Asura’s Wrath takes elements of science fiction, blends them with bits and pieces of Hindu religion, and spits it back out into a hack n slash adventure where you have the ability to call upon the gods to help you out.
While the SF fans seem to have taken a shine to the new game, some Hindu devotees are not so keen, accusing the game of trivialising their faith and its concepts.
President of the Universal Society of Hinduism – Rajan Zed – has released a statement explaining how the game’s reimagining of highly-revered symbols and concepts is deeply upsetting to those who follow the religion.
In Hindu texts, Durga is a major deity, a saviour of the world, destroyer of Mahisasura, a well-known buffalo-demon asura. In Asura’s Wrath, Durga is reframed as Asura’s murdered wife.
While many people in his position would call for immediate action against the developer, publisher, or retailers, Zed has instead taken the admirable path of asking game developers in future to not unnecessarily drag Hinduism into their titles merely because it’s “different”, or out of a sense of greed.
“No faith, large or small, should be plundered.”
…instead, Zed invites developers to work with religion – he says that Hindu scholars around the world would “gladly provide genuine seekers from [the] video games industry the resources they needed”. He suggests that if developers cannot deliver religious imagery and symbolism “accurately and authentically”, they should simply stay out of it.
Zed explains that while freedom of expression is important, faith is something sacred, requiring more sensitivity when being used in different contexts for entertainment or escapist purposes. He points out that video games in particular have a “lasting impact” on young people, children and teenagers, making religious content more concerning.
Hinduism is the oldest, and third-largest religion of the world, with roughly one billion followers around the world. Asura’s Wrath is out now for Xbox 360 and PS3, thanks to Capcom and CyberConnect2.