An approach to God in videogames cannot begin directly from either God or videogames. The complexity in the argument requires us to take a step back. Without delving into a specific god or religion, we will examine how the general ideas of religious theory and spirituality, as well as godliness and godlessness, are explored, espoused and suppressed in videogames.

The manifestation of religious theory in videogames is much more commonplace than religion itself. The particular notion in mind is the scapegoat theory, which occurs in virtually every piece of art. We are, in fact, surrounded by it in our literature, film, society and politics. So much so, psychologists propagate it as their theory, and anthropologists as theirs.

While every religion draws on scapegoat theory, the most well- known example occurs in the Bible's New Testament. Three of the four Gospels retell the happenings when Jesus lands in Gerasene, across the Sea of Galilee. Here, Jesus performs the miracle of exorcizing the village demoniac of the demon, Legion. The Gospels of Mark (5:1-20) and Luke (8:26-39) offer the greatest detail.

The idea of a single victim being able to shoulder all the blame and malcontent in a system gives every other individual in the system a sense of safety and security. A society with a scapegoat will try its best to preserve it. The Gerasene demoniac was chastised, fettered and marginalized before Jesus arrived, but never killed. The scapegoat represents a single solution to all problems. So long as the status quo is upheld, the society's balance will be maintained. This is precisely why the Gerasenes were upset and demanded that Jesus leave after he healed the demoniac.

In any society, the scapegoat is not singly responsible for all wrong with the world, but he is made to take on all the blame. To this end, he is a victim. The chief antagonist in a game is not the root of all evil, or even all disorder. Hundreds of problems plague a society, from disease to famine and drought to sudden climate shift and of course, the disappearance of mana. No single entity is ever the agent that causes all the pain and suffering in every part of the game world, but invariably, a single entity is made to shoulder all the blame. Very often, a scapegoat narrative involves a vague darkness overwhelming a quiet and peaceful land. The archvillain is never the master of all the negativity that the dark forces bring. Too often, we see game worlds shrouded in evil invite minor antagonists, like bandits and mercenaries, with no affiliation to the single nemesis who personifies and epitomizes evil. Whether the hero engages the minor antagonists or not remains a matter of a gamer's preference, but the dissolution of the scapegoat will resolve and redress the smallest and most tangential act of evil operating anywhere in the universe.

In literature, the Ring of Power in The Lord of the Rings holds the essence of Sauron, and so its destruction guarantees the end of its master. The end of Sauron immediately resolves all the evil in Middle-earth. He is the scapegoat. Middle-earth was on the brink of ruin and nothing was going right, but the single act of killing Sauron fixes everything. Convenient.

Tolkien's work might seem overly simplified in light of this theory, but like I said, scapegoat theory is everywhere. Samus destroying Mother Brain in Metroid has the same effect. In fact, this example is more powerful because Mother Brain's death triggers a self-destruct mechanism across the entire planet. Mother Brain is the perfect scapegoat. Her death causes the destruction of every sign of her existence. Bowser serves the same purpose when his armies invade the Mushroom Kingdom. No matter how many Koopa Troopas are downed, the world is in disarray until Bowser is defeated.

Legend and game designer Shigeru Miyamoto voiced this truth when he said Link is born to oppose the rise of every Ganondorf. Link appears whenever Hyrule needs him; the deeper implication is Link needs Ganondorf. Each episode of The Legend of Zelda's fiction remains far from completion, even after the final dungeon, so long as the duel against Ganondorf remains pending.

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