Of Cults, Cures, and Ceremorphosis: Landscaping Religion in Baldur’s Gate 3

Worshipper of Umberlee, the Wavemother, BG3 2023. Larian Studios.

In the summer of this year (2023), Belgian developer and publisher Larian Studios released the well-received[1] video game “Baldur’s Gate 3” (BG3). Based on the Tabletop-Roleplaying Game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)[2] and following the first two Baldur’s Gate-video games (Baldur’s Gate from 1998, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn from 2000), BG3 has quickly grown in popularity, with an all-time peak of over 870.000 simultaneously active players on the PC-platform Steam.[3] Many fans post their self-made characters, play-throughs and favourite game scenes on platforms like Twitch, Instagram, TikTok and Youtube, while actors, producers and directors of the game join the discussion on social media to give background information on the game, the characters and the development process.[4]

In this essay, I will give a quick overview of how BG3 landscapes religion from a narratological and visual perspective. After a short summary of the game, I will introduce what I mean by landscaping religion in video games and how that works in BG3. Then, the “Cult of the Absolute” will be introduced as an example of how that landscaping takes place. My essay is a brief sketch of ideas that arose when considering the game and its usage of religion from the perspective of the study of religion.[5]

Baldur’s Gate: Find a Cure or Ceremorph

The game is a classical role-playing game (RPG) that puts the player in the center of the decision-making. Starting with a cutscene that introduces the plot of BG3 to the player, it becomes apparent right away that you’ve been infected with a “Tadpole”, a small leech-like creature that would turn you into a Mind flayer or Illithid. Illithids are wicked, evil creatures that plan to dominate the world of Faerûn (the continent on which BG3 takes place) through mind control.[6] The task at hand is clear: find a cure or you’ll undergo the irreversible transformation, also known as ceremorphosis.[7] „Of Cults, Cures, and Ceremorphosis: Landscaping Religion in Baldur’s Gate 3“ weiterlesen

Partizipative Medien- und Materialsammlung zu “Religion und Corona”

Vor knapp einem Monat haben wir hier eine erste Medienschau zum Umgang verschiedener Religionsgemeinschaften mit den durch den Corona-Virus ausgelösten Einschränkungen des öffentlichen Lebens veröffentlicht. Inzwischen sind einige Wochen vergangen, und auch Ostern, Ramadan und Pessach ins Land gegangen. Durch den Beitrag angeregt haben Studierende der Universität Göttingen eine extrem umfangreiche Sammlung von Materialien und Medienberichterstattung zu Corona & Religion angelegt, die außerdem zur Ergänzung und Aktualisierung einlädt. In einem Gastbeitrag stellen die InitiatorInnen diese Sammlung vor.

Die Redaktion

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash
„Partizipative Medien- und Materialsammlung zu “Religion und Corona”“ weiterlesen
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