I’m not much of a video-game aficionado, but I do tap into the gaming world when I visit my nephews and nieces. So I’m half-tempted to pick up a game inspired by Tibetan Buddhist practice. The game is “Cursed Mountain,” and Blast Magazine‘s Marc Normandin is enthusiastic about the product “and the breath of fresh air its setting provided for the survival of the horror genre.” It seems the Buddhist angle called for the Wii, Nindtendo’s brisk-selling seventh-generation console. The game’s executive producer describes his choice of platform this way:
When we were doing the research regarding Tibetan Buddhism and the story and everything, we discovered that a lot of the defeating and protecting against ghosts in real life was done through mantras, prayer gestures and chanting. The prayer gestures are the link back to the Wii. When we had been working on games before that, people would use the controller to protect their bodies from the screen, and what appealed to me when we were pitching the concept of how to fight was that you would need to open your body and perform these gestures. And that was back then only possible on the Wii, and that was how we made the decision for the platform.
Last year, the Wii beat out Microsoft’s XBox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 in sales worldwide. All those mantras may be paying off.
Well, maybe. This week in the US, Xbox 360 and PS3 sales outpaced the Wii. Some say it’s price cuts, but possibly not. Cursed Mountain’s Tibetan flourishes are said to be based on “this Buddhist text called The Trip.” I’ve never read it or even heard of it. I suspect someone’s got the name wrong—innocently enough—but that’s enough to trigger any deity’s wrath. Still, I’m going to buy it.