How Church Families in the West Have Become Critical of Some Titles

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author (Drillimation Systems) and Studio Emiko, and does not reflect the viewpoints of those who may otherwise disagree. They are also not intended to malign any religion, ethnic culture, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone.

This is a continuation on a series concerning religious values and violent games. There are several critics, particularly religious advocates, who panned many video games such as Grand Theft Auto in the past, with some going as far as calling it “worst new game” every time a new installment is released. Now we might possibly get a new young video game critic, which is no other than Drillimation’s partner, Emiko Hosokawa of the Vietnam-based Studio Emiko.

Her mixed opinions on certain popular video game titles comes from her ideals for justice: a combination of the world’s legal systems and religion, namely Catholicism, the religion she is mostly acquainted with, though she was born Buddhist and recently became an agnostic which she still is to this day, although there are plans to convert to Catholicism once she reaches adulthood. As we have detailed in previous blog posts about how those games got controversies for their content, the content of such games are now being panned by her due to her ideals on justice and order.

As previously mentioned, the religious values of families usually dictate what their children could play. Most ratings boards are intended to educate parents, leaving it up to the critics such as Common Sense Media to decide for them. Some of these critics advocate for responsible, family-friendly experiences across all video game platforms. Although many critics are non-partisan, some of them have become biased by describing themselves as being partisan and socially conservative.

Common Sense Media’s main duties and responsibilities are producing reviews, research reports, and online newsletters highlighting games based on their suitability for children. Some have become critical of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), sometimes deeming the ratings assigned to be inaccurate in comparison to their own assessments of a game’s content.

Some of Common Sense Media’s users have mounted pressure campaigns against directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors for games they deem to be indecent or harmful to children, such as those containing various forms of violent, profane, or sexual content. Some have gone as far as mailing letters or emailing developers or publishers, filing complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), for developing or publishing what they consider harmful games. For the duration of Common Sense Media’s existence, players, developers, and even publishers have accused Common Sense Media of promoting censorship.

How does Studio Emiko’s Ideals on Justice Shape her Negative Opinions over Some Games?

Some countries such as Australia have advisory boards such as the Australian Classification Board consisting of politicians working to assist parents in protecting children against profanity or violence in games. Countries that integrate religion into their political systems also strive to ensure children and parents do not have their religious values negatively impacted.

You might notice that the games that Emiko is panning are the same titles that we mentioned in previous posts, which include:

  • Mad Father: Intense violence and near-realistic murders even these are in pixel art (in her opinion). According to her, this is a serious breach of the 5th Commandment (Thou shalt not kill / murder) and should not be acceptable, even though she tolerates cartoony / fantasical deaths in many other media (video games included). Also, due to legal and human rights aspects, she condemns the game, calling it a breach of global laws and human rights.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club and OMORI: These games are panned by her due to suicide being a major element in these games’ storyline. As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this can be a mortal sin that prevents one from enjoying a blissful afterlife, although also in the Catechism, the responsibility of one who commits suicide can be diminished if they are in grave emotional disturbances. Due to an incident regarding a boy committing suicide supposedly after playing DDLC, she fears that the same thing would happen to other children and teenagers like her due to these games’ deceptive art style and content, and thus might be a gateway that leads several people to hell. (Again, this is her viewpoint, and we are not responsible for any religious extremist accusations held against her).

What are Drillimation’s Ideals?

As previously mentioned above and as of 2023, Drillimation has taken an unbiased and non-partisan political stance, though they still aim to preserve family-friendly values. This is why gore and coarse language are absent from all of Drillimation’s games. Drillimation’s upcoming game, Touhou Kourinden ~ Mythos of Phantasmagoria is intended to soothe players intimidated by the danmaku genre and provide a pleasant, cozy environment that players can explore, though with a few dark and depressing moments.

Conclusion

While Emiko’s criticism of these games can be considered “pointless” and “a bit over-the-top” by some, what she is actually doing is to protect Catholic gamers and their families from exposing to harmful content, according to what she said. Although warning these gamers and their families might be better than calling for a ban of these games and content using those criticism, she aimed for a “extermination” route due to her staunch ideals of justice, which once again is a mish-mash of religious teachings and global laws and regulations on several matters.

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