Catholic Christian Video Game Ideas

A storyline similar to heavy rain would be an excellent way to illustrate the effect that sins such as scandal, or even personal sins can have on the development of other people in our life. The switching between characters would be an excellent way

Agreed, I’ve seen the creation museum in Ohio, preachy-ness is not convincing-ness.
Convincing-ness relies on the 3 principles of conversion: Beauty, Truth, Goodness

I’m not certain what you mean by " gameplay connected to the Catholic aspect of the game"

True, however, if by playing so as to maximize these meters the characters become more free, more powerful, as in reality… Then this becomes a powerful teaching tool.
I agree freedom in play, and freedom to play without frustration are essential.

Yes, I imagine what should draw in the characters is storyline that draws the player into a deeper relationship with the Characters, greater self discovery, and a deeper relationship with God. (Exemplification of the Beatitudes,
Poor in Spirit: Open with the disconect from goods, and connection to God
( A carpe-deim feel, willingness to sacrifice everything for some higher
purpose)
Those who Mourn: Loss of a loved one, comforting, burying the dead
(Real life stories that honor the death of someone, that flush out that
persons, personhood, perhaps bringing home the actual loss that
takes place in a typical shooter)
The Meek: Training, self-mastery (aka Batman Begins-opening)

Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness: Justice, (take your pick of vigilant, police, etc)
pursuit of What is True, and Good, and Beautiful (to Kill a Mockingbird)

Merciful: Where Mercy has a beautiful outcome (destructive effects of justice,
use of more merciful means)
Peacemakers: Fighting peace-breakers, overcoming insult and causes of personal
insult (Ruwanden Genocide: 1 class stirred it, and it grew out of control, terminating un-peace at the source)

Pure of Heart: Available options, right relationship (ill effects of conflicting desires, joy of integrity, solid knowledge of the way.)

Suffer and Die for my sake: Use of self-sacrifice to overcome death (intro to redemptive suffering, small self-sacrifices, those exemplifying love)

Why not illustrate the spiritual warfare that takes place as we are daily faced with temptation?
Battle could then take place not with weapons, but ideas. The ideas available to fight with (and our competency with them) would then depend upon prior exposure, and habit (aka virtue)This has the advantage of making known how commonplace sin is in the world.

Or even illustrate the glory of the life of the Saints? (as you go on to illustrate)

This could be a good storyline to establish the allegorical battle in physical war and spiritual war.

Sam, that angel idea you have has amazing potential. You would have some person going through real life struggles, and the player, his guardian angel, is there to help him see it through. When the angel helps out it switches to the spiritual realm where the angel fights the person’s demons. The gameplay in the spiritual realm could be pretty much anything, from Zelda dungeon puzzle solver to God of War combat to even an FPS. The thing is that even when we have this spiritual realm, we still can have the Catholic faith promoted in the real world plane.
It reminds me a bit of Psychonauts, where you’re a kid with psychic powers and you help people regain their sanity by entering their minds, where each mind is its own unique world.

I like the idea of the character-switching. In addition to illustrating the effects of sin or virtue, it could elaborate on the concepts of the Communion of Saints, the Body of Christ, and the solidarity of the human race.

The angelic/spiritual world has the potential to rob the mundane world of interest if it is made too spectacular in comparison, so that’s something that would need to be guarded against. But something that many people don’t get, and many peers of mine that are similarly attracted to fantasy genres, is that reality is filled with a lot of those elements we consider “fantasy” in the modern age–in the real spiritual realm.

I think to avoid the problem of preachy-ness, the game shouldn’t be too heavy on the virtue metrics. That could be a turnoff. There was merit in Tolkien and Lewis and (yes, for those of you who really have explored it) Harry Potter in that the fantasy wove Christian symbolism and concepts into the story without many people realizing it. A useful tool for a culture that would tend to scoff at Christian-themed games.

Another route to more ready adoption would be to deliberately set the game in a historical setting so that the Catholic themes were a natural outgrowth of the story. For instance, a story about the Crusades, the Roman persecutions, or any other pre-Reformation era, really, can have a heavy Catholic theme without seeming contrived. A wider audience is more likely to accept it as the setting, less likely to reject it for being too deliberate and forced.

Why not illustrate the spiritual warfare that takes place as we are daily faced with temptation? Battle could then take place not with weapons, but ideas.

While that would be ideal, it’s difficult to make exciting in terms of gameplay. Choosing dialog options during conversations between the player and the computer isn’t really a game. That’s more like an interactive movie. A “AAA” title has to be fun to play. I think the current trend in games is to use tried and true mechanics like 3rd/1st person shooter, 3d brawler, RPG, etc. and then wrap the solid gameplay in better story than that genre is usually known for. Sadly, a battle of ideas doesn’t lend itself to the creation of a game. Sure, you could say that you’ll represent the ideas or virtues as weapons, but at that point we might as well call a spade a spade and put the weapons in a more believable context.

Sam, that angel idea you have has amazing potential. You would have some person going through real life struggles, and the player, his guardian angel, is there to help him see it through.

Thanks! I wish I could say that it was a completely original idea =) The idea has been done fairly well in a few cases like in This Present Darkness which is a book by Frank Peretti, and there’s also a pen and paper RPG called In Nomine where you play angels assisting humans. However, in almost every example I’ve seen where an Angel takes on the guise of a human, the story is pretty un-Catholic so having a more reverent version would be really cool. Oh, and yes - Psychonauts did inspire the idea as well.

Another route to more ready adoption would be to deliberately set the game in a historical setting so that the Catholic themes were a natural outgrowth of the story.

I completely agree. It’s too bad that Assassin’s Creed went with the old stand-by evil church thing =( They do such a great job with building the setting in every other respect I think. It’s genius how they managed to work in all of this rich historical information and atmosphere into the game without the player having to read a single word (though there are things to read if you want).

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One of the really bizarre ideas I’ve had too, is that you set up a game in a really traditional way. By that I mean, you start the game by having the classic tough and independent character “free thinking” his way to victory over the “evil” controlling religious figures… until you get near the end of the game and then you show the player how he was doing evil and not the church at all.

That would be awesome just for the gaming forum outrage alone =) It would also be great because it would reveal how manipulative their portrayal of religion is by using their own formula.

One of the really bizarre ideas I’ve had too, is that you set up a game in a really traditional way. By that I mean, you start the game by having the classic tough and independent character “free thinking” his way to victory over the “evil” controlling religious figures… until you get near the end of the game and then you show the player how he was doing evil and not the church at all.

The chapter Rebellion in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov is seen by many to be the greatest argument AGAINST the existence of God. It was so good that some atheist writer used that chapter arguing against His existence, taking it out of the context of the book. But if you read to the end you realize that Dostoevsky disproves his argument and promotes a Christian worldview (He was Eastern Orthodox himself). It would be amazing if we could put a similar “sucker punch” in a video game, by doing something similar to what you said above. Maybe having that realization that the main character was doing evil mid-way through the story, so he can later make amends and fight some true evil force.

Love both those approaches!

Realizing enough to try to repair what you broke?

I guided an RPG that had the players end up causing great evil and then realizing it, having to set aright what they had let loose. Can be quite effective!

As for the angel stuff, I’ve read Peretti and he had some good ideas. Catholic observance of the ranks of angels and their roles provides lots of good story potential. And, of course, players far and wide love the idea of Dante Alighieri’s works, even though most probably don’t even realize he was Catholic (just like many don’t seem to know Tolkien was Catholic or recognize the Catholic principles bursting forth from his stories). Such things can be used to advantage in getting widespread adoption.

basically what you are suggesting is a christian God of War type series. They kinda had that with Dante’s Inferno and already have another one in the works.

As much as I appreciate various secular games containing some of the truth that the Church offers, it displeases me to see that nobody has been able to properly put together a nonsecular game concept. Just as I feel that chant music is much closer to God than contemporary Christian music (within genres like pop, rap, rock, etc.) that was formed from many secular ideas. For instance, it should be noted that the polyphonic tone was not originated from Church music. And there is a good reason why our Catholic Church rejects a lot of songs that consider themselves to be “Christian.”

You may find a lot more interesting ideas from the following topics at an Independent Gaming forums that I commonly visit:

forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=19333.0

forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=3841.0

forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=6633.0

If you visited any of the links, or if you simply look up the “You Testament” game on YouTube or Google, you’ll find that people can create games that are much less allegorical and more literal in portraying Christianity (even though You Testament does have some unrelated, inaccurate statements made about Jesus, like the theory that he visited the East at some point in His life).

Unless we follow the Church’s tradition, more akin to that during the Medieval Times, we probably will continue to see secular games and Christian games that aren’t really preaching or historically speaking about the Bible or the Church, or even the Saints of the Church. And that is a really big problem. To break away from these habits, perhaps we need to carefully study the pre-Modern era, the history of Christianity and the Church, along with understanding much of Christian theology and the Bible itself.

I’d love to see a Catholic MMORPG.

You and the other players would be members of the church and all the baddies would be demons. The classes could be just like they are in every other MMO (tank, healers etc.) but with different takes on them. Healers would very likely be priests… it just fits, but the damage dealing “mage” could be an exorcist type class. It could even incorporate prayer (some MMOs actually already do this to a VERY small degree). Say you pray to a specific saint for a specific buff. This would have to be limited of course to balance game play.

All of the boss fights would be major players in Satan’s army (Baal for instance). And would (like in every other MMO) require team work and proper preparation to take down.

The professions could be as simple as in other MMOs (tailoring, cooking etc.) but you could also have do charity work. Say you go and level up your cooking skill, you can of course sell your wares but maybe you get something more worthwhile in the long run if you instead donate them to people in need.

Anyway… I just came across this thread and those were the ideas that immediately popped in.

That does sound pretty cool. Let me know when it comes out. :slight_smile:

Starting Premise:
The End Times/Apocalypse is in full swing, you are the last surviving Swiss Guard. Its your duty to fight your way into the Anti-Christ’s palace and rescue the Pope.
Throw in some Catholic theology and ideas along the protagonist’s journey, and end with a climatic battle between the SG and the champion of the Ant-Christ.

I think that your typo would make for a wonderfully terrifying final boss.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight

LOL

I’d be more interested in seeing a guitar versus the antChrist. Wonderfully Surreal…

Gibson SG guitar.

Guitar Hero vs AntChrist!!!

Beautiful guitar, each of my guitarists owns at least one of those. Having had to carry them from time to time I’d say taking on an ant with one would be pretty easy :smiley:

I love the look of SGs, unfortunately they don’t love me and I tend not to get on with them so well playing them. I’m inclined to either a Telecaster or a Les Paul or designs inspired by either.

As to Christian video game ideas I can’t think of any Christian video games made yet that rise above the level of ‘what is this stuff?’. It could be done I’m sure but it would take a particularly delicate touch and the problems would be getting support for it from publishers .

That’s ok… I lack the dexterity to do anything more than pick up a pair of sticks and bang on things :slight_smile:

Sadly you hit the nail on the head as far as Christian games. The people that do like the ones that I’ve heard about are those that like them strictly for the content… which I can appreciate but having grown up with video games I can’t play a ****** game just because I like the subject matter.

El Shaddai Ascension of the Metatron is the only modern one that I’ve heard of and as far as I know it’s still in development and being published by Ignition Entertainment. They aren’t as big of a name as some other companies out there and don’t have any huge successes under their belt but they have enough experience to hopefully make the first GOOD bible based video game (don’t know that I’d call it Chrisian as it’s apparently based on the Book of Enoch). Supposed to be released Q3 this year… so we’ll see :slight_smile:

Since Activision has disbanded their “Hero” franchises, maybe they’ll give us the brand name to be able to turn this project into a reality. :stuck_out_tongue:

That sounds interesting.

I think you’re right that it would be a tricky feat for a truly good, Christian centered game to hit the market. I guess I’ll just settle for a decent Lord of the Rings game. :stuck_out_tongue:

My wife and I did have a bit of fun playing “The Bible Game” for the PS2, though. :o

I was going to try that when I heard about it but I don’t have an xbox anymore and it’s not one that’s compatible with the 360 :frowning:

You can pick uh the original Xbox for virtually nothing of ebay. I bought one for £12 (around about $20) or so a few months back as I had 4 or 5 games that wouldn’t play on the 360 as well.

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