Valve refunds Christian gamer offended by new Bioshock game

Shacknews is reporting that a Christian gamer named Breen Malmberg who purchased the new video game Bioshock Infinite from the PC client Steam, which is owned by Valve Corporation, was so offended by a scene in the game that he complained and got a refund. This is pretty unusual because Valve has a pretty strict no-refund policy. If I'd known it was that easy to finagle a refund, I'd have returned plenty of shitty games because I was offended by their mediocrity.

The scene of contention involves the protagonist going through a sort of baptism in which he must pledge his allegiance to the fictional sky-city's America-is-the-greatest ideology before being allowed to enter. Said the gamer:
"As baptism of the Holy spirit is at the center of Christianity--of which I am a devout believer--I am basically being forced to make a choice between committing extreme blasphemy by my actions in choosing to accept this 'choice' or forced to quit playing the game before it even really starts. Of course I cannot hold true to my beliefs and also commit this act, so I am therefore forced to not play the game."
Leave it to religious nuts to be offended by art. What Malmberg fails to understand is that when you're playing a game, the avatar isn't you – it's the character. What the character does is representative of the fictional world s/he inhabits, and has nothing to do with you personally. I've played plenty of games that allow players to choose between kindness and cruelty, and I've often chosen cruelty just for the sake of play – to see how the consequences play out. It's not real; it's a game.

If Malmberg is so offended by games, he'd probably be better off avoiding the medium in general. These days, gamers can allow their avatars to do plenty of potentially offensive stuff. It's funny, too, that he also mentions playing Call of Duty. So, senseless violence? Killing legions of nameless foes? Totally fine. Fictional baptism in the context of the game's characters and story? Offensive!

The scene of the crime

Comments

Popular Posts