Tag Archives: Christian computer games

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Get Locusts…

So apparently there’s a world out there still consisting of people who design text based adventure games. Which is cool. I played through this one the other day – a game based on getting Jesus to turn water into wine at the wedding of Cana. Here’s the opening scene.

>look
Kitchen
The kitchen is dim and smoky and cluttered, the result of the chaos of preparing for the wedding, currently underway in the courtyard to the south. In the northeast corner, the door to the garden stands wide open, in the hopes of letting in some cool air. Down some steps to the west is the winery.

All the actual food has been served, except for a plate of honeyed locusts that sits untemptingly nearby, unsurprisingly untouched.

>get locusts
Taken.

It’s by a guy with “Rev” in his name, and is pretty biblically literate. It’s full of vaguely amusing Bible jokes and with some rudimentary problem solving, and a quick recourse to the hints, I was able to finish the story, there are apparently a few endings based on whether you want to be a nice guy or a nasty guy.

“As you turn to leave, you hear what sounds like a lion’s roar, followed by a slight rustle of leaves. It takes you a few moments to recognise the roar as merely the rumble of an empty stomach. Be that as it may, there’s clearly someone hiding here.

>offer locusts to intruder
You wave the plate in the direction from which you last heard the rustling. After a moment, John, the Rabbi’s son, emerges warily and takes the plate from you. “Thanks,” he says, “now if you don’t mind, I’d like to be left alone.” Given that he’s also clutching the missing wine jug to himself, you don’t think that’s an option.”

It was fun. Took me back a little bit. And sucked up some valuable hours of time I should have spent writing essays.

Your favourite games… now with extra Bible

I’ve posted a couple of times about lame Christian computer games. I’d dig up the posts but that would take me five minutes. Anyway. Here are a bunch of currently popular games reimagined as Christian… they made me laugh.

It’s sad because once upon a time Christian game producers did in fact take a cool game (Wolfenstein 3D) and a Bible story (Noah’s Ark) and mashed them together into a game where you ran around slingshotting animals with food and sleeping pills so that you could pile them into the ark. Lame.

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More on Christian games

After exploring the topic of Christianity in gaming a couple of weeks ago two things happened.

Firstly, Mika told me about this flash fighting game where you pick a Bible Character and fight other Bible characters.

Secondly, I read this other article on the matter that came with this quote from James Wyatt, a game designer (Dungeons and Dragons) who is also a Methodist minister. Because games are the new literature he appears to be talking about classic pieces of fantasy:

“Games aren’t a place where you are expected to cling to a belief in something that can’t be seen or proven,” Wyatt explains. “It’s a world where the power of gods is demonstrated daily. [The Lord of the Rings’] Gandalf was — almost literally — Jesus walking around with the adventuring party.” I’ll admit to being somewhat shocked when Wyatt, in a calm and fatherly tone, explains how awesome it was to cast aside the preconceptions of our shared faith: “Fantasy has this ability to open our eyes to the enchantment of our world, and to view real things with more wonder.”

To illustrate his point, Wyatt invokes Chronicles of Narnia author (and notable Christian scholar) C.S. Lewis:

“[A child] does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods: the reading makes all real woods a little enchanted. This is a special kind of longing.” — C.S. Lewis, On Three Ways of Writing for Children

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Religiofying video games

While Cracked is encouraging readers to “rationalise” games, the “Opposable Thumbs” blog is exploring the question of religious video games. There aren’t many – and none of them are good.

It’s odd really. There are Christian subsets of just about every other form of culture or entertainment. But the “Christian” video game landscape is a barren wasteland with the odd “Left Behind” game or a couple of terrible ports of popular games. I remember standing in Koorong one day as a kid playing the Noah’s Ark 3D game – a nasty rework of Wolfenstein where Noah ran around armed with a slingshot putting animals to sleep so he could bundle them onto the ark. Badness.

The Christian market is untapped – and we’ve seen (from the music industry) that we pay over the odds for bad quality just so that we can avoid engaging with the world around us.

Part of the problem, so far at least, is that the poor theology of Christians wanting to make games leads to bad games. Here’s a description of one from that article:

John E. Nelson’s Tribulation Knights seeks to put gamers in a stealth/adventure-based post-Apocalypse setting. Following a series of natural and economic disasters, a corrupt politician’s administration takes control of the globe and manages to convert most of the remaining population into a mindlessly-loyal legion. Some citizens, however, do not convert and find themselves without any rights in the new world society; accordingly, a group called the Knights rises up to protect these rebel citizens from the Gestapo-like Enforcers and gather enemy intel, all while staying hidden and avoiding armed conflict. “I wanted to create a game that had both an entertaining adventure but also hold true to the commandment of ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill.'” Nelson explained to Ars. “It was important to do so, and it is not easy. You can defend yourself by stunning Enforcers, or thugs for a very brief time. The goal is the mission, and to avoid direct contact with the enemy as much as possible.”

Thou shalt not kill? What about a game based on Judges. That would be awesome. Assassins Creed: The Ehud Edition. Here’s a potential blurb.

Ehud the left handed rallies support from his fledgling Israelite nation to pay a visit to the fat and oppressive king – Eglon. Ehud fights off animals and marauders on the way to deliver his tribute to the king. He straps his short sword to his leg in order to deliver a message from God to all those who oppose Israel – and he must find a way to hide the body of an obese monarch before evading the clutches of his pursuers.

Yeah. I’d play that. Or what about Mega Church Tycoon – decide what staging and lighting to install in your multipurpose auditorium in order to lure the heathens from your chosen demographic.

Or “The Sins” your chance to sanctify a neighbourhood of sinful sims through the power of hospitality.

There is a Christian version of Guitar Hero out there somewhere – but what about HymnStar – the chance to belt out your favourite hymns, songs of praise, and Christian power ballads – you could have a special “Christmas Carols” edition slated for a December release.

Join me in producing these and we’ll be rich.