Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Occult

I tend to take a look at the forum over at Big Fish Games to see what’s going on. One of the recent discussions is about occult topics in games and why some people would like to stop Big Fish Games from publishing them.

I know that the occult is a difficult topic for some people. Religious people tend to see everything ‘occult’ (whether it really is occult or not) as pure evil while others merely consider it a fraud.

My own point of view is somewhere in the middle, to be honest.

The bible frowns on magic of any kind (but it also frowns on many other things that are quite normal today), considering the users evil. Mostly, though, it frowns on harmful magic (you could call it ‘black’ magic, too) that is used in order to gain advantages over others or in order to harm others. But I’ve never been very religious, so it’s not my problem whether or not the bible frowns on something. And even if you don’t practice any occult things, there’s no real problem with playing a game with occult themes or reading about them or seeing a movie with such themes.

On the other hand, I have been using tarot cards since my early teens and I’m quite good at it (though I usually see the cards as a way to see a problem from a different angle). I also was able to hypnotize someone some years ago (I haven’t tried it since, I’m not really trained and I don’t want to harm anybody). I have read a lot about parapsychology and know my facts about the most well-known cases of ghosts and haunted places.

What enraged people in the discussions, though, is not the occult as a such. What enraged quite some of those who partook in the discussions is the censorship. And telling someone not to publish something (whether it’s a book, a movie or a game) because it skirts a topic that they are not comfortable with, is censorship. They are not forced to buy or play games with occult ‘seasoning’ (they’re mostly hidden objects games which profit from the dark and spooky). Therefore they shouldn’t try to take such games away from people who have no problem with the topic and still want to play.

If you are faced with media on a topic you don’t like – the occult, Darwinism, Creationism, whatever –, just ignore that media instead of trying to take it from everyone else. That’s censorship and shouldn’t be used too freely.

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