Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tearing Down the Idols

My designer diary for Kingdom of Solomon kicked off quite a controversy. A cry has gone up against our inclusion of an Idol space on the board. Comments and emails poured in urging us to purge our game of such paganism. Well, not exactly--several commentors politely suggested that we reconsider our use of a morally-ambiguous (at best) element in a game with great appeal to Christians and Jews.

As one of those aforementioned Christians (and a Bible-believing, serious one, at that), I was a bit perplexed. I guess I'm just very secure in my personal commitment to eschew all idol worship. I viewed the Idol space as an addition to the game's theme. After all, Solomon did turn to idol worship at the end of his reign. But the comments continued. Even some of my non-Christian friends agreed.

Finally, James Mathe, head of Minion Games, decided the sensible thing to do was to make a change. And I agree. There's just no reason to ignore this much vocal opposition against something that will be so easy to change. At the end of the day, I have to consider that this is a bigger deal than I thought it was. As I said in the comments on BGN, I certainly don't want to be seen as promoting idol worship or needlessly offending whole groups of people.

Therefore, the Idol space will soon become the Altar space--the good kind, such as would be found in the Temple. The people have spoken and we have heeded their call! We hope this change will help the game reach an even wider audience. And thanks for all your support during the beginning of our Kickstarter campaign--we are nearly 50% funded in less than a week!

7 comments:

  1. Interesting... I thought about removing my support of the kickstarter project after seeing this post just throw my dollar vote into the mix. But I'd be outnumbered anyway and if such silliness could prevent your game from catching on with a wider market your conclusion makes sense. I would have preferred you kept the idol.

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  2. I agree with the above post. I too thought about removing my support. I would rather have it be historically correct like you mentioned in the artickle and not be pressured into revisionism.

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  3. Philip, this is a good change, and I'm glad you've made it. I completely disagree with the first two posts who consider this change to be "revisionism" or not "historically correct". On the contrary, I think the issue is #1. that having an idol at the temple building point in Solomon's life was *not* historically correct; and #2. having players choose an idol as a rewarded action was not thematically consistent with the Bible's assessment of Solomon or this activity. So it jarred with the theme, and replacing it with the altar actually improves the game by making it more thematically consistent - which is why this change will be well-received by Christians like myself who take the Bible seriously. Best wishes for your ongoing work on this project, and wishing you every success with the game!

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  4. I forgot to sign off my post: I wrote the previous message supporting the designer's change. -Ender

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  5. Both historically and thematically, it is a great change. Idols belong to the fall of Solomon's empire, not its rise.

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  6. Philip, slightly OT here- but you say "one of those aforementioned Christians and a Bible-believing one". I may be missing something here, but... how can you be a Christian and *not* believe in the Bible? That seems like an impossibility to me!

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  7. GB - It seems pretty ridiculous to me, too, but I assure you they do exist.

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