Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Michael Todd

Christian Video Games

Recommended Posts

Well... I saw it last night and my jaw has yet to raise. I don't know if the shock is from the fact that a perfectly legitimate money making idea that I've had for several years has been stolen out from under my nose, or from the fact that someone is actually doing what I proposed half-heartedly as a joke.

Years ago, I thought, "Christians have yet to apply their mediocre artistic talent to the world of video games." They mimic everything else in popular culture except video games. If there is pop music, there is Christian pop music. If there is rap music, there is Christian rap music. If there is reggae music, there is Christian reggae music. If there is film, there are Christian films. If there are novels, then there are Christian novels. If there are key chains with witty-but-vulgar-in-your-face sayings, then there are Christian key chains with partially-witty-and-slightly-less-vulgar-but-very-in-your-face sayings. If there are graphic t-shirts, there are Christian graphic t-shirts. The list goes on and on... Christian clothing lines, Christian wicker furniture, Christian coffee shops, Christian role playing games, Christian intramural athletics, Christian colleges, Christian comic books, Christian restaurant franchises, Christian board games, Christian versions of harlequin romance novels...

But I thought, "Where are the Christian video games? This is an untapped market for the Christians."

Last night, as I walked into the Vineyard Christian bookstore in Evansville, IN, I saw it, on display, just as you enter the door, in its very own standee, a little to your left, in front of the first row of books. It is hard to miss. Left Behind the PC video game... Own it today!

"No way...!"

But there it was, right in front of my face. I can't believe it. I never expected them to do it. I had some ideas, some of which I thought were pretty good, but I was joking. I never expected anyone to do it. I never expected anyone to do it, because I questioned who in Christian media was cheesy enough to cross that barrier. That teaches me, for I should never count the Left Behind franchise out. Bad theology is now available for gamers.

This leaves one major area of popular media that Christians have yet to turn their hand to. The production of pornographic films is estimated to be as low as $1 billion to as high as $10 billion dollar industry in the United States. People laugh, but white upper middle-class American Christians will eventually venture into that venue, because there are bucks to be made.

And for those who doubt my prediction, please check out xxxchurch, evangelists who attend adult entertainment conventions to spread the gospel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This leaves one major area of popular media that Christians have yet to turn their hand to. The production of pornographic films is estimated to be as low as $1 billion to as high as $10 billion dollar industry in the United States. People laugh, but white upper middle-class American Christians will eventually venture into that venue, because there are bucks to be made.

And for those who doubt my prediction, please check out xxxchurch, evangelists who attend adult entertainment conventions to spread the gospel.

As a filmmaker, one of my favorite quips over the years when Christian friends ask me what kind of movies I want to make is "Christian porn," ya know, to the Jews I became a... well, you get the idea. I don't agree that xxxchurch is even a small step in that direction, however. I have a number of mutual friends with the guys who run that website, and have met one of them a few times, and although they use some mildly "shocking" strategies as conversation staterters occasionally (like their "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" t-shirts), they still fall 100% on the side of those trying to fight against porn and its effects, not join in. The comment about them attending porn conventions makes it sound like they're attending seminars and taking notes at screenings, whereas they're actually their (with their wives typically) offering counsel to and encouragement to those in the industry.

Using that to herald the future participation of Christians in porn is a little like saying that Christian missionaries going to live among a tribe of canibals is a precursor to Christians actually becoming canibals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. I think I overplayed the hyperbole. :)

There have been Christian video games for years, and I have yet to see one that's even remotely good.

A few years ago, after Sid Meier re-released Pirates, I was playing and something about the game play made me think of an idea for a Christian video game, but what good are ideas?

I don't know how any of that works. Maybe I can meet a game designer and slip my screenplay.

I was both serious, and not serious. It is a ready-made market. How many youth groups are there in this nation? How many kids play video games?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the usual sources, Left Behind is pretty bad. And I make pretty bad video games for a living so I can say that.

Their problems seemed to be pretty much the same as most Christian films: lack of budget, lack of experience, and not taking the medium seriously. To be fair, they're working with a pretty stupid license... but they seem to have come up with the most ridiculous "Christian" gameplay mechanic yet, then filled the game with bugs and relied on a popular name and shiny packaging to sell copies.

Christian video games aren't a terrible idea... at least not any less than Christian movies and Christian television and Christian music. Christians are people, not media. Art should be treated as art, not treated as propaganda. When you attach a message, you have to ensure that you're still respecting the artistic nature of the medium, or you'll end up dilluting both the power of the medium and the message.

So what Christian video games need to succeed is:

- Non-ridiculous premises.

- High craftsmanship

- Good marketing

- Fun

Honestly I think that Bible Adventures might be the best "Christian" game made. The David and Goliath and Moses sections were too hard, though. Seanbaby named it 19th worst game of all time, but it wasn't quite that bad. Still, the bar isn't very high here.

Edit: Linking to the Seanbaby article, since he wasn't being as profane as normal in this particular article.

Edited by theoddone33

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...