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Christian gamer demands refund for BioShock: Infinite from Valve

BioShock: Infinite has its fair share of religious themes and overtones, and one Christian has gone so far as to ask Valve for a full refund of the game since he believed it challenged certain aspects of his faith, including the fundamentals of baptism.

One devout Christian gamer, Breen Malmberg, has recently found issue with BioShock: Infinite's religious themes; specifically the game's particular usage of baptism.

The Christian gamer was offended at one of the initial sequences of the game, where Booker De Witt, the game's protagonist, must be baptised in order to enter Columbia.

Malmberg's disdain became evident when he wrote a letter to Valve asking for a full refund of his purchase via Steam, where he equated the game's baptism scene as "extremely blasphemous".

Below you can see Malmberg's letter in full:

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 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 or skip it in any way. In Modern Warfare 2, they at least allowed you to skip a particularly offensive level (http://www.destructoid.com/modern-warfare…). 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.
According to Malmberg, Valve refunded his purchase.
While there are many games that make use of religious themes as story and plot mechanisms, Malmberg believed that BioShock: Infinite's use was entirely different: "
"The difference here," Malmberg said during an interview with Kotaku, "is that you are forced to make a decision that violates those beliefs in order to continue with the game – which is not something I have run into very often."
Interestingly enough it wasn't any of the other religious symbols and elements that Malmberg took offence to, but rather to something that seems to relate to his own personal interpretation of the scene–and its implications–and chose to take offence to something that Irrational might not have intended. 
Additionally, the game is filled to the brim with a variety of unsavory acts–take the wanton violence and grisly gore–that break the tenants of many religions, however Malmberg seemed to have been fine with those aspects and focused instead on the baptism scene.
BioShock: Infinite's story arc is influenced by religious implications and symbolism, and upon arriving in Columbia's "Welcome Center", players are met with a somber church-like atmosphere that venerates The Prophet, Father Comstock, to almost a deity-like status. Soft hymns, candlelight, elaborately carved marble statues with banners of scripture and stained glass can be seen prominently throughout the area, along with water in which the newcomers are baptised.
It would also be interesting to see if Irrational or 2K Games will comment or speak out about this notion and to clarify their original intent…yet due to the potentially controversial and sensitive nature, it wouldn't be surprising if they kept silent on the matter and let gamers create their own interpretations of the events.
In any case, Malmberg received a refund and never progressed in the game past that point, as he revealed in his letter to Valve. 
Via Kotaku

Derek Strickland
Derek is an avid fan of gaming and everything geeky, and is compelled to make his mark in the field of games journalism. When he's not gaming on a console (everything from SNES to X360) you can find him reading about ancient civilizations or enjoying a fantasy epic or two.

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