Habitica: A Critical Review Of Gaming and Persecution

Z.R.M

History of the Game

Habitica (formerly known has HabitRPG) is an online website and app that allows yourself to make completing tasks and video games to happen on the same playing field. This game was initially released on January 30th, 2013, by the founders Tyler Renelle, Siena Leslie, and Vicky Hsu under HabitRPG, Inc. Habitica offers a sense of community while helping you be productive with an art style that resembles 16-Bit role-playing games like EarthBound, and Witches House. Habitica is for people who want to make doing tasks fun but can be for people who want to level up a character. While I understand that during this time of quarantine, you may not be filled up with tasks to use this app but, it may help you keep your routine in check, along with meeting new people in a community format during these hard times.

My First View Of The Game

I have made accounts for both desktop and mobile devices to provide a full scope of the Habitica universe. Logging in for the first time is quite a similar experience platform; the only difference is the layout. When I first logged into the desktop version, I was presented with three lists: Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos. I immediately skipped through them all and added some of my own to-dos list that revolves around my current scenario during this quarantine (like logging into classes, doing yoga, etc.). I found this process to be straightforward in comparison to other task apps that you use daily like, Productive – Habit Tracker and MinimaList but not as easy as Google Tasks from a first glance. I briefly glanced over some of the tasks on the upper task bar (this is going off the desktop format) and noted that there was a total of eight categories named the following: Tasks, Inventory, Shops, Party, Guilds, Group, Challenges and Help. All of the categories were quickly able to be navigated, and each section can be described as follows:

  • Tasks: All the tasks you set for yourself to earn coins, exp, and new items.
  • Inventory: A list of every item in your character’s possession.
  • Shops: A place to buy fresh new items for every situation.
  • Party: Join your friends to become a team to complete quests, battle monsters, etc.
  • Guilds: Meet friends through similar interests in the form of chatting.
  • Group: An access point to subscribe to a premium membership for groups.
  • Challenges: Community-made challenges that you can enter to win prizes.
  • Help: An easy way to find answers to things you don’t know about Habitica.

Religious Persecution In The Community

Disclaimer: I am looking at this scenario from a critical lens, and I am in no way trying to belittle or bash anyone’s experiences on the game or their beliefs. I am saying what I say in this section to analyze what Madison Grace has said about Habitica and maybe clear up any misconceptions. All of the people mentioned have been credited at the end of the article.

16-Year-Old, Madison Grace (Writer of the blog Adventure in The Air), touches base on how she feels Habitica religiously persecuted against her in Adventure in The Air’s new article: “Habitica Review: An Open Letter to Habitica Regarding Its Religious Persecution.” Madison goes onto speak about a situation that began between her and the Habitica team after she had posted a discussion post in a Christian guild to find out what other Christians thought about gender-neutral pronouns (They/Them). Madison goes onto say that the conversation turned into a respectful chat about homosexuality, “Not one negative word was said about anyone who was homosexual. We simply discussed what the Bible says about acting on these desires and why the actions were wrong“. No messages of the conversation on her website of the chats in the guild, I cannot assume what they contained. However, I can say she contradicted herself when she said it was a “respectful chat.” 

…Respectful communication involves the ability to effectively assert your own views and fully listen to the views of others. The focus in the workplace should be on collaboration, using everyone’s strengths to achieve common goals...”

AllBusiness.com

While yes, Madison did assert her views and listen to others’ opinions, she did not look at the situation from a critical perspective. Habitica has a more modern view when it comes to their app, and you can easily see this by some of their other guilds allowed. Madison was confused about how this situation affected others of the Christian Guild because it was respectful; Habitica was looking out for its entire community, not the Christian Guild itself, as any good moderator running an app should. She also goes onto talk about how she got banned because of using the word “Sodomites” in religious scripture. I then had to look up what the term “Sodomites” meant in a non-slang context and this is what I found:

“Sodomy or buggery is generally anal or oral sex between people or sexual activity between a person and a non-human animal, but it may also mean any non-procreative sexual activity”

Wikipedia

This makes perfect sense as to why Madison had her chat features taken away. According to the Habitica community guidelines it very specifically says,

Do not post images or text that are violent, threatening, or sexually explicit/suggestive, or that promote discrimination, bigotry, racism, sexism, hatred, harassment or harm against any individual or group

Habitica Team

I also have found many articles and people telling stories that say the word Sodomite, is often used as a discriminatory manor to most of the gay community which makes any statement Madison made about having a “Respectful Chat” invalid, even if it was in a bible scripture. Nothing about what the Habitica Team did in response to Madison was to bash her religious beliefs or ideals, it was to keep the Habitica community safe. Madison had her contributor tiers taken away which was in my opinion, valid for the situation that Habitica faced.

Conclusion

When I first was asked to tackle this article from a critical perspective I wanted to make it clear that I have no opinions on the topic of religion and I am only looking from this for a logical and factual state, not from emotions or my conceptions. You should never allow someone to sway your beliefs of something no matter what, even in the circumstances of Madison Grace being a well known blogger. Habiticia is amazing community (from the little time I have spent on it) and I will continue using it long after this article is posted. The Habitica moderators have done a good job of doing what they thought was necessary for their community and I am extremely proud of their hard work and dedication to maintaining a app with such good reputation. Habitica has not religiously persecuted against Madison Grace, she violated the clear guidelines that have been in place since day one and wrote an article on her blog because she was upset. I hope in the future that we as people can learn to use logic before using our emotions.

Sources

Photos

https://miro.medium.com/

https://geekandsundry.com/habitica-turns-your-chores-into-dragon-slaying-adventures/

https://habitica.fandom.com/wiki/Avatar_Customizations

https://habitica.com/

https://habitica.fandom.com/wiki/Mounts

Websites

https://www.madigrace.org/habitica-review-an-open-letter-to-habitica-regarding-its-religious-persecution/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodomy

https://www.allbusiness.com/respectful-communication-boosts-morale-productivity-workplace-22074-1.html

https://habitica.com/static/community-guidelines

https://habitica.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitica

Z.R.M

Published by Zander R. McKinley

19 Years Old - He/Him/His - I make fun of my liberal arts degree - I write music for a theatre company called S.O.S Stage Company - I dance for a Japanese idol group called Hex Idols - I also write all the articles for this blog called CircaMortem (you may have heard of it lol)

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