Playing with Religion in Digital Games
Fig. 1. Playing with Religion in Digital Games. Courtesy of Indiana University Press, 2014.

Indiana University Press publishes a new book titled "Playing with Religion in Digital Games" edited by Heidi A. Campbell and Gregory Price Grieve.

Publication Data

Campbell, Heidi A. & Grieve, Price (Eds.). Playing with Religion in Digital Games. Indiana University Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-253-01253-1.

Description

Shaman, paragon, God-mode: modern video games are heavily coded with religious undertones. From the Shinto-inspired Japanese video game Okami to the internationally popular The Legend of Zelda and Halo, many video games rely on religious themes and symbols to drive the narrative and frame the storyline. Playing with Religion in Digital Games explores the increasingly complex relationship between gaming and global religious practices. For example, how does religion help organize the communities in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft? What role has censorship played in localizing games like Actraiser in the western world? How do evangelical Christians react to violence, gore, and sexuality in some of the most popular games such as Mass Effect or Grand Theft Auto? With contributions by scholars and gamers from all over the world, this collection offers a unique perspective to the intersections of religion and the virtual world.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Playing with Religion Offers Digital Game Studies by Heidi A. Campbell and Gregory Price Grieve
Part 1: Explorations in Religiously Themed Games
1. Dreidels to Dante’s Inferno: Toward a Typology of Religious Games by Jason Anthony
2. Locating the Pixelated Jew: A Multimodal Method for Exploring Judaism in The Shivah by Isamar Carrillo Masso and Nathan Abrams
3. The Global Mediatization of Hinduism through Digital Games: Representation versus Simulation in Hanuman: Boy Warrior by Xenia Zeiler
4. Silent Hill and Fatal Frame: Finding Transcendent Horror in and beyond the Haunted Magic Circle by Brenda S. Gardenour Walter
Part 2: Religion in Mainstream Games
5. From Kuma\War to Quraish: Representation of Islam in Arab and American Video Games by Vit Šisler
6. Citing the Medieval: Using Religion as World-Building Infrastructure in Fantasy MMORPGs by Rabia Gregory
7. Hardcore Christian Gamers: How Religion Shapes Evangelical Play by Shanny Luft
8. Filtering Cultural Feedback: Religion, Censorship and Localization in Actraiser and Other Mainstream Video Games by Peter Likarish
Part 3: Gaming as Implicit Religion
9. The Importance of Playing in Earnest / Rachel Wagner
10. “God Modes” and “God Moods”: What Does a Digital Game Need to Be Spiritually Effective? by Oliver Steffen
11. Bridging Multiple Realities: Religion, Play and Alfred Schutz’s Theory of the Life-World by Michael Waltemathe
12. They Kill Mystery: The Mechanistic Bias of Video Game Representations of Religion and Spirituality by Kevin Schuts
Gameography
Contributors
Index

About the Authors

Heidi A. Campbell is Associate Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University, where she teaches media studies. She is author of Exploring Religious Community Online and When Religion Meets New Media, and editor of Digital Religion. She is Director of the Network for New Media, Religion, and Digital Culture Studies.

Gregory P. Grieve is Associate Professor in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is Director of MERGE: A Network for Collaborative Interdisciplinary Scholarship in UNCG’s College of Arts and Sciences, and co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s section on Religion and Popular Culture. He is author of Retheorizing Religion in Nepal and editor (with Steven Engler) of Historicizing "Tradition" in the Study of Religion.

To order the book online visit the Indiana University Press website.