Japanese firm using Lord Krishna in video game

Lord Krishna in Sega Video Game
Lord Krishna in Sega Video Game

CHICAGO: Indians across the USA are upset at “Shin MegamiTensei IV: Final” role-playing video game being developed/published by Sega’s subsidiary Atlus depicting Lord Krishna. They complain it trivializes their highly revered deity.

They have urged Tokyo headquartered Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. CEO Hajime Satomi to not include Lord Krishna character in its “Shin MegamiTensei IV: Final” Atlus video game.

Taking a lead, Rajan Zed President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that in a video game set-up, the player would control the movements of Lord Krishna, while in reality the devotees put the destinies of themselves in the hands of their deities.

Moreover, Lord Krishna depicted by “Shin MegamiTensei IV: Final” wears fedora type hat (widely associated with gangsters), tall riding boots, knickerbockers pant, blue hair, fancy jacket and shirt with neck-scarf, and has brown face; while in Hindu images he is usually depicted wearing dhoti and is blue-skinned; he pointed out.

Sega needs to follow its own “Group Management Philosophy”, which includes striving “to enrich our society and culture”. But here it is offending a large number of Indians across the globe. It has crossed the boundary of respecting other religious beliefs and norms, said Madhu Patel, President of NRI Press Club Chicago

Rajan Zed indicated that reimagining Hindu scriptures, symbols, concepts and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Controlling and manipulating Lord Krishna with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse was denigration. Lord Krishna was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be reduced to just a “character” in a video game to be used in combat in the virtual battleground.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. No faith, larger or smaller, should be mishandled, Zed noted.

According to reports; post-apocalyptic “Shin MegamiTensei IV: Final”, featuring 8-bit-inspired graphics, which takes place in 2030s and which the official website describes as “This Epic is Not Sweet…!”, and priced at $54.99 (with Famitsu DX Pack at $129.99), is releasing on Nintendo 3DS platform. Directed by Satoshi Ohyama, Lord Krishna is shown as selfish and manipulative enigmatic leader of Polytheistic Alliance in it who interrupts war between Lucifer and God to subjugate humankind.

Atlus claims to have published games for every major video game console and handheld system and positions itself as one of the industry’s “most consistent, celebrated companies”. Atlus Company Limited is one of the subsidiaries of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. headquartered in Tokyo, which claims itself as “world’s leading entertainment company” and whose consolidated net sales in 2015 was about ¥355 billion.

Surendra Ullal

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