Player Refunded Over BioShock Infinite's Forced Baptism

Valve issues a refund after objections raised.

by on 17th Apr, 2013

Early in BioShock Infinite players must take a baptism in order to enter the floating city of Columbia. There's no way around this and one gamer has recieved a refund from Valve after objecting to the forced nature of the religious ceremony Kotaku reports.

The player, a Christian gamer named Breen Malmberg, contacted Vavle seeking to be reimbursed for his copy of Infinite. Malmberg says Valve honoured his request.

"I wish to return/exchange this game (BioShock Infinite) for Steam credit or refund on the grounds that I cannot play it," he wrote to the Steam owner.

"I cannot play it because at the very beginning of the game there is a section of the game that is so offensive to my religious beliefs that I cannot proceed with it any further. I did not know this section of the game was there and had no way of knowing it was there beforehand as it was not shown in any trailers, previews, screenshots or marketing material.

"The player is forced to make a choice which amounts to extreme blasphemy in my religion (Christianity) in order to proceed any further - and am therefore forced (in good conscience) to quit playing and not able to experience approx. 99% of the content in the game. 

"There is no option to turn this particular content off or to bypass of skip it in any way. In Modern Warfare 2, they at least allowed you to skip a particularly offensive level. This is the same sort of thing for me, but there is no way to skip it in this case.

"If you need further convincing, I will use the analogy that if you were a Muslim, it would be like forcing the player into an in-game action of 'Press X to spit in the face of Allah' in order to proceed any further with the game and with no choice or way around doing so," Malmberg added.

During the game's development one of Irrational's writers handed in a letter of resignation over the depiction of religion in Infinite before studio boss Ken Levine convinced him to stay. 

Levine, an atheist, reportedly had difficulty developing the character of Comstock, the game's 'Prophet'. Had Malmberg continued he may have found more to object to, perhaps the game's sometimes graphic violence which is also necessary in order to advance.

As an atheist myself I had no issues with that early scene as Infinite is a work of fiction and I am most certainly not Booker DeWitt. What did you think? 

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