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Hindu Activist Asks Santa Monica Developer to Make Video Game Respectful
By Jonathan Friedman
June 26, 2017 -- A new Playstation 4 game created by Santa Monica-based Naughty Dog and set for release later this summer has a Hindu activist leader concerned about “trivialization” of his religion.
The setting of the game “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” is India and a focus of it is the tusk of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh, according to Rajan Zed, a Nevada resident who heads the Universal Society of Hinduism.
“[I hope] that the final product of this video-game would showcase the Hinduism concepts, traditions, objects and deities authentically; matching their characterization as portrayed in ancient Hindu scriptures instead of giving its own fantasized or re-imagined version,” Zed said in a statement released Friday.
He added that he did not expect any problem because “seasoned and skillful professionals” are making the game.
Naughty Dog was founded in the 1980s and was acquired by Sony in 2001.
It still exists as a subsidiary of Sony, making video games out of its studio in The Water Garden office complex on Cloverfield Boulevard in Santa Monica.
In the first-person shooter game "Overwatch," Activision Blizzard gave players the option to alter a character to look like what Zed claimed resembled the Hindu goddess Devi (“Santa Monica Company’s Video Game Denounced by Hindu Leader,” July 18, 2016).
Its “Toy Story 2” video game featured a villain alleged to be a Latino stereotype (“Video Game Image Triggers Protest,” December 14, 1999).
Oscar de la Torre, now a member of the local school board, said the game was encouraging “virtual genocide” because it included a character with a droopy mustache, sombrero and bandoleers of bullets across his chest.
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