An online game that allows players to stage fights involving Jesus, Muhammad
and other religious figures was withdrawn yesterday after Muslim protests.
But the creators have now posted a cheeky sequel, in which players must love
all the figures equally in order to survive.
The first Faith Fighter game is "incendiary in its content and
offensive to Muslims and Christians," a spokesman for the Jeddah-based
Islamophobia Observatory of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
Faith Fighter allows players to choose between Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha,
God, Ganesha and then fight each other in an old-style cartoon fashion with
kicks and thunder bolts. The game's publishers, Molleindustria of Italy,
which specialises in making games with a serious message, intended it as an
ironic commentary on religious intolerance.
The accompanying guide reads: "Choose your belief and kick the s*** out
of your enemies. Give vent to your intolerance!"
Molleindustria said on its website: "After an official statement from the
Organisation of Islamic Conference we decided to remove the game Faith
Fighter from our site."
An OIC spokesman said the game would serve no other purpose than to incite
intolerance. He called on the game's internet host to take "immediate
action" by withdrawing it from the web.
Molleindustria said Faith Fighter was meant to be a game against
intolerance that used over-the-top irony and a cartoonish style.
"Faith Fighter depicted in a mildly politically incorrect way all
the major religions, as a response to the one-way Islamophobic satire of the
Danish Muhammad cartoons,” a spokesman said.
In modern Islam, images of the Prophet Muhammad are considered taboo, and a
Danish newspaper angered the Muslim world in 2005 by publishing cartoons of
the prophet that were deemed offensive.
Molleindustria said: "If an established organisation didn't understand
the irony and the message of the game and is claiming it is inciting
intolerance, we simply failed."
The game was released more than a year ago and has been played by millions of
people on the internet, it said.
The influential OIC has 57 member countries and represents 1.3 billion
Molleindustria added on its website: "We suspect that people at OIC never
played the game. Commentators feel authorized to judge a game without
playing it and just conforming to the common narrative depicting video game
as violence generators (a narrative we tried to make fun of promoting Faith
Fighter as a cathartic tool for religious hate). We knew that this was a
risky operation and we acknowledge our failure as communicators."
The publisher noted: "Taking down the game from this website is a
symbolic act: copies and documentation of Faith Fighter can be found
all over the internet."
Later the company added: "In few hours this statement generated a way
more heated reaction than the release of the game. We are not "bowing
to the fundamentalists", we have no sympathy for any religion but we
are aware that Muslims are victim of widespread racism in the western world."
One day later, the company website was updated with news of Faith Fighter 2.
The site text reads: "Faith Fighter 2 is the sequel of the
infamous game that outraged over 1.3 billions muslims from 57 countries. The
scandal resulted in a ban from all the internets!
"We regretted the use of irony and violence and this time we want to offer you
a positive, nonviolent educational game that teaches the universal values of
tolerance and respect. This is a very simple game that can be played by
children of all ages, religious leaders and even journalists!"