Jews and Buddhists have come out in support of Hindus who are upset at the inappropriate usage of Kali and other Hindu deities by the Georgia (USA) online games developer Hi-Rez Studios in the upcoming online action video game SMITE.
Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer, prominent Jewish leader in Western USA, in a statement in Nevada today, said that beliefs of Hindus should be respected. “We join the Hindus in requesting the company developing this online video game to avoid trivializing the deeply held beliefs of Hindus by changing the product accordingly”, Rabbi Beyer stressed.
Jikai’ Phil Bryan, distinguished Buddhist leader from Nevada, in a statement in Reno today, asked the video game developer to urgently stop the misuse of Kali and other Hindu deities and instead immerse themselves in the true meaning and depth of Hinduism. “Shame on the game-makers for denigrating these Supreme Beings, who bring hope, love, compassion, and highest benevolence to about one billion people world over”, Buddhist leader added.
Meanwhile, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement few days back, urged Alpharetta headquartered developer Hi-Rez Studios to immediately remove Kali and other Hindu gods from the game as it trivialized the highly revered deities of Hinduism.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that in a video game set-up, the player would control the movements of goddess Kali and other Hindu deities, while in reality the devotees put the destinies of themselves in the hands of their deities.
Moreover, portrayal of goddess Kali, who was highly revered by Hindus, appeared like a porno star in the SMITE version shown on the company website, which was quite distressing for the devotees, Rajan Zed pointed out.
Zed argued that reimagining Hindu scriptures and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Controlling and manipulating goddess Kali and other Hindu deities with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse was denigration. Goddess Kali and other 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.
Rajan Zed stated that video game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects and no faith, larger or smaller, should be plundered. As these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people; such games would create more misunderstandings about Hinduism, which was already a highly misunderstood religion in the West.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.