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Default Dragon Age - Theology and Atheism @ bit-tech.net

June 28th, 2010, 18:16
bit-tech.net's Joe Martin posts his impressions of and problems with how religion plays out in character choices and storyline in DA:O in a slightly off-the-beaten-path blog post entitled Atheism in Dragon Age: Origins. (NOTE:This article contains spoilers.)
Here's a short excerpt to set the stage:
Dragon Age’s fictional religion obviously plays a big part of the story, with the Chantry cast as alternately oppressive and supporting of society and constantly near the centre of attention. Whether you’re helping rogue mages resist what could be seen as religious persecution or collecting ancient texts for Chantry scholars, the religion of Andastre and the Maker is pretty much unavoidable – and when it’s like that, I don’t have a problem with it. Just as in real life, I’ll let people believe what they want as long as they don’t try to make me do the same. It’s on that last, italicised clause that Dragon Age and I start to have problems…
More information.

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June 28th, 2010, 18:16
Oh good grief. That was a ridiculous article.
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June 28th, 2010, 18:28
I haven't finished Dragon Age, but religious criticism is a theme I have seen in a couple of RPG's, Mask of the Betrayer, Final Fantasy X, Gothic III, even Dreamfall which is more of an adventure though.

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June 28th, 2010, 22:36
I don't agree with this article at all. As the comments below mention - Dragon Age a game where being an atheist is certainly possible. In fact, Morrigan is one, and voices her opinion quite often (sometimes she's even rude to people who do not see things the way she does, such as Leliana).
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June 28th, 2010, 22:48
Actually, acknowledging that those are the ashes of Andraste (and they are) doesn't necessarily acknowledge the presence of the Maker, especially considering Oghren's dialogue in that quest.
If anything, Bioware did a pretty good job with giving players the possibility of playing an atheist character.

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June 28th, 2010, 23:55
Originally Posted by WorstUsernameEver View Post
If anything, Bioware did a pretty good job with giving players the possibility of playing an atheist character.
Yep.

Handling of religion is actually one of DA´s strongest points, both in terms of overall setting and roleplaying possibilities available to player.
A welcome change from, say, D&D.

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Last edited by DeepO; June 29th, 2010 at 01:30.
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June 29th, 2010, 00:40
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Oh good grief. That was a ridiculous article.
+1

A lot of bitching over nothing.
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June 29th, 2010, 01:04
I have to agree that DAO did a good job with religion and you could easily take an atheist approach. I played most of my characters that way.

Just a side note on the ashes - one small example is if you do that quest with the Dwarf, as he will mention the possibility they aren't holy, just soaked up a lot of magic do to all the lyrium all over the place.
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June 29th, 2010, 05:03
Actually I enjoyed reading this, and to be honest I share some concerns (and a pinch of annoyance) about how the Maker is often presented almost as a fact.
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June 29th, 2010, 06:10
Writer don't seems to get the point here - Maker in the world of DA is not an optional abstract "god", he existed and created all the spirits that inhabit the fade, and all those spirits acknowledge his existence. However Chantry and their chant of light, advertising "maker's return when all the world will chant with us", is very optional thing, and that is what "nonbelivers" is talking about. Chantry is all about influence and power, using maker as an excuse to make all the crusades and other things. And this is why Chantry so afraid of mages, who can learn from spirits about faulty of their claims and spread the word to common folk. And so indoctrinations take place in the circle, to "prepare" mages not to listen and dismiss spirits as "lying demons". And there you go why Chantry says "apostates" are dangerous and must be destroyed.
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June 29th, 2010, 06:30
"I share some concerns (and a pinch of annoyance) about how the Maker is often presented almost as a fact."

Um, this is a world where people throw all kinds of magic around willy-nilly.
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June 29th, 2010, 10:24
Jeez, i am not even going to read that article.

1. It is just a game. A game should be able to have religious elements if they choose too or not, it is their choice. If you dont like it find another game that doesnt have religious themes. But that would make you a silly, silly person for missing out on a great game over nothing. And you dont even need to keep party members who are overbearing with it.

2. Maybe they should make it so you are able to kill "God" ala Shin Megami Tensei games and Bayonetta. And while they are at it maybe they can make "God" into an asshole ala SMT games. No one ever complained about those games, why? because they are just games.
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June 29th, 2010, 11:23
I *knew* the name of "Morrigan" was sounding familiar ! :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Morr%C3%ADgan

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June 29th, 2010, 12:08
Originally Posted by hackbod View Post
"I share some concerns (and a pinch of annoyance) about how the Maker is often presented almost as a fact."

Um, this is a world where people throw all kinds of magic around willy-nilly.
Yeah, I find it interesting that people want to project a real life atheist opinion on a game world, but don't feel they have to be sceptic of magic or fantastical creatures.

Ofcourse in Dragon Age it is still possible to deny the influence of the maker since he doesn't make a direct appearance in the game.

In other games gods are sometimes physically in the game and as such their existance undeniable. But even then one could deny they have a true divine influence on the world.

In Morrowind the tribunal were shown to be immortals acting like they were gods. The invasion in Oblivion didn't feel godly (demonic) but wasn't very much different from an invasion orchestrated by a mage. Gamefact is that we see the demon, so one can't rightly deny it exists. But one could debate what it is, how it came to be, what it wants, how much divine influence does it have but not wether or not it exists.

I guess the closest to being an atheist in Morrowind/Oblivion is denouncing a god/demon's divine/demonic power and influence and simply consider it a very strong and powerful magical being.
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June 29th, 2010, 13:43
If I want to bring any form of religion or atheist banter to my gaming experience I will drag my laptop to church and play the games there. When did the word "GAME" loose all rational definition?

Bart and Corwin should just admit that when it gets down to it, I will have the final say.
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June 29th, 2010, 13:48
I guess since this is a *role*playing game people want to *role*play.

I think I was able to play as an atheist but it looked like the Maker was presented as a fact,didn't annoy me though.
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June 29th, 2010, 15:02
Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
I guess since this is a *role*playing game people want to *role*play.

I think I was able to play as an atheist but it looked like the Maker was presented as a fact,didn't annoy me though.
but roleplaying doesn't mean that you can play any role you want. It needs to be restricted to the world your character is in. You can't roleplay a 'nuclear physicist' in Middle Earth. The world of Dragon Age has a god (or gods), you can roleplay an atheist, but you can't complain if in Dragon Age 2 the gods actually come down and show themselves to everybody. Just roleplay accordingly.
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June 29th, 2010, 17:03
Originally Posted by Cm View Post
If I want to bring any form of religion or atheist banter to my gaming experience I will drag my laptop to church and play the games there. When did the word "GAME" loose all rational definition?
Roleplaying (and many other) games are not just games, just like a serious film or a good book is not just a game.

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June 29th, 2010, 17:31
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
but roleplaying doesn't mean that you can play any role you want.
Exactly. Far too many people forget this. Some of the best RPGs ever had very limited choice in your role. PST anyone?
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June 29th, 2010, 17:34
Originally Posted by Cm View Post
If I want to bring any form of religion or atheist banter to my gaming experience I will drag my laptop to church and play the games there. When did the word "GAME" loose all rational definition?
I guess these are the first signs of a new definition coming. Some even say that video games are an entirely new form of media, unlike anything before (but clearly borrowing from precessors).

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