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.
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.