The Binding of Isaac Will Probably Offend Christians
A little controversy is rarely detrimental to a game‘s sales. And Edmund McMillen, the co-creator of Super Meat Boy is certainly no stranger to controversy. Back in 2010, Edmund claimed to have cooked up some additional press for SMB by manipulating the PETA forums. By signing into multiple dummy accounts and doing some rabble-rousing against his own game, he got PETA to respond by creating a parody called Super Tofu Boy. PETA’s game amounted to little more than an advertisement for the far superior Super Meat Boy and Team Meat’s first release became an indy sensation. In a final jab at the animal lovers, Team Meat made Tofu Boy a laughably pathetic character in SMB.
So who is Edmund provoking this time around? Christians and Jews of course! His new game, The Binding of Isaac, let’s you play as a child whose mother has been ordered to kill him by God. For those of you who weren’t forced through 8 years of Catholic school, Isaac is the son of Abraham in the Old Testament. God commanded Abraham to take his son Isaac out in the woods and kill him to prove Abraham’s devotion to God or some other nonsense. The father-son murder field trip was supposed to have taken place on the Jewish holy day of Rosh Hashanah, so it’s only fitting that the game was released on Rosh Hashanah 2011.
The Binding of Isaac is a top-down game similar to the original Legend of Zelda. After escaping his psychotic, knife-wielding mother, Isaac winds up in the monster-infested catacombs beneath his house. Instead of a sword, the protagonist starts the game armed only with his tears, which he can shoot in any direction. The game randomly generates rooms and monsters to ensure a unique playthrough each time. While many of the enemies are based on Judeo-Christian mythology, there’s also a bunch of characters inspired by other games. In one room, the player is forced to face off against an enemy that looks and attacks exactly like Bomberman.
The Binding of Isaac is currently available on Steam. The game’s randomly generated rooms, addictive gameplay and cheap price (only $5) are bound to make it a success. And I have no doubt that Edmund McMillen will be utilizing his unorthodox marketing practices to garner this game the maximum amount of attention. Even as I write this, he’s probably hitting the Christian forums and trying to stir up some contempt for his latest release. I for one, wish him the best of luck. If you can use a bunch of riled-up religious zealots to sell more copies of your game, more power to you.