heathen as both being insults when they were not like so...

                            We don't call cops pigs, so don't call nonchristians pagan or heathens. Unless its in jest or off handed from a skew in order to make a point.
                            ...I pointed out that pagan is not an insult like heathen is. Calling someone a Pagan is like calling someone a Christian. You said it was like calling a Christian an Infidel. (Heathen = non-christian, infidel = non-muslim).

                            Now if you had written "We don't call cops pigs, so don't call pagans 'heathens' " then your original point would have been correct. The extended lecture you wrote that proves me right was a bit of overkill though.
                            |TG-6th|Snooggums

                            Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sacred spaces and virtual desecration?

                              To me the issue is what purpose is the level used. Is it just used as an interesting backdrop to the game? For instance, if you had a game set in the Italy, and aliens took over the vatican, it wouldn't necessarily mean you were Anti-Catholic, or Anti-Christian or that you were issuing an attack on organized religion, you may just be using it for an interesting level for your game. Which seems to me to be the angle Sony was taking.

                              Now, if it is something tasteless like making a painting of a religious figure out of feces, or having holocaust cartoons, then I think it is wrong but still protected in the US and most western countries.

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