Alpharetta Game Developer Asked to Stop Using Hindu Gods
Hi-Rez Studios says SMITE uses deities from Greek, Chinese, Egyptian and Norse pantheons, with inspiration from Hinduism as well.
A Hindu organization has protested an Alpharetta online game developer's use of Hindu gods in its game.
An executive with the developer, Hi-Rez Studios, said the game, SMITE, is likely to have more deities added.
Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement made in Nevada today urged Hi-Rez Studios to immediately remove the Hindu gods from the game as it trivialized the highly revered deities of Hinduism.
Zed said that in a video game set-up, the player would control the movements of goddess Kali and other Hindu deities. Devotees, however, put their destinies in the hands of their deities, he said.
He called controlling and manipulating goddess Kali and other Hindu deities with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse denigrated them and devotees' faith. The Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not meant to be reduced to just a “character” in a video game to be used in combat in the virtual battleground.
Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios chief operating officer, said in the company's official response that "SMITE includes deities inspired from a diverse and ever expanding set of pantheons including Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Norse. Hinduism, being one of the world's oldest, largest and most diverse traditions, also provides inspiration toward deities in our game. In fact, given Hinduism's concept of a single truth with multiple physical manifestations one could validly interpret ALL the gods within SMITE to be Hindu. And all gods outside of SMITE as well. Ponder that for a minute. Anyway, going forward SMITE will include even more deities, not fewer."
Zed said Hindus welcomed the entertainment industry to immerse in Hinduism, but by taking it seriously and respectfully.