The Sacred & the Digital

Critical Depictions of Religions in Video Games

Edited by
April 2019
182 pages
  • ISBN978-3-03897-830-5 (Paperback)
  • ISBN978-3-03897-831-2 (PDF)

This book is a reprint of the Special Issue The Sacred & the Digital. Critical Depictions of Religions in Video Games that was published in

Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities

Video game studies are a relative young but flourishing academic discipline. But within game studies, however, the perspective of religion and spirituality is rather neglected, both by game scholars and religion scholars. While religion can take different shapes in digital games, ranging from material and referential to reflexive and ritual, it is not necessarily true that game developers depict their in-game religions in a positive, confirming way, but ever so often games approach the topic critically and disavowingly. The religion criticisms found in video games can be categorized as follows: religion as (1) fraud, aimed to manipulate the uneducated, as (2) blind obedience towards an invisible but ultimately non-existing deity/ies, as (3) violence against those who do not share the same set of religious rules, as (4) madness, a deranged alternative for logical reasoning, and as (5) suppression in the hands of the powerful elite to dominate and subdue the masses into submission and obedience. The critical depictions of religion in video games by their developers is the focus of this special issue.

  • Paperback
License and Copyright
© 2019 by the authors; CC BY-NC-ND license
religion; science; science fiction; fundamentalism; religious violence; digital games; game mechanics; karma; moral decision making; studies; Bible; theology; Isaac; Catholicism; criticism of religion; child abuse; Western esotericism; religious studies; game studies; paranormal; society for psychical research; sacred; secular; occulture; video games; contemplation; subcreation; imaginary worlds; religion; world-building; game-immanent; video game; content analysis; Dishonored; American history; critique of religion; cults; digital games; Evangelicalism; new religious movements; stereotypes; play; game; football videogames; religion; ritual practices; post-apocalypse; video games; religion in games; Horizon: Zero Dawn; Fallout 3; transmediality; transmedia storytelling; game worlds; storyworlds; transmedial worlds; Mythos; Ethos; Assassin’s Creed; game studies; religion studies; games and religion studies; religion criticism

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