We have a had a lot of feedback from both Muslims and Non – Muslims regarding the Muslim Gamer site. Some positive, friendly and encouraging and some quite the opposite. But every now and then I come across a guild\clan\forum or post which reminds me why this site can be beneficial in explaining things and hopefully educating. This particular occasion it was in regards to a post and its replies on Blizzards Diablo III forums.
This article isn’t about whether Diablo III is an Islamic game or whether it is anti -Islamic, so sorry to disappoint. This article came about from a post I found whilst searching for some information in regards to Muslim guilds and clans in Blizzards upcoming game Diablo III and World of Warcraft. I came across a post on a Christian forum that referenced to a Muslim and Diablo III? How very interesting I thought to myself, the words Muslim and Diablo III in a Christian Forum?
I began reading through the forum to discover that recently a Muslim Gamer came across a book in a pile of dirt in Diablo III. Unfortunately that book had a very close resemblance to the Islamic holy book, the Quran. Now straight away I can hear a lot of non Muslims say so what? Who cares if there is a book in a pile of dirt? Its only a book! So before getting into the details, allow me to clear few things up.
Islam places a very high importance on respect. Respect to your elders, respect to your teachers, respect to your parents, respect to those more knowledgeable than you, respect to your neighbors and so on and so forth. Now whether the Muslims you have personally met put these practices into place or not is a different story, but the religion places these requirements on each and every Muslim, so if you don’t see it being practiced by a Muslim, blame the person, not the religion.
At the very top of the respect list comes religious people, objects and of course, Allah (SWT). For example, without Wudu (a cleansing act you perform) you cant touch the Quran or do your daily prayers. To point your feet at Kaba or the Quran is seen as rude and disrespectful, to have the Quran close to the ground or on the ground is also seen as disrespectful, to walk in front of someone praying, to talk out loud while someone is reading the Quran are all seen as things which should not be done. To Muslims its not just a book, to Muslims it is THE book, it is the book sent by Allah through the prophet Muhammed (PBUH) for all. The importance of respecting the Quran, and the above that I have mentioned, plays a large part in our daily actions and life.
To try and make this understandable to someone that is a non Muslim, Ill TRY and give a few examples. Lets say you were going to meet the President or the Queen for a formal occasion or to receive an award. Would you go in old clothes and put your arm around the Queen when you met her? Around certain people such as the Queen, there is a certain protocol and respect that is expected, and they aren’t even religious figures. Lets say the Bill of Rights or the Constitution of the United States. Would you expect that to be kept on the floor or used in some degrading fashion? I have a feeling there would be large and numerous groups of people up in arms about the lack of respect shown towards it if it was treated as such.
Even the lack of games where Americans soldiers are shown to be killed or treated in a similar fashion to how Russians\Chinese\Arabs are portrayed in games also shows there is an invisible line that is not crossed by developers when it comes to certain subjects.
Lets make this gamer relative. Would you want the Source code of the Valve’s Original Half Life to be printed on toilet paper!
To everyone out there, whether Atheist, Christian, Jew, Gamer or Muslim, there are things which each person sees as sacred or respect worthy, something that you would prefer not to be used in a derogatory fashion. For Muslims, there are several things that we would really appreciate if, developers, publishers and others would be courteous enough to respect. We are used to being portrayed as the evil guys on the nightly news and games, but cant we just draw the line on a few things?
So a Muslim gamer while looking through some videos and gameplay of Diablo III noticed a pile of books by the ground in a certain scene. Upon closer inspection he notices that the cover of the book has an uncanny resemblance to the holy book of Muslims, the Quran. So he did what any other like minded Muslim would do and he tried to notify the situation to Blizzard by posting on their forums (post has now been deleted “Diablo 3 religious offence notice – Forums – Diablo III”), The post is below,
As an old fan and player of Blizzard Entertainment, and always supporting your games, I’ve been wondering about an issue been noticed by me and my friends from streaming videos of Diablo III beta (didn’t play it though), from a screenshot attached as follows, there is a strange resemblance between the book highlighted in the pic (Diablo III Gameplay) and the Holy book of Quran (Muslims Holy book).
The book is one of other books found on the shelves which is interacted with by dropping on the floor and it is also found buried under piles of dirt, supposedly the game (or any blizzard game before didn’t implement something like that) and the game shouldn’t intervene with any impact with religion whatever it is, or giving an offence to any of the known religions by any means.
Anyway, i suggest removing that texture of that book (of resemblance) before launching the original version of Diablo III and during that beta testing phase.
Hoping to have a reply from the developers concerning this issue, to avoid any negative influence on Muslim fans and players (or any other religions fans to notice this) to deal with Blizzard games.
Here is the screenshot I gathered from different video streams:
When reading through his post, I don’t see how anyone, be it a gamer or game developer, religious or non- religious could or should take offence to his comment. He has pointed out something which the developers may have not even been aware of and had no intention of offending anyone? He posted with good intentions of notifying them and hoping to get the issue rectified.
Lets fork this into 2 paths from here, Blizzard removes the book resembling the Quran and Blizzard doesn’t.
If they did remove the resemblance to the Quran, there would be absolutely no change in gameplay, no changes to the story line, no changes to development and no changes to the Diablo III gamers experience. The only changes that I can see would be a graphics artist would work for an extra 5 minutes to change the graphics and there would be a different texture to the one there is now. But that change would result in Muslims no longer being offended and as a result extra revenue for Blizzard. Now a Muslim that would have refused to buy the game, would be happy to purchase it. Take for example the Witcher 2 incident with the texture of the Sajadaah (Muslim Praying Mat), I went from having no intention of buying the game to purchasing it to show my support.
For a non-Muslim, the texture change makes absolutely no difference what so ever to the game they get to play. If you are a non Muslim reading this and want that texture kept in the game, forgive me for my assumption, but apart from actually wanting to offend a Muslim, why would you want it kept in the game? How will keeping that in the game change your experience? Please comment and let me know as I would honestly love to hear your feedback and the reasoning.
Now if they didn’t change it, the game would still play the same, the game still has the same story line but there is a greater possibility that Muslims worldwide will no longer buy the game and remain offended. Really the only people to lose out our Blizzard as they lose the revenue.
Scenario 1 seems like a win-win and scenario 2 seems like a bad business decision while offending 1.5 billion at the same time?
This isn’t about Muslims wanting to impose their beliefs on others. This isn’t about Muslims wanting to take over anything or ruin anything. Its a texture on a book, in a game? I’m a gamer too and believe me, I’m not easily offended. But I honestly am trying to comprehend what argument there is in wanting to keep this in game? More importantly, how removing it from the game would actually change Diablo III for worse? Above I have tried to explain the importance respect plays in Islam, so having what resembles the Quran on the floor in this game, I fail to comprehend why it wouldnt be changed?
So how did the thread in the Blizzard forums end up? Here are some of the responses from the 15 page thread on the Blizzard forums. The responses from those on the forums were not only against the Muslim but also against Christians and others from different religions,
Continued in Part 2 here
Please do not comment on page 1 – I wont respond to it, all i request is you take a few more minutes to read the full article, read other comments and answers I have already given, then feel free to comment on page 2 of this article, thanks!
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