Date

2015

Major

International Studies (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Darin H. Van Tassell

Abstract

It is a widely accepted notion that a child can only be called stupid for so long before they believe it, can only be treated in a particular way for so long before that is the only way that they know. Why is that notion never applied to how we treat, address, and present religion and the religious to children and young adults? In recent years, questions have been continuously brought up about how we portray violence, sexuality, gender, race, and many other issues in popular media directed towards young people, particularly video games. These issues rarely include religion, despite a significant shift in how young people, specifically millennials, relate to religion.

This paper examines how religion and religious characters are presented in comic books and video games. These two mediums are particularly important for young people as video games are an ever growing form of entertainment and comic books, though they have been a part of popular culture for decades, have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Specific cases of religion in video games, including the creation of religions specifically for the game, the addressing of real world religions in games, and the use of religious terminology in the game are examined. This paper also examines the number of comic book characters that are associated with various religions, how they are portrayed in comics, and how this numbers are changing.

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