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Why did the obscure game Fight of Gods cause MCMC to ban Steam in Malaysia?

Sam came home after a long day at work. He/she sat down, fired up his/her PC and logged into everyone’s favourite cough praise Lord Gaben cough software platform Steam, only to find that he can’t access it.

Because Sam isn’t just one person. Sam is nearly every Malaysian who has tried to access Steam recently. But why did our beloved regulator MCMC block Steam?

According to TheStar, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blocked access to Steam in Malaysia because of a video game called Fight of Gods. Star reports that Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said that the video game “degraded religions and religious leaders and posed a huge threat to racial unity and harmony”.

The minister also added that: “It is in the public interest to ensure that immediate steps are taken so that such contents do not continue to harm others.”

Finally rounding things up with: “Malaysians respect all cultural and religious sensitivities, and the sale and distribution of the religiously insensitive and blasphemous games must be stopped immediately”.

So, what is this, religiously insensitive, harmful and downright blasphemous game all about?

Well, here’s the trailer:

Here’s another trailer to what looks like an expansion (?) or some kind of new character (??). I don’t know, I don’t really care, just watch it:

And finally, some gameplay:

If I had to describe the game, I’d say that it’s a janky fighting game with terrible physics, awful gameplay mechanics, and really bad graphics that also happens to feature characters based religious figures and legends like Jesus Christ, Buddha, Zeus, Odin and a few others.

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So, is it really offensive? Well, I guess, if you want to be really sensitive about it, you could maybe find a reason to feel offended about watching Jesus (with bits of his crucifix as gloves) try to punch a Buddha statue that has the ability to pull of sick shoryukens (in that case you could probably find a reason to be offended by anything, then).

Or, you could do what everyone else does and just laugh because it is HILARIOUS LOL. It’s so silly that it’s borderline stupid. Here’s my favourite YouTube comment that sums up my thoughts on this game perfectly:

Is our faith in our religion so fragile that a single poorly made video game is enough to shake its foundations? Enough to pose “a huge threat to racial unity and harmony”?

And even if it was, is a single video game — that no sane person would even spend money on — enough to warrant an outright ban of the entire Steam platform by our government until the game is removed (it has since been removed)? Some people don’t even use Steam to play video games! All our benchmarking software is on Steam.

If this is so offensive, I’m surprised the MCMC hasn’t banned games like Smite and the God of War franchise whose gameplay mechanics also feature gods beating each other enlightened pulps.

When will we finally be a nation the gets to decide for ourselves what games we can and can’t play, without needing a higher power to step in and make such simple decisions for us?

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As the 35th King of Gondor once said: It is not this day.