God and Gaming: The Invasion
of Christian Video Games
Courtesy of BattleCry.com
Christian video games... a conflict of interest? In today’s
age of guts, gore, and explicit graphics, many are clambering
for a more wholesome approach to video games, and Christian developers
are answering the call.
behind the uncovered sex scenes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
is only one example of immoral game content making headlines.
Rather than complaining about what’s out there, many Christian
developers have risen to the challenge and are producing Christian
games to counter the secular market.
Thomas Bean, CEO of Digital Praise, states, “It is difficult
to find games that are appropriate. And even those that are rated
E for everyone may not really be appropriate for children.”
In contrast to their counterparts, Christian games promote Christian
values, leaving parents worry-free about questionable content.
Ralph Bagley, another Christian developer and CEO of N-Lightning
Software, states, “The secular industry is trying to be
more shocking... and we want to show that games can be inspired
by more than just violence and lust.”
What motivates these soldiers in their quest? Reminiscent of
Matthew 5:14-16, Bagley declares, “We’re going to
hold the word of God up and illuminate the place. We’re
taking the land back from Satan.”
Current Games Available Include
Eternal War: Shadows
of Light – XrucifiX
Action packed but without all the guts and gore of other first-person
action shooters, this game engages players in the spiritual warfare
of Michael the angel as he ventures into the mind of John Coronado
to battle the inner demons plaguing him. On the verge of suicide,
you must help free him from his torment and bring him back to
the One who can save him.
Dance Praise –
Digital Praise, Inc.
Simply put, Dance Praise fuses the fun of high energy dancing
games with the positive lyrics of Christian music. It offers four
different modes of game play and over 50 Christians songs from
rock, rap, hip-hop, techno, and other genres. If players had fun
playing Dance Dance Revolution, Dance Praise is sure to set their
feet on fire.
Christian developers face a number of challenges, the main one
being: Will their games be fun? Gamers do not want to be preached
at; quite the opposite, they only want to have fun. Mackenzie
Ponech, developer and co founder of XruciX, hit it dead on when
he said, “It’s not about taking a Bible, rolling it
up, and shoving it down the person’s throat who’s
playing the game.”
The current market for Christian video games is small. A lack
of money, investors, and retailer exposure remains an obstacle
for Christian developers while mainstream game developers have
all the resources they need. So far, Christian games have mostly
been on PC. However, developers are eyeing a shot at the big time:
making games for a console such as Xbox, Playstation, or GameCube.
Some wonder of the place violence has in Christian games. Scott
Wong of Brethren Entertainment puts it this way: “The actual
act of pulling a trigger and hunting something-–somebody
might have a problem with that. I always tell people that if you
want good drama, you have to have conflict--without that, you
can’t make your point.”
Despite being called “Christian” games, some may
question whether they reflect Biblical values. In reality, the
division among developers is not whether they are Biblical, but
just how much of “the message” should be presented
in their games. Mike Salmond, teacher of digital media at Elon
University, believes that if games are not entertaining and if
the message becomes the point, it will be a tough sell.
The market for Christian video games is growing similar to the
Christian music genre several years ago. What was once a small
niche genre is now a powerhouse in the music industry. Could the
same thing happen with Christian video games? Only time will tell.
Other Christian Video Games Currently Available
Horizons: A Paladin’s Calling, Catechumen
– N’Lightning Software
- Victory at Hebron
– Brethren Entertainment
- Isles of Derek,
Nacah – Virtue
- The Quest, President
for a Day – Ethos Games
- Xibala, Rev
7 – Rev 7 Christian Games
Christian Games Coming Soon
War: Nightmares – XruciX
- Titus and Timothy
– White Knight Games
Behind: Eternal Forces – Left Behind Games
- Heaven the Game
– Genesis Works
- Casting the
Shadows – Brethren Entertainment
- The Axys Chronicles
- The Rebel
Planet: Orion (for Xbox), Rebel
Additional resources and articles:
-Not Just Fun
Video Games - An Overview
Read more on this topic on CBN.com:
'A' for 'Assault': Video Games and Your Kids
Video Game Alternatives
-Have a favorite
Christian Game? It could win the CBNCyberSeal Award.
-Virtual Reality: The
Brave New World of Christian Video Games
-Read more parenting articles
The New York Times, ABC News, The Washington Times, ChristianToday,
Christian Post, CCGR.com, MSNBC, N-Lightning Software, DigitalPraise,
X-Crucifix, Brethren Entertainment, Christiangaming.com, Zinkle.com,
Read youth culture news, youth ministry articles, and join the
fight for America’s young people at http://www.battlecry.com.
Article reprinted with permission.
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