Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Game Over for Faith Fighter | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al Awsat – The designers of an online video game depicting religious figures in classic ‘Street Fighter II’ style, which was removed in response to complaints from various Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and other religious groups, have refused to apologize. The designers stated however that they were deeply misunderstood.

A spokesperson for the Italy-based Molleindustria, developer of the now famed and controversial ‘Faith Fighter’ video game, told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We are sad that the game was not understood by some players but we are not apologizing. At the beginning of the game there is a clear disclaimer that discourages people who are sensitive to this kind of issue to play.”

The game has been the cause of much controversy in recent days, particularly because players can engage in martial arts-style combat with characters representing Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, God and the Hindu god Ganesh.

This resulted in a series of complaints to the developer, most prominently from the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which called the game “incendiary” and “offensive to both Muslims and Christians,” and is said to be the reason behind Molleindustria’s decision to remove ‘Faith Fighter’.

Islam strictly forbids any illustration of the Prophet Mohammed, while many representatives of other religions have regarded its content as blasphemous.

However, Molleindustria’s spokesperson told Asharq Al-Awsat that the game was conceived originally a few years ago as a response to the Danish cartoon

controversy that outraged the Muslim world in 2005 with the publishing of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

“We didn’t like that one-way Islamophobic satire so we decided to create a satirical game that makes fun of all the religions, because all beliefs can be used to incite hatred,” the spokesperson added in an email statement.

Molleindustria’s statement also stressed that there has been a lot of media hype surrounding Faith Fighter today but there is a lot of content that is more offensive elsewhere in the mass media and even in commercial (video) games.