Sony, which has dealt with religious controversies surrounding Resistance: Fall of Man and Little Big Planet in recent times, faces a new faith-based challenge to a game designed for the PlayStation 2.
Hanuman: Boy Warrior, the first console game developed entirely in India, has sparked a protest by some Hindus, according to Web Newswire. The homegrown PS2 title was created for the Indian market by Aurona Technologies Limited, a firm based in Hyderabad.
U.S.-based Hindu spokesman Rajan Zed (left) criticized the game for trivializing the Hindu deity:
Zed… argued that reimagining Hindu scriptures and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the [religion’s] devotees. Controlling and manipulating Lord Hanuman with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse was denigration. Lord Hanuman was not meant to be reduced to just a “character” in a video game to solidify company/products base in the growing economy of India.
Rajan Zed further said that as a PlayStation2 video game, Lord Hanuman would be in the company of America’s 10 Most Wanted, Bad Boys, Barbie, Britney’s Dance Beat, First Kiss Stories, Guitar Freaks, Jackass, Killer7, Looney Tunes, Mafia, Mercenaries, Midnight Club, Mister Mosquito, Nicktoons, Psychonauts, Scooby Doo, Truckers, etc…
Zed suggested that India and all other countries of the world should come up with national content rating organizations for video games… [and said that] Video game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects…
Religious considerations aside, Hanuman was tagged with an awful review by Indian site Tech2:
The game boasts of being the first ever Indian game to be released on the PlayStation 2; if Indian developers are going to develop this sort of crap for consoles, let’s hope it’s the last.
UPDATE: Gaming Indians doesn’t appear to think much of Zed’s criticism of Hanuman:
Yes, Hanuman: Boy Warrior should be withdrawn by Sony. Not for religious reasons however, but simply because the game is just so bad. Ever since this game came out, I’m sure we’ve all been waiting for some Hindu fundamentalist to show up and make video games the enemy. But it’s quite funny that no one in India has really cared… while someone in America has taken up the charge…