Catholics back Hindus in Anti-SMITE PR Campaign?
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 13th Jul 2012
Zed feels that "reimagining Hindu scriptures and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees," though your GU reporter was unable to verify that through interviews with practitioners of the Hindu faith. Members of the Krishna Church in Los Angeles interviewed by phone for a previous article in this series indicated that their religion did not take notice of the use of its deities by non-believers, expressing the opinion that to do so would not be in keeping with the spirit of the faith.
"Really any platform that presents the goddess to non-believers is truly a good thing, as it will surely make them curious to learn more about the wonderful wisdom, peace, and enlightenment that they offer" says Krishna follower Aagney Harit. "Our faith is a tolerant faith, and does not concern itself with the use of our deities by those outside of the faith; I find this campaign you have told me about disturbing. Perhaps this Rajan Zed has lost the harmony of the way?"
A series of phone calls and chat online over the course of the past month with Hindu elders in India offered further enlightenment on the issue, though the general sense of confusion as to the underlying reasoning for the protest must be emphasized. Copies of the previous press releases were provided via email to each of the elders being consulted, and their reading of the press releases prompted this response:
"These allegations of dandaparusya that are directed towards the video game company feel a misguided gesture," says Maharishi Daksh. "Perhaps the important lessons of the parable of the crying calf was not fully understood in the embrace of learning as a brahmacharya?
Rajan Zed (Left) and Father Charles T. Durante (Right) at an undisclosed social function -- image provided by Rajan Zed.
"Please do not misunderstand, one should feel strongly about their faith, but one should always remember that the Dharmic path is ever one of peace and acceptance; he must be full of compassion and forgiveness even to those who mean him harm, so protest of this nature, in this manner, using these words, simply does not make sense."
According to Zed what does not make sense is controlling and manipulating the goddess Kali and other Hindu deities with a joystick, button, keyboard, or mouse.
"Goddess Kali and other Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped (SIC) in temples and home shrines and not meant to be reduced to just a 'character' in a video game to be used in combat in the virtual battleground," Zed declares, citing this as his primary concern.
Zed declared that "video 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; such games would create more misunderstandings about Hinduism, which was already a highly misunderstood religion in the West."
Developers at Hi-Rez could not be reached for comment, but an anonymous source close to the studio suggested that the focus of the game was squarely on battling, not preaching, offering the opinion that any concerns over the understanding or misunderstanding of the religion have no relationship to the actual game.
"SMITE is a game. It is about fun, not worship!" they opined.