In an unprecedented display of solidarity, Catholic, Budhhist, and Jewish organisations have backed the Universal Society of Hinduism in protesting the inclusion of Hi-Rez Studios’ MOBA, Smite, at QuakeCon, and urged sponsors A&T and Intel to withdraw support for the event.
For the last month or so, the game has been the subject of controversy for featuring Hindu deities Kali, Vamana and Agni on its roster of in-game characters. Smite also includes gods from the Norse, Greek, and Egyptian pantheons, but perhaps significantly, no Abrahamic religious equivalents.
“Respect for religious practice and beliefs is a basic tenet of our land. When using religious images in commercial media basic respect calls for understanding the teachings behind those images,” said American Catholic leader Father Charles T. Durante. “This need is only heightened when using a religion’s supreme images. I would hope that understanding and respect will bring a mutual agreement honouring these Hindu concerns.”
In response to the outrage, Hi-Rez Studios has binned an image of a barely-dressed Kali from their website, although the organisers of QuakeCon have not removed the game from the expo’s lineup. QuakeCon starts today in Dallas, Texas.
In related news, Satanists have not complained about the egregious defamation of their dark lord in Blizzard’s Diablo III, although they really should. That game makes Satan look so bad.