Religious leaders condemn ‘Fight of Gods’ video game featuring ‘Jesus’ and ‘Buddha’

PETALING JAYA: Religious leaders here are in a huff over a newly-released video game that features among others, Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha as fight characters.

In roundly condemning the “Fight of Gods” game developed by foreign gaming studio Digital Crafter, leaders from various religions yesterday urged the government to ban the “unacceptable game”.

The game, that is currently available for only RM11 on Steam Early Access (a digital distribution platform offering unfinished, playable version of games) had on Sept 4, added Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha to its stable of fighters.

Before this, it already featured the likes of Greek god Zeus, the Viking Odin, Guan Gong and Moses when it was first announced in March. A promotion video is also available online with the title “The Gods Are At War”.

It is understood that the developers who are planning to add more characters to its pantheon in the near future have asked fans for suggestions, and the Prophet Muhammad is already favoured to be an addition.

“The government should immediately ban the game or block the download link to avoid the potential of religious tension in the country,” Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin told theSun yesterday.

He warned that while most gamers may play just for fun, some may take it seriously and this could lead to hatred towards other religions.

“Any religion and religious leaders who are rational would downright condemn the game, as I’m sure no religion encourages violence and fighting against each other,” he said.

Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) deputy president Datuk R.S. Mohan Shan said the game degrades religions and their religious leaders.

“This is a very sensitive issue, and it is totally not acceptable. We can never agree to such games. The government must take immediate action to ban the game’s sale here,” he said.

“It is also unhealthy for children as they may idolise certain characters in the game they deem them to be more powerful due to the number of victories they score with that character.”

Council of Churches Malaysia general-secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri said the use of names and likeness of deities and religious figures in the production of games is the height of insensitivity and disrespect.

He urged the government to appeal to the developer to withdraw the use of religious figures in the game and replace them with other more acceptable characters.

“If they refuse to do that, then we encourage the government take the necessary action and ban it. There’s no reason for the developers not to change the names and characters in the game,” he added.

MCA religious harmony bureau chief Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker, meanwhile, said immediate action must be taken to stop the sale and distribution of the game here as it “touches the raw nerves of the religions”.

“Irrespective of the origin of the game, it should not be allowed to contaminate our religious harmony. The authorities must use whatever provisions within the law to clamp this,” he told theSun.