What would happen to the world in the event that the actual existence of the gods and worlds and creatures from ancient times were somehow undeniably revealed to the masses? What do you think the political, cultural, and academic reactions/ramifications would be?
Absolutely nothing. “Incantamenti Ratiocinium”, the enchantment of rationality, or reality blindness is a real thing. People only see what they want to see. Belief is an act of will.
"What would happen to the world in the event that the actual existence of the gods and worlds and creatures from ancient times were somehow undeniably revealed to the masses?"
Some people would have to eat crow. That's it.
"What do you think the political, cultural, and academic reactions/ramifications would be?"
Politics is all about lies, that won't change. Cultures absorb change or they die. If the academics are objective, they'll accept the new evidence.
They'd adapt. After all, even the most hardened skeptic would have a hard time denying the existence of the gods if an angry god turned him into a tree.
They might get turned back. Or maybe they see someone else turned into a tree.
People would bother the gods and mythic creatures, all the time. Some gods would be celebrities. A new cult would form. Others may still reject their existences and consider it a mass hallucination on humanity's part.
New jobs would be created, the economy revitalized. Hopefully, 'monster hunter' would be on there.
There would also be destruction because some gods are malevolent and then there's things such as the asura. In some parts of the world, chaos would ensue.
"People would be in denial"
Well I'm sure some would, but really what percentage of the total would fall in this catagory? I'm thinking no more than 40%... We're talking about undeniable, visible evidence of the sort which gets reported across major news networks, photo evidence etc.
"Pawns in a chess game"
Who says this isn't already going on? And at that, perhaps widespread knowledge of said game would enable people to break out from pawn-status.
"Some gods would be celebrities"
I can see Zeus doing that, heheh..
Wow, interesting thought. Everything from vampire hunters (blech) to divine mercenaries from various different sources.
"Gods causing destruction"
So what would really happen? It might sort of create a visible, knowing version of what already takes place behind the scenes... One of my highest hopes of this whole scenario is that the masses would come to know what's actually happening to them and the world.
The shit would hit the proverbial fan.
And then as it became common place, everything would settle down. And then we would divide time into "The time before the gods, and Now"