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Subject: Having moral dilemma with game design rss

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Rob Schleicher
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Hey everyone! Looking for thoughts/opinions/recommendations/etc with the game I am working on.

I am designing a game based on Dante's Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradisio), and would like to include specific Angels and Demons. I am aware that Dante's writing is based on Christian beliefs...HOWEVER, I am a very inclusive person, and would like (if I can) to include many different religions, so that it isn't a "Christian-based Only" game (if that makes sense).

My questions are - do I just stick with the Christianity theme (since I'm basing off of Dante's writings), -OR- do I do heavy research (which I am perfectly fine with) and include many different religions' angels and demons?

What are your thoughts?

Thank you very much for your help!
 
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Paul DeStefano
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If it's Dante, it's Dante.

Otherwise you're putting Kirk in an X-Wing.
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Francisco Gutierrez
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I wouldn't worry about Dante's stuff being considered Christian, I'm sure it isn't considered canon.
I've only read the Inferno, but most of the demons and supernatural figures aren't copies of their "biblical" versions.
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Eric Etkin
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Geosphere wrote:
If it's Dante, it's Dante.

Otherwise you're putting Kirk in an X-Wing.


This. There's truly no point in using Dante as a theme if all you're going to do is dilute and change that theme. Unless you specifically are going out of your way to design a "mash-up" and call attention to that mash-up, I'd strongly advise you to keep it as straight as possible.

No one is going to sign up for a game based on a famous poem based on Christian theology and then get excited about the inclusion of Crom, L. Ron Hubbard, or Zeus.
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maf man
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+1 to keeping the theme as is
I think adding other things in would make sense in situations where your art happen to be influenced by the other religions or something like that. You picked a good theme (well, I assume) and changing it for the sake of change rarely turns out well. Not saying it can't be done but I don't see any positive to shoehorning in different themes.
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maf man
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sorry to derail but I feel this is important....
Geosphere wrote:
Otherwise you're putting Kirk in an X-Wing.

We have got to make this a common phrase!
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Daniel Reid
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I'll join the chorus here. Dante's Divine Comedy is pretty rich source material. While it is obviously written from a starting point of Christian mythology, it is not actually a biblical revelation, prophetic work or gospel of any kind. If you are going to use it, I can't imagine why you would muddy the theme with ad hoc mythos.

On the other hand, it is possible to approach the themes presented in Dante's work from a different angle. You can use the Divine Comedy as inspiration without explicitly adhering to its structure, characters or "locations", but that seems like you'd be setting yourself up for a massive undertaking. I assume your game has a sense of journeying and/or progression, while many other mythologies have similar concepts of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, few of them are truly analogous to the soul's journey as presented by Dante. It would be a difficult road, for dubious reward.
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Jason Brown
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Not sure how this is a moral dilemma. It seems more along the lines of a conundrum or quandary...
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Brandon Rollins
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There's two ways to approach this that make sense to me:
1. Keep it Dante. Stick to the Christianity-based roots.
2. Mix and match with other religions and mythologies making a pantheon that spans cultures.

Just please commit to one and only one. Otherwise it's confusing and hard to tell what you're going for.
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wayne mathias
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also consider http://books.freebooklibrary.org/index.php?page=7&id=2157 for some ideas on variations

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James Campbell
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
Not sure how this is a moral dilemma. It seems more along the lines of a conundrum or quandary...


Certainly a vexing issue.
 
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James Campbell
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BrandorDaUncarryable wrote:
There's two ways to approach this that make sense to me:
1. Keep it Dante. Stick to the Christianity-based roots.
2. Mix and match with other religions and mythologies making a pantheon that spans cultures.

Just please commit to one and only one. Otherwise it's confusing and hard to tell what you're going for.


This, absolutely.

Honestly, I would just stick with Dante. Keep it clean and simple and don't confuse anyone.
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Jordan S.
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MOTHDevil wrote:
No one is going to sign up for a game based on a famous poem based on Christian theology and then get excited about the inclusion of Crom, L. Ron Hubbard, or Zeus.

Ww...wait a minute! Did somebody say "Crom"? Who can I give my money to and how much do they want?

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Tom Bruno
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Not gonna vote one way or another, just gonna tell you my thoughts and let you decide
From what I understand, Divine Comedy is not accurate to the Bible, but it has seemed to have had a huge influence on Christian belief. I think a lot of what people believe regarding hell and heaven and angels and the devil is actually from that work rather than the bible or genuine Christian teaching.
I think a game about Christian lore is no more offensive/noninclusive to non-christian as Champions of Midgard is offensive/noninclusive to non-Norse god worshipers.
If you want to include other religions, then maybe Dante's Inferno is not the best setting in which to do it. I was trying to recall if the poem included other faiths, but I think I was getting mixed up with the bit where the protagonist meets Socrates and other famous non-Christians in purgatory. Be careful if you include other faiths, if they are not given the same prominence as Christianity, it could be seen as tokenism.
Perhaps you could take inspiration from things like Supernatural, or Neil Gaiman's Sandman / American Gods stories where all gods and faiths inhabit the same universe.
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