Religion(s) in Videogames. Historical and Anthropological Observations
AbstractThis study is an attempt to address the issue of how the religious representations used and reproduced in fantasy and historical videogames can be useful to understand “gaming” as a social practice but also to understand whether they can constitute a form of historical knowledge, as it has recently been claimed. There is overwhelming evidence regarding the social relevance of “gaming” and its impact on the shaping of popular and global imaginaries, especially for young generations. Current research in social sciences seems to validate this conclusion, although the scientific interest for videogames is relatively recent, as its object of interest, and there is still an on-going debate about research methods. As a consequence, there is a rapidly growing literature focusing on these and similar questions. Several examples of well-known and best-selling computer games will be treated as evidences to be interrogated and interpreted in order to discern the representations and poetics which are at the basis of the use and appeal of religions and religious features in videogames.
religion; new religious movements; videogames; popular culture; fantasy