‘The Lamb of Comstock’. Dystopia and Religion in Video Games
AbstractIn 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.
utopia; dystopia; videogames; cultural theology; Bioshock; Brink; Dishonored