Blizzard Entertainment’s move to depict a Hindu goddess as one of the skins in its popular game Overwatch has attracted the ire of the Hindu community, who claims the move belittles the sanctity and purity that the goddess signifies.
The skin in question applies to Symmetra, a character in the one-person shooter game Overwatch that players can choose to provide a distinct identity to it. The skin titled ‘Devi‘ bears an uncanny resemblance to the Hindu goddess Kali.
The protests are being led by Rajan Zed, who has urged the CEO of Blizzard Entertainment Michael Morhaime to remove the particular ‘Devi’ skin.
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“Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees,” said Zed justifying his move. Zed also happens to be the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism.
Zed further stated gods and goddess are revered and worshiped in temples or elsewhere and reducing them to mere characters in video games where players control their movement via external devices belittles their stature. It also leaves a lasting impact on the young minds that might grow up having no respect for the goddess, which again is highly undesirable for the Hindus.
What’s even more unacceptable is that the movements and actions of the Symmetra character do not reflect the actual depiction of the goddess in the Hindu scriptures where she is known as the ultimate slayer of the evil.
Zed further stated it would be highly inappropriate to reimagine Hindu symbols or scriptures for petty business gains as it could send the wrong message to the Hindu community as well as others.
Blizzard Entertainment is yet to offer an official statement on the development. It was just this May that the Overwatch game was released and is already claimed to have hit the jackpot. The game can be played on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or PCs.