Gamers plead for their freedom to be respected - Letters | The Star Online

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Gamers plead for their freedom to be respected


FIRST off, let me say that many gamers, whether casual or serious, are hurt by the move to ban Steam as many of us have spent hundreds, and some even thousands, of ringgit to purchase games via Steam. Are the people who suggested the ban on Steam going to refund our money?

To say that a game using gods is disruptive and dangerous to the harmony of Malaysia is downright silly. I am sure that all of us gamers know that whether we win or lose depends on our personal skill and/or teamwork, and not what religion we follow. You do not see gamers picking fights or saying that they won because their god/religion is better. Why? Simply because we know that regardless of what religion we are, our wins and losses are determined by how much effort and practice we put into a game.

We gamers have experienced wins and losses with many people of different religions and ethnic groups in and out of the country. Never once in my 18 years of gaming have I seen a single person claim that they won due to religion. Can I claim that my religion is better just because I won a game? No. I won simply because I put in the time and effort to be better than my opponent. He could be the same religion as me and lost because he didn’t put in the same effort. Religion has nothing to do with winning or losing.

To say that a single game will disrupt harmony in Malaysia is not logical, to say the least. You can go anywhere and meet up with any gamer throughout Malaysia and you will see us having fun together regardless of whether we won or lost.

Games bring us gamers together. We share the pains of losing and the joys of winning regardless of religion. We are more open-minded than most people who do not play games.

Here’s a simple example. Let’s say I pick Zeus and win multiple times with the character. Does that mean that god is better than my religion? What if I play a game with aliens in it and win constantly with a single type of alien. Does this mean those aliens are better than my religion? No. All those “skills” are generated by code. They’re not the word of any god. Every single line of code is written by a human.

Up till now, out of all the countries in the world, we are the only one banning this game. Are all those countries having racial tensions due to the game? No. Are we seeing fights break out in other countries due to the game? No.

Are our values so compromised that even a game can start a war or racial tension? If that is truly the case then I have to ask: What is actually being taught at school? What are we actually teaching our children for them to be so narrow-minded that a mere game can change how they think?

No game defines us. What defines us is our upbringing, what we learn in school and from our parents. I am confident that all gamers share my sentiments completely and I truly hope that our voices will be heard. This is a free country where everyone has the right to choose.

HARJJHUNAN BALAKRISHNAN

Pulau Pinang

Letters , Gamers , Fire of the Gods

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