Warning: there is a small spoiler for Bioshock Infinite in this entry.  If you don’t want to see it, read no further.

So I recently read that some people were displeased by one of the scenes in Bioshock Infinite.  As I have not yet played the game, I have to take their word for it.  In the scene, you character gets baptized in a religious ceremony.

Here is a link to the article.  Apparently, one such player was so offended that he/she wanted a refund for it.  Valve was gracious enough to grant it.

I have mixed feelings on this.

On its face, it’s hard to fault this player.  I’ve seen a lot of hate in the comments, but the reality is that some people genuinely do have very strong beliefs.  People who don’t have strong religious beliefs often have a hard time understanding how the universe appears to those that do have strong religious beliefs.

The interesting thing about this is that it goes both ways: to the active, staunch religious person, the world revolves around their beliefs and deviation from that belief can have detrimental effects on mankind. To the staunch atheist…well, that sentence could almost be applied word for word to them, too.  So it is understandable if someone balks after experiencing something that goes completely against their beliefs, especially if it wasn’t part of the advertisement.

That said, I generally find it distasteful to ask for a refund after partaking in something that can’t be returned.  For example, I’ve never demanded a refund from a theater, and likely never will.  Further, I have an inclination to distrust the motivations of those that do.

When I pay for a film, I am not entitled to enjoy the film; I am only entitled to receive the film that I paid for.  If I don’t enjoy the film, I question whether I will watch another film from that studio, director, actors, and possibly theater, but I don’t demand that I get my money back.  I got what was promised, and it would be wrong to go back and demand my money after I’ve already extracted the value out of it.

Of course, the most interesting (and in my view, pleasing) part of this whole discussion is the very fact that a game has sparked it.  As the medium continues to evolve, I suspect we will see more of this type of thing.  I think we’re better for it.