US-based Hindu religious leader Rajan Zed has urged gamemaker Blizard Entertainment to remove the ‘Devi’ skin of a character called Symmetra of their popular game Overwatch.
— Rajan Zed (@rajanzed) July 16, 2016
According to reports, Zed said that the skin of the character “trivializes one of Hindu religion’s most revered goddesses”, a reference to Kali.
This is the skin of the character Symmetra he wants changed. A skin is an alternate appearance of a character in a game.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, took umbrage at the fact that the movements of the character in the Devi avatar can be controlled, which is unlike the belief of Hinduism where devotees place their destinies in the hands of the goddess.
He said that reimagining Hindu scriptures, symbols, concepts and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it created confusion.
He urged video game makers to be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects and not to “refashion” Hinduism scriptures, symbols, concepts and deities for mercantile greed.
Zed had previously urged another video game maker Hi-Rez Studios to remove Hindu gods and goddesses from their game Smite. Even Buddhist and Jewish leaders had joined Zed to protest the depiction of the gods and goddesses, particularly Kali, in the game.
This is how Smite portrays a skin of Rama.
Instead of heeding to his request, the makers audaciously increased the number of gods.
Whether or not having Hindu gods and goddesses as playable characters in video games is of course a question that needs to be answered. If video game makers do not mess with the sentiments of other existing religions (Egyptian, Chinese, Mayans, and Greek are extinct), then why do they have this penchant of playing around with Hindu religious deities?