Malaysia blocks Steam to ban religious fighting game

The Malaysian government has blocked access to the whole Steam store in an attempt to ban Fight of Gods [Steam page], a new fighting game where deities from Jesus to Odin punch each other in the face. The game is a threat to the “solidarity, harmony and wellbeing of the multi-racial and multi-religious people in the country”, an official said.

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission yesterday issued a 24-hour ultimatum demanding that Steam’s operator, Valve, block users in Malaysia from downloading the game. After that passed and the game was still available, they ordered ISPs to block the site. Steamers in Malaysia are unable to access the store, though playing Steam games still seems to work – and the block can be bypassed.

Fight of Gods hit Steam Early Access on Monday, made by Digital Crafter and published by PQube. Its lineup of religious figures throwing down includes Buddha, Jesus, Odin, Athena, Moses, Sif, Anubis, Guan Gong, and Amaterasu.

Molleindustria’s Faith Fighter games caused a stir a decade ago with similar deity-decking but nothing on this scale.

“This action is necessary to protect the users and to prevent untoward incidents,” Salleh Said Keruak, Malaysia’s Minister of Communication and Multimedia, said today according to a report by Malaysia’s national news agency BERNAMA.

“(To ensure) solidarity, harmony and wellbeing of the multi-racial and multi-religious people in the country are the main objectives of the government,” he said. “The government will not compromise with any action that can jeopardise these objectives.”

The game is supposedly in violation of a law which prohibits creating or spreading “any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person”. A game where gods and prophets kick each other’s teeth in is a problem, it seems. The law carries the threat of a fine of up to 50,000 ringgit (about £9,000) or up to a year in jail.

PQube have insisted that “We never received any communications from Malaysian officials” and issued a statement from themselves and Digital Crafter. They respond:

“Fight of Gods is a video game that takes a humorous approach to religion in the same way that other entertainment formats have – across television, film, books and theatre.

“The game is not promoting any religious agenda and is not designed to offend. The description of the game on the digital platforms through which it is distributed provide clear guidance on the nature of the game and its content so that people can freely choose whether or not to play it. We fully respect the choice of those who would not wish to play it.

“We are disappointed that such freedom of choice is not given to everyone and in particular that the game has been forcibly removed from sale in Malaysia, although no direct communication has been received by us as to the reasons for this. Nevertheless we respect any rules and censorship imposed in any given territory.”

While PQube say it’s not trying to cause offense, they surely can’t be surprised that it has. The game’s launch announcement even posed the question “Will Jesus, fresh from ripping himself off the sacrificial cross, smite all his foes with the power of his Punishment Fist?” I know I’d consider myself a right cheeky chops if I wrote that line, though I would be somewhat surprised if objectors tried to block Steam from a whole country to stop me.

Malaysian tech site SoyaCincau helpfully offer instructions on how to bypass Malaysia’s Steam block but this is still a flipping nuisance. Hopefully it gets resolved soon. A game this boring shouldn’t cause so many problems.

114 Comments

  1. wombat191 says:

    Honestly the moment I saw this pop up I was waiting for the back lash. I’m surprised they haven’t had death threats yet

    • Jakob91 says:

      wombat191: Why would they receive death threats? They did not include muhammad in this game.

      • wombat191 says:

        A. Muslims still regard Jesus as a prophet
        B. I was honestly expecting death threats from offended Christians, etc as well

        • batraz says:

          It is obvious that you don’t live in Paris, friend ; you wouldn’t be so confused.

          • Artyparis says:

            I live in Paris and i dont believe muslims are all terrorists.
            Nor wasp american students fond of guns.

            PS: dont pretend to speak in name of parisians. Thanks.

          • Arkayjiya says:

            I live near Paris in an overwhelmingly Muslim area and I’d be curious to know what you could possibly mean by that?

      • kwyjibo says:

        Smite gets away with it because it requires a pantheon of Gods, and the only modern pantheon as such is Hinduism.

        The Hindus complained of course, but not enough to block their game (despite the current trend of rampant Hindu nationalism (seriously)).

        • lflambeau says:

          You can have a pantheon with christianism. There is a cosmogony of angels and archangels and it’s fairly developped with daemons as well. So why isn’t it included ?

          • batraz says:

            What kind of mono-theism is so hard to get ? ;) Angels and thrones and dominations and so forth no gods.

          • klops says:

            But the father and the son and the holy spirit are all God in Christianity. It seems this game only has the son.

  2. Premium User Badge

    josborn says:

    I don’t have any problem with the game itself (I think we’ve all wondered who would win in a fight between Buddha and Odin), but pretending it wasn’t designed to offend at least a certain segment of people is just disingenuous. Malaysia banning this game is easily the best free advertising that could possibly have happened.

    • Xzi says:

      People don’t typically design games for the sole purpose of offending other people, but religious people are known to be pretty easy to offend. People need to lighten up, though. Type “Jesus” into Steam’s search and watch how many games come up. Yet Steam isn’t banned in America.

      • Cyber Ferret says:

        People don’t typically design games for the sole purpose of offending other people

        Sole purpose? Rarely. But if they can swing it, it usually makes for good marketing.

        Let’s face it, this is in all likelihood a dismal game that anyone with a room temperature IQ could have anticipated being offensive to a large segment of the population. This is its sole gimmick.

        • Xzi says:

          It’s got an 87% on Steam with 246 user reviews. It also only costs $4.79 and seems to have some pretty neat attack animations. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say they developed it to sell copies, not to trigger some easily-offended individuals. The idea of gods from many different religions fighting is pretty intriguing when done right.

          • Cyber Ferret says:

            The review sample is small (couple hundred). Very few people are reviewing the actual game (those that do skew negative.) Most of the reviewers are just that segment of the internet that loves to trip over themselves for any opportunity to be a jackass over any controversy.

            Also, I watched like 10 seconds of footage. I’m comfortable with my assertion.

          • Xzi says:

            Ehh, that’s a huge stretch to say that 246 Steam users are all in on some conspiracy. Again, this isn’t even close to the first game with a religious theme on Steam, and it’s not the first positively reviewed one, either. Nobody’s starting a war over this game, obviously the side that’s offended by a simple fighter is being a little melodramatic, don’t you think?

          • Cyber Ferret says:

            Ehh, that’s a huge stretch to say that 246 Steam users are all in on some conspiracy.

            Good thing I didn’t say that then.

          • Xzi says:

            Fair enough, but I think implying that 246 people are willing to spend $5 just to troll the religious is still close enough to conspiracy that it sounds silly.

          • Cyber Ferret says:

            No. I’m saying the inclusion of certain figures was deliberately and cynically contrived to court controversy to make a few bucks, and few of those people would have bought it if it hadn’t.

            The vast majority of those “reviews” are trite statements referring to the controversial elements of the game, and very few people saying the game itself is particularly good.

          • Mischa says:

            The vast majority of reviewers have played the game for less than an hour. I don’t know if it is possible to write a review and then refund the game, but it seems the game isn’t that good, if even positive reviewers only played the game for half an hour.

          • Josh W says:

            I think it’s more surprising to say that you won’t find 200ish people willing enough to troll religious people that they will pay $5 and say a game is amazing. The gain isn’t that high, but neither is the cost.

            This game opened my eyes, I am now a Buddhist 10/10

            Having said that, it’s not like it would be hard to find 200ish people who legitimately like playing a silly fighting game.

      • Premium User Badge

        josborn says:

        Maybe I worded it poorly. I didn’t mean that the ONLY reason the game was designed was to offend religious people. I just think it’s bullshit to pretend that it wasn’t part of their calculus, especially from a marketing perspective. And it appears to have worked.

        • Xzi says:

          I guess so, as far as any indie dev has a tour de force marketing team. Seems to me that the uproar is pretty minimal if only Malaysia is really affected, though. Like I said previous, there are tons of games with a religious theme on Steam already, and there will be a ton more after this one. Most get little to no attention.

      • MikhailG says:

        Have you not seen Hatred mate? Its literally been made to piss people off.

  3. Shadow says:

    And they thought skipping Mohammed was enough to escape repercussion…

    How about coming up with a better idea to turn into a videogame?

  4. Zombiwan Kenobi says:

    You can make greek or nordic deities fighting no one cares. I mean, God of War is basically about kicking some deities butt and everyone is fan – Did they block Steam for this one too ? ^ ^

    • Cyber Ferret says:

      Of course you understand the difference between mythological figures with little or no active veneration that have largely passed into folk tradition, and figures that are actively worshiped by large and passionate followings.

      I’m an atheist, but even I see this as trolling.

      • durrbluh says:

        Eh. Today’s King of Kings is tomorrow’s mid-boss of world 2.

        • April March says:

          Then tomorrow you can make a game about the King of Kings kicking people’s teeth in. Or you can make it today and expect some backlash, instead of being “oh gosh! We didn’t mean to offend!”

          • Ich Will says:

            Don’t be so fragile, so you think that someone made fun of the thing you worship, get over it! Don’t you believe that it means they will go to hell and burn (Because in your horrendus little religion, there is no difference between someone who abuses children and someone who questions if god exists, they all get the same punishment – oh, except the child abuser gets into heaven if he simply believes in Jesus), so you’ll “win” in the end.

      • LessThanNothing says:

        So you’re an atheist but believe no one should offend religious viewpoints with silly animated fighting… got it.

        • Cyber Ferret says:

          When I got my atheist membership card in the mail, I never got the instructions that I have to go out of my way to be an asshole about other peoples spiritual traditions at any opportunity, no.

          Mind, quite a few people *did* seem to get those instructions, so maybe mine were lost in the mail.

          The line between religion and culture is extraordinarily fine. So much that it can sometimes render the distinction between insulting a belief and insulting someone’s heritage indistinguishable.

          If I thought that just being as much of a jerk at any given time to people that dont share my beliefs was an *effective* way to bring about change, maybe I’d feel differently. But these are well developed systems of thought that thrive on scorn. It costs me little to respect other people, yet purchases much.

          In the end, if I’m going to pick a battle, it’s not going to be over a shitty fighting game that no one would buy if the developers weren’t trying to offend people for money.

          • LessThanNothing says:

            Life is all about picking and choosing battles. I’m sure that we can both agree politicians in Malaysia should be focused elsewhere. I think it’s in my handbook somewhere =)

          • Cyber Ferret says:

            Indeed. But on the other side of that I’m not going to pick a battle condemning religious types for being offended by something that was patently designed to offend them for no better reason than crass commercialism. I’ve got enough on my plate trying to keep religion from adversely affecting far more substantial issues.

            If the cost of that is respecting their traditions in other cases, then so be it. Again, it costs very little *not* to be an asshole.

          • SaintAn says:

            You sound like a heretic of Atheism and should be tied to a stake and forced to learn about all the horrors, suffering, and damage to nature, science, and humanity that religion has caused in the past, is currently causing, and will cause in the future. Then you’ll be an angry asshole like the rest of us when you’ve been cured of your ignorance.

          • Cyber Ferret says:

            And how is being an angry asshole working out for you? Religion has been eradicated then? The people who you aim your assholery at listen with rapt attention to your scorn and don’t simply entrench further in their belief systems?

            Super! Well, that was a rough entirety of human existence. Glad to hear that’s sorted.

          • GeoX says:

            Cyber Ferret, you’re cool.

          • Shadow says:

            SaintAn was possibly being sarcastic, but I wholeheartedly agree with your points, Cyber Ferret, even as a Catholic. There’s no sensible reason not to respect other people’s beliefs or non-beliefs.

            An angry atheist crusading against religion is pretty much the same as a religious zealot thoughtlessly condemning the heathen to hell.

          • Cyber Ferret says:

            SaintAn was possibly being sarcastic

            Poe’s Law.

          • BenWH says:

            With you 100%, and well done for staying reasoned in your arguments.

          • Ich Will says:

            Just chipping in to point out that historically, Religious institutes were centers of science and learning. The Science vs Religion thing is a relitively recent phenomenon and to a time traveller from the (so called) dark ages, they would be utterly baffled by the falling out.

            Carry on!

          • aepervius says:

            @ich will “Religious institutes were centers of science and learning” in so far that it did not go against the dogma of the local religions. To take the example of Christianity that I know better, as long as it was stuff which did not go against the christian dogma, science was tolerated or even pursued. But as soon as it went against one of the dogma or taboo , then all hell broke lose. That is why medicine was so slow to take up in the whole christian world, taboo against opening bodies, that is also why some aspect of science were so slow to take up, because it went against humanity being the center of all, e.g. . And yes , religious center were also often science center , but you have to dig why : they were pretty much the only one having the time and resource to do it, resource they gained over the low folk arguably forcefully. All in all, religion in some domain did more than its share to break or downright stop progress, medicine being the best known example, while in other religion was not an obstacle it was not religion (and religious elite) per see which was the promoter of science, it was curious folk which happened to have incidentally the resource of religious center at their disposition. And that is a huge difference.

            The dark age were not so dark as “enlightment” folk did think, but neither was religion a promoter of science, it was indubitably in many domain a huge obstacle to go over. Even today religion is an obstacle, look at how much biology science in some country is braked and hindered. Look at research an embryo for example.

          • SaintAn says:

            “And how is being an angry asshole working out for you? Religion has been eradicated then? The people who you aim your assholery at listen with rapt attention to your scorn and don’t simply entrench further in their belief systems?

            Super! Well, that was a rough entirety of human existence. Glad to hear that’s sorted.”

            At least I’m doing something. What are you doing? Wallowing in ignorance defending the evil fucks that are ruining the world? Phony Atheist is all you are. How about you think before spewing your ignorance next time.

          • SaintAn says:

            “Shadow says:

            SaintAn was possibly being sarcastic, but I wholeheartedly agree with your points, Cyber Ferret, even as a Catholic. There’s no sensible reason not to respect other people’s beliefs or non-beliefs.

            An angry atheist crusading against religion is pretty much the same as a religious zealot thoughtlessly condemning the heathen to hell.”

            You’d have to be disgustingly ignorant of the real world to think I’m being sarcastic.

            There are important reasons for standing up against religion and not respecting it. It’s a socially contractible mental disease that turns people evil and stupid. Religious people oppress and destroy in the name of imaginary beings and false patterns. Or are you stupid enough to believe the war against science, nature, education, freedom, and sexuality is no big deal and won’t lead to humanities extinction? Science and nature are the only things that should be worshiped.

            And no, atheism is good, and Religion is evil, so crusading against religion is not the same as religious people trying to force their disease on others.

            Don’t talk about things you don’t understand. And stay away from children.

          • Cyber Ferret says:

            SaintAn: At least I’m doing something.

            It’s something alright. I’ll play along and take you at face value.

            Since I’m sure the irony of your own fanaticism is lost on you, let me explain it this way. Atheists like to frame their beliefs as rational conclusions from available evidence, yes? So where is the rational evidence that being a frothing anti-religious zealot does anything other than make you feel better, while ceding the moral high ground, and justifying the persecution complex that religions cultivate?

            That’s not how it works. People just entrench themselves further in their belief system when attacked. You think your scorn is anything compared to the persecution religions have faced over the centuries? Religions thrive on it. They die for it, and count themselves blessed.

            If we’re going to look at it as rationally as possible, we must realize that religion is a part of who human beings are, has been since the beginning, and is not going away any time soon. You cannot shout it away, you cannot ridicule it away, you cannot hate it away. Hate just weakens your position and renders you irrational.

            So I devote my energy to fighting more crucial battles, while acknowledging and respecting the fact of human spirituality. Otherwise it all becomes noise, and justifies the religious mentality in some quarters that everyone is just out to get them.

            I don’t have all or even most of the answers. But I know what doesn’t work.

      • Zombiwan Kenobi says:

        One could also consider my feelings are hurt each time someone is “killed” in a game. Life is supposed to be sacred,isn’t it ?

        This is going nowhere since some people can’t actually make a difference between what’s real and what’s virtual.
        Out of curiosity i wonder if something like “American Gods” is also censored in such country.

        (Please no more troll argument, there’s no need to be that offensive in here).

        • pepperfez says:

          Zombiwan: We should ignore people’s claims of being morally offended by the contents of media.
          also Zombiwan: I’m offended by the tone of your argument so it is unacceptable here.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      No it’s console exclusive. ;)

  5. Bing_oh says:

    I know when I play, I always choose Lazarus…he doesn’t hit hard, but he’s IMPOSSIBLE to kill. Jesus can take more punishment, but his respawn is 3 days.

  6. SadOldGuy says:

    So maybe Atlus bringing Megaten games to Steam will not go over very well. Hmm.

  7. wombat191 says:

    Apparently Steam contacted the developer and the game has been removed from sale in Malaysia.

  8. Beebop says:

    Waitwaitwait, you can get a response from Valve if you ban Steam in a whole country? Quick, someone convince The Donald that Mexicans and Muslims are repelled by Half Life sequels.

  9. aldo_14 says:

    Given Malaysia once banned Schindler’s List as “propaganda with the purpose of asking for sympathy”… not a great shock.

  10. Massenstein says:

    “Right cheeky chops” ahhh, I learn so many new words reading RPS.

  11. Furiant says:

    Seems like your national religious solidarity is a bit fragile if it can be taken down by a single video game.

  12. TheDreamlord says:

    A game triggered a whole country, huh? That should be added as a steam achievement to the game!

    • Meat Circus says:

      They should put it on the posters and box art.

      “An offence against Harmony! 3/10″ – Allah, IGN reviews editor and god of Islam”

      • Blackfish says:

        I really loved the bit in the trailer of the bawdy nun comedy “The Little Hours” where they used the Catholic League’s sour “this is absolute trash” as a pull quote.

        Something about wearing an insult as an ironic badge of honour really tickles me funny bone.

  13. April March says:

    link to store.steampowered.com

    🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  14. Meat Circus says:

    Honestly this is the kind of publicity money can’t buy.

  15. racccoon says:

    To be honest its freedom of expression.
    Its like a stand up comedian if you can’t be allowed to be crass rude crude or state a point on any matter of life of this earth, whats the bloody point.
    Gaming is the same medium, just grow up, and let it go! Yes, when I saw it, I immediately went & viewed all videos on it! I laughed at it! It is what you are supposed to do. LAUGH!
    Its not real, its a game! & like those comedians its bloody funny.
    So I say get off your high horses and get with freedom of expression.

  16. SaintAn says:

    “Will Jesus, fresh from ripping himself off the sacrificial cross, smite all his foes with the power of his Punishment Fist?”

    Nothing offensive about that. What are you talking about? Even if the game were offensive there’s no one more deserving in the world of being mocked (they really deserve a lot worse) than religious people and their stupid beliefs that are ruining the world and will probably cause our extinction.

    • GeoX says:

      You know…atheists who see Religious People as one giant undifferentiated mass about whom we can confidently say they’re all stupid and ruining the world may not be a particularly substantial part of the problem, in absolute terms, but they sure as shit aren’t part of the solution, either. Also, they’re pretty damned obnoxious.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      One day you’ll grow up and realize how stupid that belief of yours is.

      I’m an atheist, but JESUS, I’d hate to be identified with people like you.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Get thee behind me.

  17. Chillicothe says:

    This is what Malaysia’s party in power does to stay that way.

    Yeah, it’s kind of a thing nowadays.

  18. thither says:

    Why doesn’t Jesus wield a sword?

  19. tehfish says:

    This is quite easy to fix. just ask the gods to just specifically state their displeasure to this.

    Once the requisite time period has passed (lets say give them a week), ignore this nonsense.

    A week of [tumbleweed] and [cricket noises] later, we can go on with actual reality.

  20. poliovaccine says:

    I actually dont believe the game was necessarily designed to court controversy. It’s the sort of thing I might draw a comic about, momentarily forgetting the kind of inappropriate horror the “wrong” comics have fairly recently wrought upon the world. I think it’s (all-too?) easy to see the whole procession of human gods and goddesses as campy, superheroic and humorous in a Mortal Kombat sort of way, and I’m not even an atheist. I’d go beyond agnostic, even, and maybe into “animist.”

    But that being said, things should be allowed to court controversy for Fuck’s holy sake as I invoke Him. I think Robert Anton Wilson is the one who said, “Every revelation of science was a shock to some religious orthodoxy,” incomplete paraphasing of it but that’s the gist, and it’s true enough. Satire is essentially making fun of people who you find petty and stupid, but its social value shouldnt need any defense – after all, if enough people agree, maybe it really *is* just petty and stupid..? Is a game like this satire? I’d say it is moreso than it’s deliberately designed to offend anyway, if we’re able to talk in terms of coexistent degrees here. Mainly because provoking offense is part of a larger usefulness to society and civilization, of which satire is one example, one variant, but definitely not the whole expression.

    Provoking offense is useful for transcending it, no more so than in a humorous and ineffectual way. A fighting game between the gods seems inoffensive to my Western sensibility. It’s only when I step far outside myself and into, say, my mother’s first-generation roots that I get any insight into the mentality which takes genuine offense at a thing like this. And you know what? If that mentality isnt doomed to extinction already, I’d like to see it helped along, because it’s asinine at best and harmful across generations at worst.

    Is the game boring and stupid? Probably. Is it indefensible? Hardly. Malaysia doesnt have an awesome track record in free speech, of course, but that’s not where the question ends either.

    To me, it’s far beyond “obvious” to say this game was aiming for this reaction, which brings up a more interesting conversation than the game ever could on its own. Basically, where is the line between “you should have known” and “no, they just need to unclench ass about it”..? Not that there actually is *a* line, but every individual person will settle on one, which is what makes the convo interesting. I know where I fall, anyway.

    • Josh W says:

      Satire is essentially making fun of people who you find petty and stupid, but its social value shouldnt need any defense – after all, if enough people agree, maybe it really *is* just petty and stupid..? Is a game like this satire? I’d say it is moreso than it’s deliberately designed to offend anyway, if we’re able to talk in terms of coexistent degrees here. Mainly because provoking offense is part of a larger usefulness to society and civilization, of which satire is one example, one variant, but definitely not the whole expression.

      If that is all satire is, a majority of people laughing at a minority, then we’ve gone very much down hill. Satire should be about the pretensions of those with power, the fool in the kings court. It should cause it’s audience to reflect on themselves, either as individuals thinking about their own unconscious hypocrisies or thoughtless habits, or a society as a whole talking about the assumptions that the powerful use to keep power. Suppose society targeted a random person, you or someone else, for ridicule, picking out details of their life, scoffing at things they held important. You wouldn’t and shouldn’t call that satire, it’s just grinding down people’s pride and self-respect.

      So yes, I think making fun of people does need more defence. Because caring about nothing, and sniggering at everything as nonsense and meaningless, with nothing sacred and no values worth standing up for, means that there is no reason to oppose the naked use of power by those who can and who believe in nothing but themselves. So what if they’re treading on people’s lives, to people honestly matter?

      Causing offence, in the sense of finding and taboo-breaking the sacred values of others, has absolutely no inherent value, except as an entertainment. Someone being offended gives your argument no value it didn’t already have, and it being bad in someone’s eyes doesn’t make it good, unless you enjoy the suffering of others, or you find the same pleasure a small child finds learning for the first time he is not supposed to say poo.

      You might do something that is actually satirical, or is just creative with it’s offensiveness, or is just a silly game obviously not to be taken seriously, and that might give it value that makes it more than just flipping switches from don’t to do.

      For me personally the simple fact that Jesus enters a stage on the cross than breaks off the arms for weapons is an amusing idea I don’t remember having seen before. I’m sure it’s been done but I don’t remember it. Does the game have good puns in it’s technique names? I’ve got a pretty low bar for inconsequential mocking of religious figures, to be honest, but I think that treating offence in itself as anything noble is fundamentally a very daft idea.

  21. Sgt_Moose says:

    The guys that made this 3rd rate fighting game, did mean to offend and court controversy.

    Don’t believe me, go to their Steam page and watch the trailer.

    The best way to deal with these kind of douche-bags is to ignore them. Unfortunately Malaysia gave them what they wanted. Perhaps even more than what they wanted.

    • Lukasz says:

      Douche-bags? why? whats wrong with taking on public domain characters and making them fight each other?

      The only douche-bags is Malaysian government. Censoring speech because of their moral high horse.

      • Sgt_Moose says:

        They are intentionally offending people. That’s the definition of a douche.

        • Lukasz says:

          Anything can offend anyone. So either everyone is a douche or your definition is wrong.

          and just featuring religious figures is now what? prohibited?

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          The Taliban are offended by girls getting an education. Should we accommodate their feelings? Not saying going out of your way to anger large groups of people is necessarily a good thing, or helpful at all in trying to affect positive change, but to offend someone somewhere is not automatically a bad thing.

          This game seems like a cheap attempt at controversy but I strongly disagree that a given subject should simply be off-limits to creatives because some people don’t like it. You’re welcome to believe whatever you want but you DO NOT get to impose your belief on others.

        • djhellsinki says:

          A nude statue will intentionally offend people.Ban all the nudity in art.A seuxally descriptive books scene will intentionally offend people.Ban all sexuality from books.A “scantily” clad woman will intentionally offend people.Code dresses for women.
          A game parody will intentionally offend people. Ban all parodies in games.
          But this is about the special STATUS of religion, not the offense.
          Least to say any person in Malaysia that saw the game on Steam could just skip it, freedom of choice.

        • GeoX says:

          So, like, I’m curious: do you people REALLY think that being intentionally disingenuous is a way to win arguments? Because, I mean, this is pretty embarrassing.

          • Premium User Badge

            Nauallis says:

            I see what you did there.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            I don’t think this game is deserving of any particularly passionate defense, but Sgt_moose made a sweeping statement that (paraphrasing) “to knowingly cause offense is always bad” and others including myself gave examples challenging that notion. It very much depends. I’d say offending the Westboro Baptists, or fascists, or others whose beliefs are themselves offensive is a totally fine and good thing to do. I don’t see how any of that could be considered disingenuous.

            If you’re going to pretend that religion has not been a dominant and frequently oppressive force in the world throughout history and into the present, THAT’S being disingenuous. If people are leaping to the defense of an otherwise seemingly mediocre game over this, that’s what they’re responding to.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            That being said, clearly most people of one religious persuasion or another are not fundamentalists who seek to impose their belief on others and going out of your way to offend them is unhelpful at best. At the end of the day we’re all stuck on this planet together.

          • Cederic says:

            What’s being disingenuous about highlighting other people to whom causing offence is perfectly acceptable?

            You want to believe in invisible pink unicorns, you go for it. Someone wants to mock you for those beliefs, go for it too.

          • pepperfez says:

            To knowingly cause offense isn’t ever good; at best, it’s morally neutral. Some things that cause offense are good, but if the best you can say for what you’re doing is that it offends bad people then you’re probably being a douchebag.

          • Josh W says:

            Pepperfez, that is a shorter and sweeter version of exactly what I was going for.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            Well, again, in my previous example, knowing that the Taliban is offended by women being educated, getting an education as a woman (in knowing defiance of these offensive beliefs) is unequivocally *a good thing*. If we’re talking like Monty Python’s Life of Brian mocking religious dogma maybe we can talk “morally neutral”, though personally I would still put that one under the “good” column, because frankly most religious dogma is pretty bad on balance.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            And by “bad” I mean has done great harm to many people and continues to do so. If you have a system or ideology that hurts people, to mock or challenge that harmful system is not a negative thing and you might argue that those who uphold that system while ignoring the suffering of those persecuted by that same system are, in your words, the “douchebags”.

            It is important to make a distinction between the system and individuals and their personal beliefs but dogmatic ideologies no matter how popular they are are not above jokes or criticism.

          • Josh W says:

            I’d suggest that women getting education is the good thing, and because of that, people’s offence towards it becomes a kind of bonus. If women were covering themselves in mud because boko haram thought it was disgraceful, that wouldn’t be particularly a good thing. On the other hand, what if it was done as a protest in a context where boko haram where in control, then it would go back to being a good thing, because it would be rejecting their intimidation and control.

            The problem is that in a context where people are in control, that kind of intentional antagonism means something, but if women were posting videos of themselves to islamic fundamentalists to mock the lack of control they had over them, that’s probably actually going to make them more anti-west, and more likely to be controlling of people they do have influence over.

            If you’re going around saying “you don’t have control over me random man in another country”, then you can feel like you’re doing something good, while actually providing them with resources by marking out tribal differences.

            It seems bizarre to me that people might think that directing negative emotions towards a group, and encouraging negative emotions of them towards you, must necessarily be damaging or hindering them in some way. Nationalist or insular groups with a sense of their innate superiority thrive off attempts to offend them. This is just as true of westborough baptist church trying to offend us as it is of the Taliban. They try to offend us, and we use them as the butt of jokes, and object lessons of whatever we want to look bad by conflation, like I’m doing right now.

            Making people who do terrible things cross is not the same as supporting those they are doing terrible things to, nor is it even the same as challenging or disruptive satire, because you can make them cross in ways that reinforce rather than weaken their core narratives. In other words, that only challenge them to commit further to whatever they were doing before that was bad.

            In that context, even the entertaining and attention grabbing nature of offending people becomes a bad thing, because it can mean essentially cooperating with them, by making two connected human activities that support and reinforce each other, even though they are on other sides of the world.

            Now, if we made them laugh, on the other hand, at their own awfulness, we might actually get somewhere.

          • Josh W says:

            “where” in control? Damn you edit window!

    • fiasco says:

      Bullshit. They had to have known the RELIGIOUS FIGURES BEATING EACH OTHER UP OMG SO EDGY angle was the only thing that would make anyone play any attention to an otherwise mediocre fighting game. It’s all it’s got going for it.

    • poliovaccine says:

      See, that’s like saying that Trey Parker and Matt Stone made the “Super Best Friends” episode of South Park solely because they are douchebags who wanted to offend people. Even if being “comedy-offensive” is somewhat endemic to the form of comedy, that’s extremely different from setting out to incite religious strife in earnest. Did they know it would be untoward to show the Buddha sniffing coke? Obviously. Did they do that because they wanted to mock Buddhists and stir up shit about it? Obviously not. To me, the only way this game is any different is that it’s subject to gamer histrionics. That, and also I’m sure already it’s not half as funny as your average episode of South Park.

      In general, creative projects take time and energy, and nobody does these things for entirely no reason. Someone had to think it was a genuinely cool idea. People have been wrong before, people fuck their sisters and produce Uwe Boll, but my point is, that’s likelier, at least, than these people making this game with the idea in mind that it will be banned by some country and thus ride the wave of press (which would actually be more believable if it was a Postal-style game, like Hatred, since as far as I can remember this banning in a religious context is pretty unheard of, as in it at least happens quietly and as a matter of routine where it does – anyway I mean, if Outlast 2 cant trigger it what can? Oh, well this dumb bullshit, I guess). I dont see that the ban would be inevitable, nor would the wave of press attention be either inevitable or worth it after the fact. More than likely, this game would have glided by under everyone’s radar, not hardly raising an eyebrow or two as we pass it by in the Steam listings in search of something more interesting. It’s to the degree of conspiracy-theory thinking to imagine these people created this game with this reaction in mind… because they calculated that it would be profitable. Sorry, but specifics aside, the most basic assertion just doesnt make any sense.

      Anyway, we have the one resident Malaysian poster above saying this is basically a highly-visible political maneuver for the sake of elections, which further increases the fluke factor, and only further inclines me to believe that, like all too many people, no, these particular doofuses didnt generate this offense on purpose. I’m sure they’ll take the free press, but I hardly think the devs of Fight of Gods masterminded this to coincide with the censor-happy Malaysian elections here.

  22. ChrisT1981 says:

    A hornet’s nest.

    Some People just never get that you should leave them alone.

    Anyhow just saw “Silence” on VoD. Great movie showing to what fucked up lengths people go in the name of their religion.

  23. Ich Will says:

    The game is supposedly in violation of a law which prohibits creating or spreading “any … communication which is … false”.

    There’s a joke here about their own laws banning religions, but I’m not going to be the one to make it, oh no!!!

    (Shit, I just did, didn’t I!)

  24. Poor People says:

    Pleb from Malaysia here. Got a few things to throw in for the uninitiated:

    1. I expected the game to be blocked in my country because the population is generally very religious and “sensitive” (not only among the Muslims but also the non-Muslims) but predictably with any religious matter the way government bodies handled it is scattershot and far from hush-hush.

    If they kept their cool and handled it like leveled headed people it would had gone entirely unnoticed, like the various region-blocked games that I didn’t even know existed until much later. But nooooo…election season’s coming and the government wants to make boogeymen out of nothing to win conservative voters.

    2. Steam was working relatively fine for me for the past couple of days, and I only learned about the “block” a day later. What block the MCMC ordered at Steam can be summed up the same way as their past attempts to block entire websites were: Half-assed.

    3. If we wanted to play it, we’ll just pirate it anyway because piracy and cheating are far more cost-effective than paying for high prices due to our still weak currency.

    tl;dr It was fucking nothing, but as usual these backwater fools under the watch of leaders I didn’t vote for continue to embarrass people like me. Just another day in Malaysia.

  25. djhellsinki says:

    I think people shouldn’t take the Malaysian gov literally. This seems to be a very clear attempt of the Malay gov to signal to their religious constituents that their religious interests are not ignored, i find it incredibly hard to believe the gov actually cares about a unknown game, which they knew they would popularize with this shenanigan.
    The banning of Steam as a hole is regrettable, that’s the thing that seems most important here.

  26. Zaxwerks says:

    I would have thought this game would have gone down great with the religious crowd. You get to play your personally worshipped deity who is totally real and totally not made up and totally not a bunch of lies and totally not a figment of your stupid imagination, and get to beat up all the FALSE gods who are totally not real and are totally made up and are totally a bunch of lies and are totally a figment of stupid people’s imagination.

    Surely that’s a win/win, all the developer needs to do is include a “cheat” mode where your character is invincible and then we’re all good.

  27. Bartman12345 says:

    Why the fuck is this game not called “Immortal Kombat”?

    EPIC FAIL

  28. Kittim says:

    Pfft, no muhammad, no sale.

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