Wesnoth and Religion

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Midnight_Carnival
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Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

EDIT 2010-07-20. Shadowmaster says:
Thou shalt not touch this thread again!
I moved it from Off-Topic to preserve it for my own purposes.


I know I don't have to tell the moderators how to do their jobs (especially when it comes to locking my threads), but if this starts to turn into one of those stupid athiest vs creationist threads please lock it. I find them annoying and we've all heard them before...

I have two questions, 1 is fairly serious (not trying to be provocative) and one less so.

1)
I have noticed that there are quite a few Christians on the Wesnoth forums, some are more outspoken than others. I'm not a Christian, I want to know if there is something about this game that agrees whith Christianity. Do the campaigns endourse Christian morality? or is it just that Christians feel more at home on the forums amongst fellow believers. -Ok, there are probably extremists in every religion, and I don't mean to say that all Christians are extremists, but I've met people who won't let their children read Harry Potter or watch the movies because "it's satanic", likewise Pokemon -which they claimed encouraged the worship of "Jappanese demons" (?) I've met people who won't play Warcraft or Diablo for religious reasons, not to mention various online Rpg things... I've never heard of anyone having a religious objection to Wesnoth even though this is a fantasy game. People who don't like Wesnoth either say they prefer realtime strategy games, they like games with 3D graphics or (my personal favorite) "it's not very realistic"... I've never heard that this game was "satanic".


and 2)
There are very few references to the beliefs of the various peoples in Wesnoth campaigns. I can think of UtBS, I think there was something about Mermaids in one of the unit descriptions and maybe one or two other things, like people on the forums speculating that Saurians were moon-worshipers. Have the references to spiritual beliefs in this game been kept few and vague on purpose (and if so why) and then also, what do you think about what people in Wesnoth believe? Do Dwarves have the same religion to Humans and what do Trolls believe?
Last edited by Iris on July 20th, 2010, 5:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moved from Off-Topic.
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.

monochromatic
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by monochromatic »

There is NRIW.

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Hulavuta
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Hulavuta »

1) I don't believe that there is really anything Satanic in Wesnoth. The Elves of course in UTBS worship Eloh (kind of) but the thing is, being a strategy game, you're not actually any of these characters, which makes it kind of different from a game like Pokemon, where you control one person. In Wesnoth, you control an army, and you are not actively a character in it at all. (Does that make sense?) So it's more like characters. Plus, Eloh unlike other Gods, has strong proof of being real, and as shown in IftU, she isn't even a God, she's just a superhero. And with the summoning the demons in the campaigns about the Fall, yes, they are being Satanic somewhat, but the point is that they never reference demons in the real world. For example, they are trying to summon Yecnagoth, Zhangor, or Uria, but you don't hear them summoning Lucifer or something. (Except for Into the Underworld) But Wesnoth isn't realistic enough to give off the atmosphere of religion, and it certainly isn't realistic enough to convince people to take up the faiths in Wesnoth.

2) About the Saurians, they don't exactly worship the moon, but they use it as a tool. It can be highly similar to the Astrologers that attempt to predict the future by reading "space" and writing horoscopes. (Which IMO is garbage and shouldn't be believed.)
Last edited by Hulavuta on July 8th, 2010, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dixie
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Dixie »

I won't really answer your questions much, Midnight, but in my opinion, a spiritual dimension goes a long way to make a universe feel more complete and realistic. I have come quite tired of religions with gods that are angsty teens (aka greek mythology) and/or manifest themselves. Hey, what's there to really need faith when a uber being can just appear before you in a flash of lightning and do a bunch of godly stuff? And conflicts (in game conflicts) are much less interesting when there is no such faith involved: there is no point proving either god exists or not, they both do! Only, one is "Evil and baaaaaad" and the other is "a good angel, parangon of virtue" etc. etc. Doesn't make much sense to me.

However, I can understand why Wesnoth does not boast such a spiritual dimension: especially with a game that's to be internationalized as much as possible, it simplifies matters much, I think.
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

Midnight_Carnival wrote:but I've met people who won't let their children read Harry Potter or watch the movies because "it's satanic",
I'm opposed to HP because there's so much emphasis on magic, spells, wizardry, etc.

Yes, wesnoth has mages and necromancers, but there's no massive emphasis or major roles they hold. They are just another type of unit.

I could say a lot more, but I'll just use that one example because a lot of other fantasy-stuff I'm opposed to is for similar reasons.

Oh yeah- on a more humorous note: about pokemon- my parents used to not let me play pokemon games because it promoted evolution. Yeeaah, I don't get that one either..... :lol2:

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Speedbrain
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Speedbrain »

Well, I have never thought the campaigns endorse any sort of religious morality. I think there is usually a sense of good versus evil, which is more ambiguous, as there are degrees of good and evil in almost everybody.

I am a Christian, but I do not have problems playing games like Diablo, etc. I don't play a lot of M-rated games, not really because I object to them on a religious basis, but more that I don't find the copious amounts of blood, sex, or swearing necessary to have an enjoyable experience. It seems this is especially prevalent in certain genres, like shooter games, for example.
I guess it just depends on the game and if I feel like the content is positively contributing to a fun and enjoyable experience.

I agree with the other posters in that there is no religion in Wesnoth, which was a decision made deliberately by the developers. It appeals to a wider range of people if it is left more vague.

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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Ken_Oh »

Midnight_Carnival wrote:I want to know if there is something about this game that agrees whith Christianity. Do the campaigns endourse Christian morality?
Anyone who thinks the fantasy genre is satanic isn't going to be here in the first place, so you don't need to worry about that.

David White, creator and lead developer of Wesnoth, is a good, church-going Christian, the last I heard. I think that accounts for its family-friendly content, considering it's a war game (no blood, no cursing, no explicit sexual content, etc.).

You do still get the occasional person who is uncomfortable with this or that thing ( http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19676 ) but, it is quickly pointed out as the absurdity that it is.
Midnight_Carnival wrote:There are very few references to the beliefs of the various peoples in Wesnoth campaigns.
This is a very conscious choice. As elvish_sovereign points out, there's even an acronym for it. Dave's decision was that the mention of religion should be avoided: http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 139#p19139

So, just imagine that religion doesn't exist. As an atheist, this is something I don't have a problem doing. It's funny how this decision has worked out for people like Dave and myself, despite our, apparently, vastly different views on religion.

Sometimes the game has crossed that line, like with the addition of the "holy" damage type, but that was later cleaned of any religious connotation. It's also useful to note that UtBS breaks that rule, but it doesn't mean the rule doesn't stand.

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Hulavuta
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Hulavuta »

I lol'd at Noy's response.


I also would like to rephrase my point that in UtBS and anything else related to it, although they do have their religion, it is a completely new one, and isn't similar enough to any other religion that anyone can say: "Hey, the Elves' religion is the same as (insert religion here)"

And these religions aren't the same as other religions in the fact that they can be proven. If someone went insane, people could say it was due to a demon, but there's no proof. Zhangor DID appear in Wesnoth and Eloh DID defeat him. So it's not even religion anymore, it's just history. You might say back: "Well, Jesus DID die on Calvary." but nowadays, that's ancient history. In Wesnoth, the Elves can still see the effects of when the demons were summoned (and in UtBS and IftU, they actually fight them.)

FYI, I'm a Church going Christian as well.
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Dunno
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Dunno »

I'm a christian, a truly believing one, but I don't consider myself "extremist". The fun fact is, if you really follow Jesus, you can't be an extremist. He was teaching mainly about love and tolerance towards other people, so if you call others satanic, stupid or whatever, you aren't a true christian.
Anyway, I'm not at all offended by Wesnoth content, It's not a real world! Some of you sound like Elves, Trolls and necromancers were real. They don't exist, so the problem doesn't exist. Simple. :)
Oh, I'm sorry, did I break your concentration?

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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by monochromatic »

Dunno wrote:I'm a christian, a truly believing one, but I don't consider myself "extremist". The fun fact is, if you really follow Jesus, you can't be an extremist. He was teaching mainly about love and tolerance towards other people, so if you call others satanic, stupid or whatever, you aren't a true christian.
Anyway, I'm not at all offended by Wesnoth content, It's not a real world! Some of you sound like Elves, Trolls and necromancers were real. They don't exist, so the problem doesn't exist. Simple. :)
I think this is exactly the reason why Dave wanted NRIW. Though you may not, but there are a lot of religious extremists out there who can't tolerate anything else. I'm Christian as well, so I know how you feel. Honestly, I think Dave made the right choice as this avoids the huge flamewars that are associated with religion. Thus no one is offended. Done deal.

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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

IMO wesnoth has done a fantastic job in its handling of that sort of thing. The way it is now is probably the best way. NRIW.

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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by artisticdude »

Captain_Wrathbow wrote:IMO wesnoth has done a fantastic job in its handling of that sort of thing. The way it is now is probably the best way. NRIW.
QFT.
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Dixie »

Off Topic:
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Sgt. Groovy »

For religious people who are offended by fictional religions practiced by fictional people I have one question: Which person is more virtuous, the one who doesn't worship false gods because upon learning about them has actively rejected them, or the one who doesn't worship false gods because he doesn't even know about them?

As for religion in Wesnoth, one really could expect religions to play significant part in a quasi-medieval society, so leaving them out is a serious drawback from world-building point of view. But on the other hand, if religions (except one) are being born by bunch of people cooking up a fairy tale about supernatural forces of which they are a earthly representative of, in order to make themselves look more important (and dangerous) and use that to grab some power for themselves, then maybe in a world where supernatural forces really do exist, no such fairy tales are needed. In other words, if in real medieval world the clerics used to say to the kings: "You should share some of your power with us, because we are the representatives of God, and if you leave us out, it makes God irate," in Wesnoth the mages can just say: "You should share some of your power with us, because if you don't, we'll zap you with a bolt of lighting."
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Re: Wesnoth and Religion

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

Dixie wrote:It's true that you (artisticdude) really often answer threads right after Captain_Wrathbow! All beware artisticdude the creepy stalker dude! :lol2:
:lol2: See?

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