Saturday, June 06, 2009

EA Games: We Can Do Better than God

Update: turns out that EA even faked a Christian protest to raise the profile of this story.

Nick Baines notes a story on EA Games, who surveyed 1000 11-16's to see what they knew of the Ten Commandments. Unsurprisingly, many couldn't name any of them.

Guess what, it's a publicity stunt to publicise Sims 3, their latest release. They're inviting gamers to re-write the 10 commandments, to see if they can improve on the originals.

And of course, it's being misreported. The survey found that those interviewed thought that most of the commandments were still relevant

Still relevant, in descending order, were: 1. Do not kill. 2. Do not steal. 3. Do not cheat on your partner with another person. 4. Do not envy others. 5. Respect your parents. 6. Do not accuse a person of something they did not do.

Pretty good for something over 3000 years old. But please don't sip your coffee before the next bit:

Found to be irrelevant to today’s British society were: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy; Thou shalt have no other gods before me; Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.


Electronic Arts suggests four replacements for the commandments deemed irrelevant, based again on results from the survey asking what respondents would do if they could “play God”: 7. Respect all people regardless of race, religion or sexuality. 8. Do not commit acts of terrorism. 9. Respect and protect the planet. 10. Do not be motivated by greed.

I'm stunned on several levels:
- That a games company somehow thinks it can do better than God.
- That the manufacturers of 'Left 4 Dead', 'Rise of the Witch King', and 'Dead Space', to name but a few, feel they're in a position to give moral guidance to anyone.
- Have another look at those new commandments. No.7 is summed up by the 6 'relevant' commands. No 8 is 'do not kill', and no 10 is 'do not covet'. That just leaves one 'new' command, which itself is a logical consequence of loving God and loving our neighbour.

And of course, EA games wouldn't want people resting on the Sabbath, they might find better things to do than buy their products, or use a plastic box to shoot aliens. Neither would they want people putting other things above God, just in case they found this whole exercise tacky, offensive and insulting.

My small collection of EA products is now going in the bin.

useful summary article here, debate here. I'll leave it to someone else to work out how many of the Ten Commandments would actually work as a Tweet, but I suspect it's nearly all of them.

1 comment:

  1. EA? That's Evangelical Alliance, right? The ones who do the guilt trip mind games? Bin the lot, definitely!