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Aug 25 2011

The church for gamer geeks

Oh goodie. I was already super excited for PAX – my cosplay outfit is done and my Pokemon team is all ready – but now I have a new thing to look forward to. What could possibly top three days of the largest video game conference in the US?

Church!

GameChurch.com has a booth at PAX. The site hosts game reviews from a Christian perspective, a “Strategy Guide for Life,” and a geekified version of the Bible titled “Jesus, For The Win!” From the introduction (yes, I couldn’t not download it):

“But wait! How can you be a Christian and kill zombies, cast spells and shoot someone?!? Isn’t that hypocritical!?!? I get that question from Churches and also from people that don’t want anything to do with Christians. It’s unfortunate that it’s even a topic. We’re ALL hypocrites. Every last human. Video games are not the problem. The problem is that we have complicated the message that Jesus brought to us. And yes, I do believe He would be leveling up with me in World of Warcraft.”

I can see it now. “Starving children in Africa? But daaaad, I’m in the middle of a raid!”

I can’t stop reading this thing, it’s full of terrible gems:

“Jesus… many people see Him like Gandhi, or the Pope. He was a good guy, maybe even a prophet, who died before I was born and has nothing to do with me. What if you found out that Jesus is not who the world says He is? What if you heard that Jesus came to Earth and hung out with stinky fisherman and prostitutes? What if He spent His time with tax collectors and people who were looked down upon by “higher society?” What if Jesus came to Earth for the GAMERS? Despite what you may have heard before, He did! Jesus loves Gamers, just as much as He loves thieves, soccer moms, and even pastors. Jesus came to PWN the Devil and save the world for YOU.”

Bahaha. I don’t even need to add my own commentary, do I?

I’m not going to lie. Part of me wants to stop by their booth for the chance that they’ll have some ironic free swag. I would definitely love a shirt about Jesus respawning (their words, not mine). The only difference is I realize magical Jesus is about as real as Zelda or Mario.

44 comments

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  1. 1
    John Hummel

    I’m always kind of torn by folks like these. On the one side, they’re trying to be helpful, to be relevant to the times.I do like your concept on Zelda or Mario. I’ve been having my daughter read the Bible and the Tezuka Buddha manga series, and explaining “The stories likely aren’t true, like the creation, Isrealites building the pyramids, the 10 plagues. But these are great stories, and some of them hold useful lessons. The problem is when you’re more worried about proving them ‘true’ as it is deciding if they’re telling you about something ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – and even then, if they’re getting it right.”There could be some interesting games based on Bible literature – but too often the people interested in those are too busy moralizing than they are in either being entertaining or even ethically right.

  2. 2
    lomifeh

    Magical Jesus!  Love that one.  The implication that gamers are considered the dregs of society is an amusing unintentional insult.  Wish I could make PAX Prime this year, ahh well.   This stinks of the late 80s attempts to use rap for PSAs to seem cool.

  3. 3
    Michael C Carter

    I saw their booth at GenCon, and it just got me started on reasons why I don’t play there game any more:1) The ruleset hasn’t been updated for over two thousand years.2) All of the supplements are incompatible with each other3) There is no replay value at all – it is one life and  you are done4) It is impossible to play a game in less than a lifetimeand those are just the ones I started with.

  4. 4
    Allen Gould

    Well, let’s look on the bright side – at least they’re evangelicals with a sense of humor.

  5. 5
    Nominatissima

    To paraphrase Hank Hill:”Don’t you get it? You’re not making Christianity better, you’re just making video games worse!”

  6. 6
    Adam Gordon

    http://gamechurch.com/credibil…This article is my favorite. Um, sorry dude, but people don’t question the Bible’s credibility because it’s old, but because it presents clearly fictitious events as historical fact.

  7. 7
    Aaron Harmon

    “What if He spent His time with tax collectors and people who were looked down upon by “higher society?” What if Jesus came to Earth for the GAMERS? Despite what you may have heard before, He did! Jesus loves Gamers, just as much as He loves thieves, soccer moms, and even pastors.”I do not appreciate being lumped in with thieves and pastors, but I repeat myself.

  8. 8
    breadbox

    Okay, first he was killed by nailing him down and just waiting for him to die. And then, it’s been like two thousand years and his respawn timer STILL hasn’t expired?Worst. Boss. Ever.

  9. 9
    ad_astra

    I also saw their booth at GenCon after several of my (christian) friends showed me the creepy/stupid t-shirts and shwag they bought from GameChurch.  It is such a pandering way to spread the christian disease.  I walked by several times (stupid Cheese Weasel game!) but was a bit relieved that from what I could tell no one was actively proselytizing (a la street preacher) at their booth.

  10. 10
    Blaz

    “There could be some interesting games based on Bible literature”Definately.I came up with an idea for an RPG set in a land of city-states that is being threatened by a rampaging horde of nomads that emerged from the southern desert.  I’d never explicitly name the nomads or the land until the very end of the game.A cool side-effect is that I if the game ever got a little popular, you’d get loads of free advertising on Fox News.

  11. 11
    John Hummel

    Hah – I love that idea. If you do it, let me know.

  12. 12
    jasonalang

    <gamer-geek>Green Ronin did Testament a few years back as a d20 port for biblical-era…There have been a couple of Xtian RPGs in the past. They generally don’t do so good…</gamer-geek>

  13. 13
    jasonalang

    …and have you seen what you have to do to get Achievements? Man! Pass.

  14. 14
    NoelleyB

    Sounds like it could make a cool tablets strategy game, too.

  15. 15
    Ben Crockett

    This: http://i.imgur.com/6CewV.jpg

  16. 16
    Ted Powell

    For example, Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist, at  http://www.eternalforces.com/If you go there, turn down your speaker volume first.

    It is with a heavy heart that I look at the world today, spiraling out of control. It is difficult to imagine what dangers lay ahead for us in the coming days. There is a powerful enemy intent upon taking our lives. Your efforts may mean the difference between people living for eternity or falling into the antichrist’s clutches. Truth is your main weapon. It is a truth that is more powerful than any of the enemy’s weapons. This truth can change lives and destinies forever.

  17. 17
    Daenyx

    Who does this Jesus dude think he is?  Ilmater’s got the Good/Healing/Law/Strength/Suffering portfolio more than covered.

  18. 18
    TheDudeDiogenes

    Perhaps the most sublime self-parody of which I’ve ever read!

  19. 19
    Peter B

    If you want to play a game involving religion, I heartily recommend a card game called “Credo”, produced by Chaosium (not sure if it’s still available). It’s a game for 3-6 players set in the Roman Empire from the 4th to the 7th centuries, and the players represent factions in the Empire trying to decide Christian doctrine.The heart of the game is the Nicene Creed. It’s divided into ten separate Articles of Faith, but for each Article there are multiple versions, based on historical interpretations/heresies (Arian, Catholic, Nestorian, Donatist etc). Each version of each Article is represented by one or more cards, and you use the cards you dealt to create a theological position. You also build a power base by drawing cards representing “flock” (ordinary people), bishops and political authorities (Emperor, Empress, military commanders and so on).Whoever controls the Emperor can call an Ecumenical Council to vote on the next Article in the creed. There you use the votes provided by your cards – if you have a version of an Article you must vote for it, but if you don’t have a version of an Article your votes are freely available.The game is driven by event cards, some of which sound off the wall, but they’re all based on real events: barbarian invasions and conversions, bishops being exiled to silver mines, dying after excreting their entrails, having eyes gouged out and then being miraculously restored, or being charged with apostasy in the last great persecutions, proselytyzing, and teaching.There’s a review in Berg’s Review Of Games at http://richardhberg.tripod.com

  20. 20
    Daniel Schealler

    Jesus saves.The rest of the party takes full damage.

  21. 21
    Svlad Cjelli

    Oh, there are many christian games. What they all have in common is indeed that they are “interesting”.

  22. 22
    Svlad Cjelli

    I like the “and even”.

  23. 23
    Svlad Cjelli

    I bet they play Alliance.Well, maybe I’m just being mean.

  24. 24
    Andreas

    I hope for your sake, that HE doesn’t read this article and jump on your head or shoot you with a fireball for your blasphemy, Jen.Mario is real and he’s vengeful.

  25. 25
    Andy

    I got so embarrassed for the author that I couldn’t even finish reading the first sentence of the first paragraph…

  26. 26
    Michael Brown

    “There could be some interesting games based on Bible literature”OH yeah. You think the plot of Grand Theft Auto IV has people’s knickers in a twist? Incest, genocide, rape, and little children torn apart and eaten by bears. For starters.

  27. 27
    Zuche

    “4) It is impossible to play a game in less than a lifetime”That sounds familiar. Henry James Byron wrote “Life is too short for chess.” Then Leslie Burgin countered with, “That is the fault of life, not chess.”

  28. 28
    Ratshag

    Walks on water? Self-resurrection? Sounds like a shaman ta me, and they’s always useful. Please inform the son of the imaginary deity what we raids Tues and Fri and he’s welcomes ta come with, long as he don’t curse and wither buggers what out-roll him fer loot, like he did ta that poor fig tree. ‘Cause great googly moogly that were some petty shite.

  29. 29
    Thomas Everett Haynes

    Damnit! The ONE year I can’t make it to pax! >.< I even worked there as an enforcer! And now The amazing Jen will be there… D:

  30. 30
    Avicenna

    Its the lag, heaven doesn’t have broadband yet.

  31. 31
    Avicenna

    Tax Collectors? I understand no one likes paying taxes but really they are kind of necessary. I mean that’s like looking down on the bin men (garbage collection service) because they work with smelly things. Without then we would be upto our balls in smelly garbage. What happened to Render Unto Caesar? (or my favourite Render into Caesar Salad… mmm….) I wonder how christians ever thought banks and governments actually worked without usuary and taxes… Magic?

  32. 32
    Avicenna

    Don’t be silly! Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and he himself rose from the dead…They are undead players!

  33. 33
    Avicenna

    I don’t know… the Sex achievement is pretty good.

  34. 34
    Mike Brownstein

    Wait, Zelda isn’t real? *mind blown* :(

  35. 35
    Dennis Jernberg

    That’s one thing I’ve never liked about these proselytizing born-again types. They always think that coopting everything that’s cool will make them cool, when all they do is make the cool uncool. I have never forgiven them for it. Sure, they sound corny. But consider what they’re trying to do: complete takeover. That’s why it bugs me so much.

  36. 36
    TheSecretAtheist

    I was fine, until I got to, “Jesus came to PWN the devil…” at which point a fit of laughter and giggles burst forth from my mouth for a full minute or more. The giggles continue every time I read it again.

  37. 37
    Vic

    “Jesus came to PWN the Devil” ? Really?

  38. 38
    Svlad Cjelli

    I’m guessing the tax collectors were often nasty romans, or somesuch.

  39. 39
    Svlad Cjelli

    Jesus is XTREEEME, dawg. Totally gnarly.

  40. 40
    Svlad Cjelli

    “Totally gnarly.”(He should have that looked at.)

  41. 41
    Drakk

    Not sure if poe or just stupid :/

  42. 42
    Leonard Andrew Spencer

    Although it was more a general middle eastern mythology RPG than a purely Hebrew one. I imagine the Sacred Prostitute class’s sex based spells led to all sorts of terrible terrible jokes.”Look! The Egyptian armies approach!””Never fear! I have a Rod of Giant Strength- IN MY PANTS!”

  43. 43
    TheSecretAtheist

    The churches I grew up in always taught that tax collectors were often Jews hired by the Romans to help with the tax collection. They had a quota they were to meet, and were generally allowed to collect however much from the people as long as they passed the quota along to the authorities. Often they would collect much higher taxes than required by Rome, and pocket the difference, so it was taught me. This meant they were looked down on by society, though they were often very rich. I’m not sure how much of this is based in fact, though, since I have learned that the source of this information told me many, many other lies.Regardless of the truth in it, it is what most Christians believe, so it answers the question of why they would use tax collectors as an example.

  44. 44
    Tyra Banxxx

    period changes leading up to menopause…

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