‘The Lamb of Comstock’. Dystopia and Religion in Video Games

Frank G. Bosman

Abstract


In the article ‘‘The Lamb of Comstock’. Dystopia and Religion in Video Games’ I will introduce four high quality, commercially successful videogames: Bioshock, Bioshock Infinite, Dishonored and Brink. All these four games present a dystopian scenery as a background for an intelligent plot to criticizes distinct modern political, philosophical and economical theories and practices: respectively the ‘hyper-capitalism’ of the Russian-American philosopher Ayn Rand, the idea of religion based American Exceptionalism, idealized industrialization and rationalism, and an ecological Apocalypse. Within these four games, religion – primarily different branches of Christianity – plays an important but often implicit role in the game narrative, sometimes supporting the dystopian scenery of the game, sometimes opposing it. In this article I will give a definition of the difficult term ‘dystopia’, introduce the four dystopian video games and demonstrate the importance of religion within the four game narratives.

Keywords


utopia, dystopia, videogames, cultural theology, Bioshock, Brink, Dishonored

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11588/rel.2014.0.12163