The Super Bowl ad claimed, “Hell awaits,” and players who fire up “Dante’s Inferno” on their Xbox 360 can dive right in to slay all sorts of demons and dark lords to save the girl from Satan’s grasp.
There’s even a level where players can take on knife-wielding unbaptized babies. Kill enough of them, and players will unlock an “achievement” called the “Bad Nanny” award.
The anticipated new release from video game maker Electronic Arts is only one of several console games to recently make a list of eight devilish titles compiled by Lance Christian of Alton, Ill., and reported by Susan Brinkmann of the Catholic group Living His Life Abundantly in a blog post titled “Gaming for Satan.”
“This has been going on for the last 10 years, but especially in the most recent games,” said Christian of the satanic trend in gaming. “It wasn’t until last month when I said, ‘enough is enough!’ I’m a gamer, but I’m deep into my faith and I think God is showing me this so I can make other people aware of it.”
“Dante’s Inferno” came in No. 7 on Christian’s list, but it was the only one to get the multi-million-dollar exposure of advertising during the Super Bowl.
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The ad almost didn’t make the airwaves, however, when CBS rejected it for concluding with the tagline, “Go to h—.” After Electronic Arts changed the final phrase to “Hell awaits,” however, it got the nod.
The approved Super Bowl ad can be seen below:
Editor’s note: The advertisement contains frightening and occult imagery.
A review of the game posted on GamingUnion.net explains the basic premise of “Dante’s Inferno,” a title that morphs the historical Dante Alighieri from the poet who wrote about the Inferno in “Divine Comedy” to a knight from the Third Crusade:
“After Dante went away on the Third Crusade, his lover, Beatrice, made a pact with the devil,” explains Darryl, editor-in-chief of GamingUnion.net. “She wagered her soul on Dante’s fidelity, and in return, she was promised that Dante would return from the Third Crusade unharmed so that they could be reunited and consummate their love. However, unfortunately for Beatrice, things didn’t turn out how she planned, and Dante gave in to his urges. This consequently damned Beatrice’s soul into hell; and so Dante, realizing that he is the one who should be punished, goes into the depths of hell to try and free her from the clutches of Lucifer.”
As for the game’s “Bad Nanny” achievement, “Dante’s Inferno” has taken some heat from the International Nanny Association:
“INA feels this video game component of ‘Dante’s Inferno’ was created out of poor taste and bad judgment,” said the association in a statement. “INA is opposed to video games that promote and encourage players to ‘kill’ babies, even in fantasy play.”
“Dante’s Inferno” is rated “M” or “Mature 17+” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, meaning it contains, according to the ESRB website, “content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.”
Lance Christian warned Living His Life Abundantly, however, that “Dante’s Inferno” is far from the worst of what the gaming world is offering:
“This is just the tip of the iceberg in what I have discovered,” Christian said. “I feel that the devil has a new tool to work with in this age of technology, and the majority of adults in a position of responsibility are left in the dark.”
The other video games on Christian’s list are cited below along with the descriptions Christian provided:
- Tecmo’s Deception: Invitation to Darkness – Players “make an unholy pact and sell their soul to Satan in exchange for power” with the object of the game being to ensure the resurrection of Satan and obtain his power (This game is rated “T” for teen).
- Nocturne – A game in which the hero (a demon) destroys the three archangels St. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, then goes on to destroy God.
- Devil Summoner – Involves communicating with and recruiting demons. One demon tells the player the Catholic Church “is such an eyesore” and in the end of the game, blows up the church.
- Shadow Hearts – The hero uses his power to intercept and destroy God and “save the world.”
- Assassin’s Creed – The main character is a Muslim assassin assigned to kill Christians.
- Dragon’s Age Origins – The game revolves around the story of God going mad and cursing the world. A witch attacks believers and players can “have sex” with her in a pagan act called “blood magic” so she can “give birth to a god.” Another scenario allows player to have sex with a demon in exchange for a boy’s soul.
- Dante’s Inferno – Loosely based on “Divine Comedy,” player travels through nine circles of hell, fighting demons, “unbaptized babies” and other tormented souls.
- Guitar Hero – Players use guitars decorated with pentagrams. God is repeatedly mocked by the devil, and in the end, the devil is the hero of the game. Women dressed as Catholic school girls are degraded.
Those who wish to voice their concern about the content of video games or check how certain titles are rated can visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board website.
Electronic Arts, maker of “Dante’s Inferno,” can be contacted through its company website.