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If you’re one of the many people who’d rather be playing video games than discussing religion with a stranger, this is one trick you’ll want to know.

In some ways, my life in Japan is very different from the life I led in Los Angeles. Instead of driving everywhere, I take the train. I’m about ten times as likely to eat dinner with chopsticks as I am a fork. And life in Japan, of course, presents me with far more opportunities to wear a kimono in the summer.

On the other hand, one thing that hasn’t changed at all is strangers knocking on my door and trying to get me to change my religion.

While Buddhism and Shintoism are the primary faiths in Japan, residential religious solicitors are usually of some sort of Christian denomination. They tend to be middle-aged women, who are polite but relentless in their attempts to engage you in a conversation that they hope will lead to you joining their theological team, but Japanese Twitter user @takaringo0418 has come up with a clever way to nip such conversations in the bud, as related in the following story he tweeted:

The conversation I had this morning —
Religious solicitor: “Are you interested in religion?”
Me: “I already have a faith (which is a little white lie).”
Religious solicitor: “Which denomination are you? Please let me see your bible.”

So I showed her the back of my strategy guide for [PlayStation4 game] Bloodborne.

Religious solicitor: “Oh, I see. Sorry to have bothered you.”

And she left.

While it’s not exactly a cross, the gothic symbol on the back cover of the guide for Bloodborne, the notoriously difficult action video game from the director of Dark Souls, does indeed have an air of importance about it. The lack of any other text or graphics adds even more intellectual weight to it, and the book’s thickness looks about right for a compact version of a religious tome that a devout practitioner would keep handy.

Of course, Bloodborne isn’t actually a religious discipline, and as such the strategy guide isn’t likely to save your soul. It will, though, help you with saving your game progress, and, as @takaringo0418 showed, save you some time by helping you cut short unwanted conversations.

Source: Jin
Top image: PlayStation official website

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’d list his video game faith as a hybrid of Falcomism and tri-Aceity.