April 19, 2009

VIDEO games should be vetted to ensure that none contain material offensive to religious groups.
That’s the suggestion of Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, who is all of a-lather over Hanuman: Boy Warrior, Sony’s video game for PlayStation2.
The US-based Zed, according to this report, wants it withdrawn, saying it trivialises Hinduism’s highly-revered deity.
According to PlayStation Network website:

This game is a ‘growing up’ story of Hanuman, where he starts as a powerless being and regains his powers through the game …

Zed argued that re-inventing Hindu scriptures and deities for commercial or other purposes was a no-no as it hurt devotees. Controlling and manipulating Lord Hanuman with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse was and act of denigration. Lord Hanuman was not meant to be reduced to just a ‘character’ in a video game.
Zed added that the game placed Lord Hanuman in the company of America’s 10 Most Wanted, Bad Boys, Barbie, Britney’s Dance Beat, First Kiss Stories, Guitar Freaks, Jackass, Killer7, Looney Tunes, Mafia, Mercenaries, Midnight Club, Mister Mosquito, Nicktoons, Psychonauts, Scooby Doo, Truckers, etc.
Zed suggested that India and all other countries of the world should come up with national content rating organisations for video games.
He stressed that Hindus were all for free speech –  so long as their religious feelings weren’t hurt. Video game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith-related subjects, as these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people.
What Zed failed to mention is that, as video games go, Hanuman: Boy Warrior is a steaming pile of poo. According to this Indian review:

There are good games and there are bad games; then there are sorry excuses for games developed by studios who don’t give a flying falooda about quality.
Hanuman – Boy Warrior falls under the last category … The game boasts of being the first ever Indian game to be released on the PlayStation 2; if Indian developers are going to develop this sort of crap for consoles, let’s hope it’s the last.

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