First they brought you Moses and his Biblical journey. Now, Lightside Games has digitized Jesus Christ to create what they claim is the first-ever video game based on the Christian Savior entitled, "Journey of Jesus: The Calling." The new Facebook enterprise, which launches today, takes players through the Messiah's footsteps, as they get an "authentic experience of Israel in Christ’s time."
According to a press release, players will have the chance to choose paths, search for artifacts, overcome obstacles and delve into the political and religious schema that existed during Jesus' life. The game has apparently attracted the attention of Darrel Bock, a professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, who has endorsed it, among others.
A FAQ document further explains the user experience:
First, players have fun. That sounds so simple, but Lightside Games lives up to its name. We’ve had success in the past making engaging, fun social games. Second, players encounter challenges with missions to solve, mysteries to unravel and miracles to participate in. Players journey with Jesus through the Gospels, exploring the world of the Holy Land in that day. They experience the drama, the politics, the history of those times—all with accuracy and authenticity. Though it’s only a game, players can learn what early followers of Jesus faced in Israel at that time. Finally, as that word “social” implies, these games create community. Players need to collaborate with their friends, need friends to help struggling people, start conversations . . . share Bible verses. We think it’s definitely going to open conversations about faith.
Considering the social nature of church culture and worship, it will be interesting to see how players -- both believing and non-believing -- interact with one another to reach success in the game.
With online entertainment focused upon such prominent Biblical characters, Lightside is attempting to tap into the faith community to find people who have a passion for both religion and gaming. The "Journey of Moses," which launched last year, already has two million players. The hope is that millions more will come on board to partake in "Journey of Jesus."
"Players want a game that’s more than a game; we know that well," explains Brent Dusing, the CEO of Lightside. "One way we keep fun and interest high is to release new chapters -- new ideas and information and challenges — by the week."