Those of you who have played BioShock Infinite will have had to go through the process of being ‘purified’. A process within the games early scenes that does not let you enter Columbia unless you do so. By ‘purified’ the games will baptise the player, as well as the main protagonist, Booker DeWitt. The scene itself is unskipable and you have the choice to continue with the baptism or quit to the menu.
“Of course I cannot hold true to my beliefs and also commit this act, so I am therefor[e] forced to not play the game.”
This particular event has unsettled one gamer – Breen Malmberg. Breen is a Christian and found this forced process unsettling to his faith. He said concerning the event:
“As baptism of the Holy spirit is at the center of Christianity – of which I am a devout believer – I am basically being forced to make a choice between committing extreme blasphemy by my actions in choosing to accept this ‘choice’ or forced to quit playing the game before it even really starts,” Malmberg explained
“Of course I cannot hold true to my beliefs and also commit this act, so I am therefore forced to not play the game.”
Breen made reference to the level ‘No Russian’ from Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 2, in a letter to Valve. Where the player had the option to skip that particular level as it could be considered offensive to people or distressing. No notice was made of the scene in question, and so Mr. Malmberg was shocked to see it come up.
I understand that the baptism is key to the game and that the purification is a process that must be done to continue into Columbia, but maybe making this scene skipable would be a good idea. Some people are not religious and it wouldn’t of bothered them I’m sure. But other people are religious, and whatever faith they may be, could find this offensive. Equally though people who do consider themselves religious may of looked at this part of the game and thought that it was key to the story. But at the end of the day should there of been a warning of the scene and an option to skip it?
In his letter Breen Malmberg requested a full refund or Store Credit. It is said by Breen that a refund was issued.
The subject of religion in games pops up a lot, and always divides communities. In the comments below, let me know what you thought of the scene if you have played BioShock and if you haven’t played Infinite yet, let me know what you think of this scene being put in the game – does it bother you or is it integral to the story?