Syberia

by Andrea Elizabeth

The kids and I have enjoyed the PC game, Syberia I and now Syberia II. It is a “casual game” that lets you take your time finding clues and solving the mysteries. The art is very nice, if somewhat gray, and the story is intelligent. Kate Walker, dressed in too tight pants, is trying to help the artful and mechanical genius savant, Hans Voralberg, get to the island of Syberia where mammoths have supposedly survived.

In the sequel, Kate finds herself in a Russian monastery. I was very curious how they would characterize it and initially was looking forward to how the Patriarch, who had a reputation of healing illness, would treat Hans who had taken sick. Once you get to the thankfully beautiful Church with some pretty nice icons, the monks are uncommunicative and not interested in helping others. They just silently and slowly do menial tasks while Kate makes comments like, “whiling away his celibate hours”. The Patriarch is even worse and appalls Kate with his characterization of Hans as a heretical sinner who will die for his sins before he can leave the monastery. Kate defends him and seeks to escape. In my experience monastics are much more gracious and uncondemning. I am sad to once again see the entertainment industry portray clergy as the bad guys. However, with some of today’s news, it is frustrating that some hierarchs have provided ammunition.

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