Monday, 11 February 2013

The Church

So, this happened.

It also got me thinking about how much of an impact the Catholic Church still has on the world even when we in the West are in increasingly secular societies. I mean the story is covering half of the BBCs news page and a quick browse around the web shows similar coverage on every major news outlet along with alot of chatter on most social media sites.

Even Gaming, a thoroughly modern medium and one that normally goes out of its way to not offend anyone (well, normally) by even mentioning religion, probably owes more then you'd think to the Holy See.

Pope-Kart Racing never caught on though...Source

See, while the modern church is more famous for scandals then it is trendsetting, the Church itself has been around for nearly 2000 years. That's plenty of time to spawn some pretty ass kicking tropes, especially for an organization that's not been historically shy to throw its weight around.

To illustrate my point I'll need you to think of any religion that featured prominently in a game, particularly fantasy games but not necessarily . Do any or all of the following points apply:

  • Fanatical, heavily armed adherents
  • A singular, clearly defined 'Evil' enemy
  • Tendency towards brawny guys in full suits of armour
  • A promise of salvation/paradise for falling in action
Congratulations, you've just conjured up the Church Militant and its many subtle variations. This is almost always the way that in-game Religions are built. Sometimes because it's a useful Quest-giving tool, sometimes in response to the unimagineable evil present in the world and sometimes as the villain. Whatever the reason for their appearance, they all can trace back to a singular parent in the Orders Militant of the post-Crusades Catholic Church.

Hell, The Agency from the Hitman series is literally just this; a group within the Catholic Church acting as violent assasins...kung-fu nuns sold seperately.

The only obvious exception to this trend is in Dead Space. There the Church of Unitology is a less-then-subtle take down of Scientology. In fairness, I think most people can get on board with that.

Now all that remains is to ask: With the Pope leaving does this mean Agent 47 can gain the seat of St. Peter?

Until next time, Let us say Skål! and drink together...

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