Someone took offence to BioShock’s forced baptism

“I wish to return/exchange this game (Bioshock Infinite) for steam credit or refund on the grounds that I cannot play it. 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 before-hand as it was not shown in any trailers, previews, screenshots or other 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 therefor 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 or 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.

Please issue a full refund or store credit in the amount of the price of the game (Bioshock Infinite) as I had no idea that I would not be able to play this game before I bought it. If you need further convincing, I will use the analogy that if you were a muslem, it would be like forcing the player into an in-game action of “press x to spit on the face of allah” in order to proceed any further with the game and with no choice or way around doing so.

I apologize for the potentially misleading choice of category for this request, but you do not have a category I can choose that accurately fits my needs.

Thank you”


I wonder if people like Malmberg are the same type of gamer who cannot ever see video games as a means of storytelling and/or art. This letter/complaint has nothing to do with religion. This has to do with people feeling entitle when they shouldn’t really be entitled to something in the first place. I am against Valve giving into Malmberg’s request, because when you cave in once for a single person’s request, you will be expected to cave in for everyone else’s If “requests” like these start becoming the norm then game developers will start avoiding using religion as a topic in their games and stories, and we will be so much closer to a “nanny state” in the video game industry.

Next time we will have some idiot asking for a refund because Lara Croft isn’t feminine enough in her next game or that Pac-Man should be racially representative and not be just a single shade of just yellow. Where are we going to draw the line with ridicules requests like these? This guy’s arguments are totally invalid, which makes the fact that Valve humoured this guy’s request so wrong on so many levels. In the letter he says he wants a refund because he “cannot” play the game. No true. He can play it just fine, he is able to play it, but he is choosing not to, and choosing not to play a game is definitely not a reason for a refund in my book.


Maybe they should have included this in Bioshock?

Then he goes on to say that he is being “forced” baptised, no he is not Booker is. In Bioshock, unlike in role playing games you do not re-create yourself in the game. The character has already been created, it is your “job” as the gamer to steer Booker through the story. The only way to advance the story in Bioshock is to play along, so what it boils down to is you are controlling a fictional character in a fictional story created out of multiple ideas by the developers with massive imaginations. I am pretty sure you can see where I am going with this right? In the end nobody was forcing him to do anything, because it was all happening in a fictional world in-front of him on a monitor.

And lastly he says that this fake baptism is somehow “blasphemy”? Baptists are Christians who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers. With my limited experience in all matters religion, what religion out there says that a “virtual ritual cleansing activity” can be considered blasphemy? If we go beyond Christianity, is Islam against ritual cleansing? I could be wrong about this, but I don’t know of a single religion that doesn’t have some kind of ritual cleaning as part of its doctrine. I find it rather amusing that he would find a mock baptism more of a problem.


Instead of the countless acts of murder you will part of during the course of the game. This is something personally I cannot grasp when it comes to people’s religious beliefs.  In my eyes murder is many far worse than blasphemy. Because one is perpetrated against a god while the other an irreversible act against another being, which is not debatable in the slightest no matter what the situation. So hopefully after reading this you know where I am coming from with this. Pretend murder doesn’t go against his beliefs, but pretend baptism does? Think about that for a minute.


About larch

I am a cucumber in a fruit bowl.
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5 Responses to Someone took offence to BioShock’s forced baptism

  1. If he’s offended by forced baptisms, God help him when he has to kill someone.

  2. Reblogged this on Cappuccino Gaming and commented:
    Although I have the utmost respect for personal beliefs and the right to express them – I have to admit, this made me laugh.
    Firstly because in the same breath that you say ‘I can’t play this because of my religion’ you also say ‘At least I could skip stuff in the shoot em up that involves violating one of the 10 commandments and demands I slaughter people’.
    Secondly I laugh because, in what other medium would you be able to return things for this? Can people take back the entire series of Grey’s Anatomy and claim that they didn’t realise that by season 6 there’d be a lesbian character? Or take back a bitten cheeseburger because they didn’t realise it was beef? No, no you cannot.

    If you choose to stop watching, playing, reading, eating or partaking in WHATEVER because it makes you uncomfortable, then that is your business. But expecting compensation/refund for your own possibly poor choices or miss-understanding about the content of something is unrealistic – that’s on you, buddy.

  3. Rabidgames says:

    Just go to gamefaqs and you see people complaining about nudity, swearing and religion or the US being mocked. All the while, it is always fine to blow off heads, to tear apart people, or to eat human children (well, that one is made up). Those threads are hilarious before they descend into the usual christian/atheist warfare.

    My guess: 99% are nothing but trolls, but the remaining 1% … well, they should pray in mental asylums …

    • larch says:

      Yeah, I guess you are right 99% of these kind of requests in all likely hood will be trolls. They pretty much hide under every internet bridge these days. As for the other 1% I don’t even want to know.

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