India's First Game Gets India's First Game Controversy

Illustration for article titled India's First Game Gets India's First Game Controversy

Never mind that Hanuman: Boy Warrior - billed as the first console game developed entirely in India - is a crappy game. It's controversial! Well, to an American Hindu, anyway.


I am not a Hindu scholar by any stretch. But a quick check reveals that Hanuman is one of the more important figures in Hinduism and the Ramayana, an Indian epic poem. So, putting him into a video game - worse yet, a video game in which he can be manipulated - was bound to rankle someone as trivializing sacred figures and concepts.

It turns out that someone happens to be the U.S. based leader of the U.S.-based Universal Society of Hinduism. He wants Sony, the game's publisher (it's for the PS2) to pull the title. So, take it away, Rajan Zed:

[Zed argued that] controlling and manipulating Lord Hanuman with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse was denigration. Lord Hanuman was not meant to be reduced to just a "character" in a video game to solidify company/products base in the growing economy of India.

Rajan Zed further said that as a PlayStation2 video game, Lord Hanuman would be in the company of America's 10 Most Wanted, Bad Boys, Barbie, Britney's Dance Beat, First Kiss Stories, Guitar Freaks, Jackass, Killer7, Looney Tunes, Mafia, Mercenaries, Midnight Club, Mister Mosquito, Nicktoons, Psychonauts, Scooby Doo, Truckers, etc.

Oh no, not - gasp - NICKTOONS!!!!

A better response may have been to just kill this thing with silence. GamePolitics points out that the Indian gaming site Tech2 gave Hanuman (the game, not the deity) a terrible review. Similarly, Gaming Indians is circumspect about the controversy.

Yes, Hanuman: Boy Warrior should be withdrawn by Sony. Not for religious reasons however, but simply because the game is just so bad. Ever since this game came out, I'm sure we've all been waiting for some Hindu fundamentalist to show up and make video games the enemy. But it's quite funny that no one in India has really cared... while someone in America has taken up the charge...

Hindus Protest PS2 Game Released in India [GamePolitics]



Come to think of it, nobody complained that in Okami you play as the central diety of the Shinto religion. It was essentially like wandering around Galilee as Jesus, healing the blind, spreading the Word and occasionally bumping into folks from Grimm's fairy tales.