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View Full Version : In a stunning twist... (Spore and Tolerance)


True_Avery
08-12-2008, 06:48 PM
Spore offends 'militant atheists'

http://www.gamespot.com/pages/news/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=26538237&sid=6195789&action=convert&om_clk=latestnews&tag=latestnews;title;2

In Spore, players guide the evolution of life-forms from their beginnings as protozoan organisms to sentient members of galaxy-conquering civilizations. But although the game appears to be ripe fodder for criticism from creationists, it isn't the pulpit-pounding religious zealots who are taking up arms against the game, according to game creator Will Wright.

"I think our bigger fear was that we didn't want to offend any religious people," said Wright in a recent interview with Eurogamer. "But looking at the discussion that unfolded from this thing, what we had was a good, sizable group of players that we might call militant atheists, and the rest of the players seemed very tolerant, including all of the religious players."

"I didn't expect to hit hot buttons on the atheist side as much; I expected it on the religious side," noted Wright. "But so far I've had no critical feedback at all from anybody who is religious feeling that we were misrepresenting religion or it was bad to represent religion in the game. It was really the atheists."

In the interview, Wright emphasized that his team at EA-owned Maxis contains a number of "pretty religious" members, and that questions of faith were left as open as possible to avoid a dogmatic quagmire. "Obviously as the player you're coming in and playing something like a god, directing the evolution of a species, but we never really state who you the player are."

Already available for mobile phones, Spore is expected to ship for the PC, Mac, and DS on September 7 in North America. A Wii version is also in development and will launch at an as-yet-undetermined date. GameSpot's extensive coverage has more on Spore.

SW01
08-12-2008, 07:36 PM
They must be joking. It has to be the most contrived argument I have ever come across, that there are insinuations of divine guidance because the player evolves the various...things.:eyeraise:

Would they prefer that you just sit and watch as the game plays out in front of you? No, no - I suppose then you would just be a god that doesn't interfere.

Seems everyone has an axe to grind with at least one game out there. If they are offended by it, I have this to say to them:

DON'T BUY IT! IT'S JUST A GAME! :firemad:

Nedak
08-12-2008, 07:40 PM
It's just a game.

People need to get over it and do some self-reflection.

EnderWiggin
08-13-2008, 11:47 AM
Wwwow. That's absurd.

_EW_

El Sitherino
08-13-2008, 12:42 PM
Why weren't they such major douchebags when SimCity came out?

Pathetic.

Sigundr
08-13-2008, 01:24 PM
Why weren't they such major douchebags when SimCity came out?

Pathetic.

Exactly! If they wanted to throw up a fuss about playing God, then SimCity was the perfect opportunity. It seems that these militant atheists have no idea what they believe. (Directed towards the people we're bashing.)

Corinthian
08-13-2008, 05:11 PM
Wait, seriously? Atheists getting annoyed about a game that depicts what could potentially be the Divine?

Look, if you're going to get annoyed about that, there's a huge list of other games. We'll start with the Baldur's Gate series, where you play the child of a God, work our way up to the Black and White series, where you are explicitly playing a God, and then drink several bottles of Maddog 20/20 in an attempt to figure out when people became so idiotic.

Litofsky
08-13-2008, 05:17 PM
It's a game...

People are to wound up in this day and age. Once again: it's a game. Deal with it.

Arcesious
08-13-2008, 05:18 PM
It's funny actually... if you visit the spore forums, there's a lot of ridiculous debate over this... Although I don't see any militant athisem or militant thiesm on the forums. Just a few debates, and a scarce amount of morons who instantly get pwned with logic by someone else when they rant about it. The situation is quite under control, and it isn't that big of a problem...

I have one thing to say to militant athiests (Not directed to anyone ont his forum): What's so bad about playing as a God?

And one thing to say to militant thiests (Again, not directed to anyone on this forum): What's so bad about the way life works?

Corinthian
08-13-2008, 05:22 PM
Meh. Still hilariously pathetic, like Li'l Brudder.

Burnseyy
08-13-2008, 05:30 PM
Wait, athiests get offended if someone says god exists?
I thought it was religious people who got offended if someone said god didn't exist...

This is almost as bad as people saying Harry Potter promotes paganism. :¬:

people need to get a life and realise that it's only entertainment - it's not a way to instil opinions upon people. Honestly.

Arcesious
08-13-2008, 05:33 PM
^
|
|

Don't make me rant about tolerance and intolerance both of the religious and unreligious people have for justifiable reasons on both sides...

Corinthian
08-13-2008, 05:50 PM
Tolerance is a pointless prospect, because no matter how tolerant you are, you're still intolerant of something. Better to be openly intolerant.

mur'phon
08-13-2008, 06:02 PM
Disagreed, tolerance can make things go smoother, if you want people to do what you want, proclaiming they'll burn in hell/are delusional isn't really smart. Besides, what do you gain by being intolerant?

Web Rider
08-13-2008, 06:13 PM
Exactly! If they wanted to throw up a fuss about playing God, then SimCity was the perfect opportunity. It seems that these militant atheists have no idea what they believe. (Directed towards the people we're bashing.)

To be technically correct, we're not creating life in Sim City, life already exists and just moves in to our area, we're like, a big contractor or something. Yes, there's a "god mode" to build the world, but I think actually calling it a "god mode" adds humor to it.

Anyway, I think any argument about Spore from pretty much anyone relating to the playing God or insinuating that there is a God is utterly stupid. Just assume you're an ultra-advanced race that wants to screw with some life on some distant world. It's a game, people really need to lighten up.

Astor
08-13-2008, 06:23 PM
Just assume you're an ultra-advanced race that wants to screw with some life on some distant world. It's a game, people really need to lighten up.

Or, to take your example further, we could just assume that we're just playing a game that allows you create aliens.

But that just seems to be too simple a concept to grasp for some people.

EDIT: 666 post... creepy.

Corinthian
08-13-2008, 06:28 PM
Ah, but there's no such thing as total tolerance, Mur'phon. A lot of allegedly tolerant people are very intolerant of anyone who isn't as tolerant as they are.

Litofsky
08-13-2008, 09:02 PM
Ah, but there's no such thing as total tolerance, Mur'phon. A lot of allegedly tolerant people are very intolerant of anyone who isn't as tolerant as they are.

Which proves that they are intolerant. In some respects, I agree: it's near (or is) impossible to be completely something. In this case, tolerant. However, we can strive towards being more accepting than we are now, thereby treating allotting greater respect to all of us.

After all, which one is better, and does us more respect? Being intolerant, and incapable of understanding each other, or being tolerant, and, by understanding each other, a better person/race?

Arcesious
08-13-2008, 09:04 PM
Okay, I'll make a mini-rant... Tolerance and Intolerance... The'yre the same thing. Not truly opposites really... Tolerance is usually concealed or controlled intolerance, or visa versa... Why is intolerance justified?

Because of what people do in the name of their beleifs and agendas. I'm talking to people of all beleifs here... Athiesm has had it's problems, and so has religion. We've both had a good deal of faults in the actiosn of the followers of both our beleifs. What the beleifs themselves infulence people to do makes 'intolerance' of beleifs justifiable... Every beleif has potential to create danger or harm, no matter what that beleif is... After all: "Never underestimate the ability of large groups of stupid people to completely ruin everything'. Why do we fight over these things with varying degrees of intolerance and tolerance? Because we from both sides see things fromt he other side as harmful...

Oh I'll just copy and paste this thingy i amde awhile ago:

What I've found, thinking about all of the problems of humanity, is that everyone is attached to a core prejudice and bias, even me, branching off into beliefs based on what they know and have experienced/ learned.

To formulate the perfect offense/defense, you must know your 'enemy', that's a given; but you must also know yourself. So I've been thinking about why I and other people of all the numerous sides of 'belief' believe what we do and do what we do.

The thing I've 'discovered' is that the true human condition is one in which we try to make others understand. The core prejudice of us all is that we want to make everyone believe what we do, because it makes sense to us. The drive to do this is that others have this same prejudice, but under a different belief/logic system of mind.

We all want everyone to understand why we believe what we do and do what we do. So, we all argue to prove what makes the most sense, based on what we 'know' and what we've experienced. We all want others to be like ourselves, to have the comfort of perfectly equal ideals and beliefs.

The human condition is a suffering of misunderstanding. We all want everyone to agree and understand us, as also, as a secondary prejudice not everyone has, we want to save others from 'beliefs' and 'logic systems' we have been led/concluded to believe are wrong, and let them become part of the 'understanding' and comfort of having no disagreements.

The problem is, subconsciously, we all have an insatiable drive to get what we want, and we have wishful thinking/we devise a counter argument when our beliefs are 'threatened'.

So, in argument, I am trying t understand exactly what it is like for a person to try to fight an argument against something he/she believes as true. To have everything you know, and the highest extent of what you can understand threatened- it creates a feeling of vulnerability in all of us, a vulnerability that often temporarily destroys open-mindedness before an argument begins.

The solution- we must focus on being open-minded. I highly agree with Voltaire- 'Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the right to do so.' That's what would make everyone happy- if we all had a universal rule to let others think what they want, and not challenge what they think.

But sadly, it just doesn't work that way- something has to be (Or needs to be) ultimately and irrefutably true- because as a species, we want to survive; and for many, many millennia, we've been trying to figure out exactly what the perfect way to do that is.

It's a noble cause- to want to live, to advance, and to preserve the existence of others of our kind, but that cause might just be too far-fetched to accomplish, what with the state of disagreement and disorder we're all in. The biggest subconscious prejudice is that we also thrive on disagreement. Problem is, we all want agreement, but, as has been said before by several famous people- "To much agreement ruins an argument."

(Edit: IE, a boring utopia or a world without any disagreement to contemplate could drive some people insane and leave them feeling without a purpose to improve anything in the world)

Without something to strive for, without a 'crutch' for ourselves to attempt to recover from, but never truly try to recover from, we would all feel as if we had no purpose. For the human mind- my mind included, whilst still making this argument- we need a purpose, a conflict within us, in order to truly 'live'.

To live, one must have the capacity for disagreement and agreement. Chaos and Order. Apart, neither has any true purpose. That's why I must do what I will. That's why you, and everyone else, must do what you do. Because you 'must', or else you will have nothing to live for. To both control and rebel. To create and destroy. Break old boundaries, and strive to break new ones. That's what it means to live.

If anything; I think it's important to agree to disagree.

-----------------------

As it turns out, that is in no way anything close to a mini-rant, lol.

Corinthian
08-13-2008, 09:17 PM
You know, that can be summed up in one line.

"Everyone is different, and that's good."

The bigger problem is that the world has gotten the word 'Tolerance' confused with 'Acceptance'. Along with a lot of other words.

Emperor Devon
08-13-2008, 09:32 PM
That article was ridiculously unspecific. It doesn't even mention what the 'militant atheists' were offended by, or even provide anything that verifies someone was offended in the first place. That article was so vague I can't believe anyone is actually taking it seriously.

I wouldn't put it past some people to get offended over content in a game (atheist or religious), and I think it's a stupid thing to get upset over, but the other side was represented so poorly here I think it's premature to condemn them.

Corinthian
08-13-2008, 09:42 PM
Hm. I admit, Devon has a point. The article was startlingly vague, without so much as a quote from one of the Atheist Militia. Still, I was fully expecting a bunch of Ultra-Sensitive Christians to start whining, so I'm thanking the Lord - I hate it when my side makes an ass of itself.

True_Avery
08-13-2008, 10:12 PM
http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=211273
http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=211296

Emperor Devon
08-13-2008, 10:32 PM
Neither of those articles says what atheists are offended at.

El Sitherino
08-13-2008, 10:48 PM
Just because you're tolerant doesn't mean you can't correct people who are incorrect.

True_Avery
08-13-2008, 10:57 PM
From the thread "In Game Text dumps found on xSpore!"
"The Religious Super Weapons include the Faith Heal, Black Rain, and Messianic Uprising.

The Faith Heal is unlocked after capturing 3 Religious cities. You can use the Faith Heal on your own vehicles or buildings to heal all units in the area.

The Black Rain is unlocked after capturing 5 Religious cities. If you use Black Rain on a neighboring city, it will cause a large Black Storm to appear over the city, raining diseased creatures on their city. This causes extreme unhappiness making it easier to convert their city.

The Messianic Uprising is unlocked after capturing 7 cities. Launching the Messianic Uprising creates a large holographic image of your priests chanting over your city and sending your religion across the globes. Awestruck, all cities immediately convert to your nation. "

If this is true then I am severely disappointed. Such rampant mysticism should have no place in a game so explicitly scientific in nature. When I think of how much they've trumpeted their scientific credentials, making such a show of the sophisticated technical science behind their tutorials--and especially when I think of Mr. Wright's remarks about the inspirational potential of a science-based toy in fostering a rational outlook and a passion for the investigation of nature, I can't describe this as anything but hypocrisy.

Clerical healing powers are something out of dungeons and dragons, and have utterly no place in a science-based game.

One would hope they try to give this some kind of sciency veneer to integrate it with the rest of the Spore setting (e.g. they described the "Messianic Uprising" as involving a hologram), but I can't see how it would work.

And a further, related point--I've read that adopting a social strategy in the earlier game results inexorably in having religious cities in the Civ phase. This has no rational justification.

I am appalled.
http://forums.ea.com/mboards/thread.jspa?threadID=396975&start=0&tstart=0

I do read the threads here when I get the chance (though been a bit on the busy side lately).

As you might know I've been very interested in using Spore to motivate an interest in science. At the same time we want to make a fun, humorous, playful game. The superpowers in the game were added both to make early decisions you make in the game (cell, creature, tribe) continue to have consequence in the later levels and also to add more humor and playfulness to the overall experience.

If you look at the Civ superpowers they are more realistic for the economic and Military strategies than they are for the religious. We could have labeled the religious powers differently (maybe enhanced memetic transmission or fundamentalist jihad) and given them the same rough effect but they would have felt a bit more gritty and out-of-character with the rest of the game.

Usually when we hit design bumps like this we like to fall back into humor, it's something everyone can relate to and most tend to then view it as a metaphorical solution to something that's below the simulation level of detail.

A good example of this was in The Sims when the characters needed to do things that would have been messy to simulate. For instance when a sim needs to change clothes they jump in the air, spin around and are redressed. That's obviously not the way it works in reality. Also if they need a small object they always pull it from behind their back (the "everything comes out of your butt solution"). Most players understand these methods as a humorous metaphor for what would really happen.

The space level of Spore has a number of abilities that I guess you could argue might have technology solutions but that I personally view as highly unlikely (such as traversing a wormhole). Again these increase to playability and narrative density of what's possible in the game.

At the end of the day I think the "educational" impact of Spore is less important than the "motivational" impact. In other words, I'd rather promote an interest in the larger world around us instead of downloading known facts. To have the largest impact we first and foremost need to make a game that's compelling and fun to play.

This is a fascinating debate though (which is why I felt like I had to comment a bit) and I don't mean to end it. In fact I would love to hear everyone weigh in on what they think about the creative license that we're taking with these subjects.

- Will Wright
http://forums.ea.com/mboards/thread.jspa?threadID=396975&start=345&tstart=0

Apparently they are expecting gritty realism from a game made by Maxis, which makes them the unreasonable and irrational ones.

Corinthian
08-13-2008, 11:19 PM
Intolerance isn't incorrect. It's an opinion. And all opinions are equally valid. (:

But the bigger problem here is the fact that we're losing our grasp on the English Language. I'm very tolerant - I don't even march in front of their homes. I just sit here and brood about their various disorders and how much of a blight upon the face of existence they are. I don't actually take action. People confuse the word 'Tolerate' with 'Accept'.

Also, I may have to play a Religion-Based Civilization, because those are some awesome and cool powers.

mimartin
08-13-2008, 11:50 PM
Intolerance isn't incorrect. It's an opinion. And all opinions are equally valid. (: All opinions are not equal according to an intolerant person. The intolerant persons views carry more weight and they dismiss views they don’t agree with. The bigger problem is that the world has gotten the word 'Tolerance' confused with 'Acceptance'.
How so? By definition, tolerance is the acceptance of different views. You must have acceptance to be tolerant. Tolerance only takes it a step further saying you must also treat the other person fairly.

Tolerance - the acceptance of the differing views of other people, e.g. in religious or political matters, and fairness toward the people who hold these different views.

Tolerant- accepting the differing views of other people, e.g. in religious or political matters, and treating the people who hold these different views fairly.

Intolerance - unwillingness or refusal to accept people who are different from you, or views, beliefs, or lifestyles that differ from your own.

Intolerant - showing an unwillingness or refusal to accept people who are different from you, or views, beliefs, or lifestyles that differ from your own

Achilles
08-14-2008, 12:02 AM
All opinions are not equal according to an intolerant person.Hmmm...

I have an opinion that it's okay to kill people for wearing purple shirts on Tuesdays.
You have an opinion that it is not.
Both those ideas should be considered equal by anyone wishing not to appear intolerant?

If yes, how many of us qualify for that label? *raises hand first*

The intolerant persons views carry more weight and they dismiss views they donít agree with.So what do we call it when we dismiss views that don't agree with because they are wrong, false, based on poor info, based on poor reasoning, etc?

How so? By definition, tolerance is the acceptance of different views. You must have acceptance to be tolerant. Tolerance only takes it a step further saying you must also treat the other person fairly.I suppose. I suppose this would make a lot of sense within the context of an argument which states that people cannot dismiss bad ideas without dismissing the person (as a person) as well.

mimartin
08-14-2008, 12:32 AM
Both those ideas should be considered equal by anyone wishing not to appear intolerant? No. I believe the insane can be dismissed. I get your point that all views are not equal. That was not what my original post was about. Intolerance to me is dismissing an equally valid opinion (factually correct) just because it does not agree with your own.

Intolerance would also be me dismissing a more valid opinion/factually correct opinion, just because I disagree with it. Example: I dismiss your views on the afterlife just because I am a Christian.

If yes, how many of us qualify for that label? *raises hand first* *raises hand second* Never said I was tolerant. I would say by definition that very few if any are tolerant on all matters. So what do we call it when we dismiss views that don't agree with because they are wrong, false, based on poor info, based on poor reasoning, etc?Personally, I just dismiss those views. I just don’t dismiss views off hand just because they don’t agree with my present views. I suppose. I suppose this would make a lot of sense within the context of an argument which states that people cannot dismiss bad ideas without dismissing the person (as a person) as well. I’d agree with that under that context.

Web Rider
08-14-2008, 01:03 AM
You know, this tolerance debate is fascinating and all, but it isn't wholly related to the original topic of how atheists are apparently excepting a science-derived game to lack religion. Religion is an integral part of social evolution, including the lack of religion/belief(ie: atheism), and thus, has a place in the game, though, I'd be curious to know if there were some less mystical sounding powers in the same. The ones they have a great and all, but the atheists may have a point if the game explicitly relies on religious motivations to expand ones influence during gameplay.

Achilles
08-14-2008, 01:24 AM
You know, this tolerance debate is fascinating and all, but it isn't wholly related to the original topic of how atheists are apparently excepting a science-derived game to lack religion.That part of the thread died in post #21.

Corinthian
08-14-2008, 02:24 AM
Tolerate (Verb)

1. to allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of without prohibition or hindrance; permit.
2. to endure without repugnance; put up with: I can tolerate laziness, but not incompetence.

By these standards, I'm extremely tolerant, and so are most people.

But absolute tolerance, even by the dictionary terms, is stupid. At what point do you draw the line and forfeit your vaunted Tolerance? Abortion? Infanticide? Out and out murder? What about child molesting? Tolerance is a disease.

mimartin
08-14-2008, 10:55 AM
By these standards, I'm extremely tolerant, and so are most people. Has anyone accused you of not being intolerant? If your response was direct at me, I can honestly say I have no clue if you are tolerant or not as I don’t know you. I don’t know if your posts are all a ruse designed for a specific response or not. By the same token, you do not know me. For all you know I may be the grand wizard of the KKK. But absolute tolerance, even by the dictionary terms, is stupid. I don’t know if I would use the term stupid, but I would use terms like impractical or unrealistic in agreement with you. At what point do you draw the line and forfeit your vaunted Tolerance?If this was directed at me, why would you consider me tolerant? I stated above that I never said I was tolerant.

I think I made that clear in my response with Achilles, but I will reiterate it for you. I do listen to other views and put myself in their shoes in trying to understand their point of view. The insane I do dismiss. Those that violate society’s laws I dismiss. If their arguments are valid and equal to mine I respect their conclusion. That does not mean I agree with them. If their arguments have greater validity then I may change my point of view. Then again, while respecting their point of view, I may act illogical and continue to give my opinion more validity. Tolerance is a disease.As is intolerance. Whatever you want to call it, intolerance, bigotry, prejudice or narrow-mindedness restricts the flow of knowledge and information. While tolerance or open-mindedness can mean wading through invalid or illogical information in order to find new knowledge.

From this remark The bigger problem is that the world has gotten the word 'Tolerance' confused with 'Acceptance'. How has the world gotten the words tolerance and acceptance confused? Just because you're tolerant doesn't mean you can't correct people who are incorrect. According to ElSitherino’s reply it does not sound to me like the entire world has gotten them confused.

Could it be that people are confusing listening to others ideas as agreement with those ideas? At least to me those are two totally different concepts.

Corinthian
08-14-2008, 11:12 AM
Contemplate how people use the word 'Tolerance' for a moment. Then look at the definition I posted. Do you see a dissonance? Because I do.

mimartin
08-14-2008, 11:26 AM
Contemplate how people use the word 'Tolerance' for a moment. Then look at the definition I posted. Do you see a dissonance? Because I do. So you make a statement then refuse to back up your claim?

Yes, I’d agree some people do use the word tolerant incorrectly, but you originally said the world, not people.

El Sitherino
08-14-2008, 08:33 PM
Tolerance is accepting people have a different view. I'm tolerant, however I will disagree with someone who's reasoning is based on untrue information, or argues a point incorrectly. It isn't a matter of opinion, debate is a matter of fact.

jonathan7
08-14-2008, 09:10 PM
J7's version of tolerance...

Tolerance, is allowing an individual the freedom to think and speak as they wish. (I follow John Stuart Mills theory that those with evil opinions, should be allowed to speak, so you can show them up for what they are - indeed often by trying to stop such people from expressing themselves you draw more attention to them, and/or make the seem cool/attractive/oppressed). With regards action, I think people should be allowed to act as they like, as long as they are not harming others. That at least for me is what tolerance is.

Emperor Devon
08-15-2008, 06:37 AM
<stuffs>

All right, good to see exactly what the other side has issue with. Now I can safely say they're being idiots.

Jae Onasi
08-19-2008, 01:45 PM
Here's the best way atheists can express their dislike for the game: don't buy it.
The game maker has the right to make the game any way they see fit (provided it's legal) and feel will make a decent profit.

Astor
08-19-2008, 02:49 PM
Here's the best way atheists can express their dislike for the game: don't buy it.
The game maker has the right to make the game any way they see fit (provided it's legal) and feel will make a decent profit.

Ah, but you see Jae, then the attention seeking little upstarts won't have any reason to climb on their soapboxes and complain.

Poor souls, they need the attention.

But a Militant atheist, which I take to mean someone who'll actively try to dispute the existence of a higher power at every opportunity is going to complain whether they buy the game or not.

Just no-one tell the Salvation 'army'... :lol:

mimartin
08-19-2008, 03:32 PM
Here's the best way atheists can express their dislike for the game: don't buy it.

The game maker has the right to make the game any way they see fit (provided it's legal) and feel will make a decent profit.I totally agree with this, provided we are not just talking about atheists, but anyone that has a dislike or prejudice for a particular game, movie, television show, book... If someone does not like it, just don’t buy it. I wish all these special interest would stop trying to save my soul, morality or intelligence. Let me make up my own mind to what I like and/or what I find offensive. :D I should be allowed to be stupid or go to hell if I want. I respect them enough to allow them to do the same. ;)