Bioshock Infinite’s Forced Baptism Proves Too Much For One Gamer To Bear

Bioshock Infinite's forced baptism was the straw that broke the camel's back for one gamer.

Bioshock Infinite's forced baptism was the straw that broke the camel's back for one gamer.

Resisting the natural urge to be offended in uncomfortable situations is a hallmark of a pretty decent person. To open your mind without necessarily changing what you hold dear is simply kick ass.

No doubt, a lot of pre- and post-release Bioshock Infinite hype focused on religious and racial controversies.  During development, Ken Levine had to talk one of the Christian artists down from resigning because of the game’s racy portrayal of religion and the extremism that it can cause.

Somehow, one gamer didn’t get the memo that this was murky terrain. Breen Malmberg requested a refund from Valve on the grounds that the game’s second scene — a forced baptism needed to enter Columbia — rustled his jimmies so much that he could no longer play the game. From his letter to Valve:

I did not know this section of the game was there and had no way of knowing it was there before-hand as it was not shown in any trailers, previews, screenshots or other marketing material.

The player is forced to make a choice which amounts to extreme blasphemy in my religion (Christianity) in order to proceed any further – and am therefor[e] forced (in good conscience) to quit playing and not able to experience approx. 99% of the content in the game.

Buying a game without doing your due diligence as a consumer is silly and unwise. There is no reason for Malmberg to have had no idea that the content could be iffy. The debates and discussions about the depictions of religious extremism are readily available to anyone who can use Google. It happens, though. 

However, the hypocrisy of picking up a game rife with depictions of murder and looting, but clutching your pearls at the depiction of a baptism is ridiculous. 

According to Malmberg, Valve did issue a refund. Big ups to them for avoiding a PR disaster, or for at least providing decent customer service. 

Zero props to Breen for feeling a bit too entitled. Playing Bioshock Infinite is not a right. The purchase of the game is not a right. The enjoyment of the game is not a right. We can’t neglect our basic responsibility as consumers, then pin the blame on someone else. 

About the author

Imayen Etim

Imayen Etim is a freelance writer and GameSkinny contributor based in Gainesville, Florida. She can be contacted at imayen.e [at]