Thats a trailer of Assassin’s Creed, one of my favourite games. And yes, that’s the pope’s son he is attacking at the Vatican.
What I like about Assassin’s Creed is that it introduces interesting spins on historical events. Sometimes though, people overreact. For example, the events of ACII link the Catholic Church and its then-pope Rodrigo Borgia as antagonists. Writes Jett Farell-Vega in a piece titled “Uncloaking Assassin’s Creed” in Relevant Magazine:
Indeed, Richard Clark, a devout Christian, describes his experience playing AC2 (READ MORE HERE) as less-than-spectacular:
Assassin’s Creed typically opens with the disclaimer:
It begs the question: Should future Assassin’s Creed games be modified to allow for it to be least offensive as possible? This comes after Assassin’s Creed III has been accused of being ‘anti-British,‘ as the series’ new protagonist, Connor Kenway has been repeatedly seen slaying redcoats. View one such video here. (Perhaps to pre-empt such accusations, footage has emerged where Connor kills American Patriots. See this here.)
If I was a Catholic, would I be offended by the content in AC2? Very likely so. However, so would Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, which spawned a movie that made some 758 million worldwide. But apart from taking potshots at Christian faith, they have another thing in common: obvious works of fiction that should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Christians have the right to hold up a bible to an atheist and proclaim its content as ‘the word of God.’ If that is a case, why shouldn’t gamers should be able to enjoy a game that its creators have explicitly acknowledged as fictional? Insensitive as it might sound, if one finds an product offensive, one can always not consume it to avoid feeling offended and look the other way.
Forms of media that are ubiquitous and with large audiences (free-to-air television, public radio) tend to be more heavily regulated when it comes to censorship and sensitivities.
In contrast, media is that has barriers such as movies, pay-per-view content, video games are less regulated. In Australia, it costs an average of $12.89 for an adult to watch a movie which might contain offensive content. In comparison, Assassin’s Creed 2, released in 2009, still costs $25 on Steam. Assassin’s Creed 3 will hit stores at least $90 in Australia. Surely, this hefty price will serve as a sufficient deterrent to those that find the game offensive?
“But what about young children that have minds that are easily influenced? They might get an twisted perspective on Catholics by playing the game?”
It is the responsibility of parents to ensure children play the videogames meant for them, part of the fine art of parenting. Sure, Assassin’s Creed is a historical game with stunningly accurate graphics and environments. However, it is after all, just a game. It is unreasonable to expect balanced, impartial viewpoints from a game.
As Aaron Eckhart’s character in Thank You for Smoking (2005) says, ‘Gentlemen. It’s called education. It doesn’t come
off the side of from a cigarette carton video game. It comes from our teachers, and more importantly, our parents. It is the job of every parent to warn their children of all the dangers of the world including cigarettes video games and religion so that one day when they get older, they can choose for themselves.’