Catholic Games


#1

I've been toying with the idea of creating a series of games that would not only be inoffensive to those Catholics who practice well the morality required by the Church, but would in fact be desirable to them. Research has yielded board games that teach and quiz on the catechism, decks of playing cards with pictures of saints and their lives printed upon them, and even a video game or two where the righteous protagonist must overcome the trials of evil.

What I was wondering was this: For the different age groups, what would you guys (the users of this message board) find to be desirable in a game from a Catholic viewpoint? Age groups would likely be nebulous, but could be divided into Children, Preteen, Teenagers, and Adults. Thoughts?


#2

I say go for it my friend. Don’t make it your sole way of earning money, but if you have the desire and passion, knock yourself out.

I think there may be a market for it…


#3

Definitely not planning on it being sole source of income. I doubt any income would be flowing in from this venture for a few years at least. Asides from which, the stability that a steady job would afford me is necessary for me to feel comfortable taking care of my (soon to be) wife.

As for there being a market for it… I’m sure there is one, as evidenced by the games I did find. I’m just curious to find what the users here would find to be age-appropriate… themes, I suppose?.. to guide development. I’m wanting to attempt the creation of teaching aids that are so fun the players don’t really know that they are learning. It happens all the time in games, especially video games. You don’t think about Down, DownRight, Right, B-Button releasing a special attack as learning, but through playing the game and learning what works, you know something new.

Of course, I might just be crazy. Or over-ambitious.


#4

My first though was I really enjoy when the TV show Jeapordy has trivia questions about the bible. Now that would really require people to have a good basis for them to be able to answer a fair number of questions.

Or perhaps for a board game when you land on a yellow square, you take a pray card and the card could say ‘Name someone you would like God to help’ or ‘Name an intention the person on your right has to pray for’

Just thinking off the top of my head


#5

You could also do something like “Candyland” based on the lives of the saints. Everyone chooses a different saint and you have to go on a pilgrimage to get to the holy land. Along the way, you can land on spaces where you have to draw cards that say things like: “St. Francis asks you to take a walk with him in the garden. Skip one turn to pray and admire God’s creation!” or “Saint Raphael the Archangel, who led Tobit through the darkness, takes your hand and helps you pick up the pace. Move ahead three spaces!” :slight_smile: Something like that.


#6

Thanks for the suggestions, the both of you. They have the basis for some good game play.

I think, though, that perhaps I am not being entirely clear. I'm curious as to what aspects (or aims, or goals) a game should have to make it interesting, engaging, and desirable to a Catholic, for themselves and their family. As an example, I put forth my own desires in Catholic games for myself and my (future) family.:

Children: Basic understanding of Bible stories and religious facts (Adam and Eve were the first people created by God, and God is Jesus's Dad, for example)

Preteen: Intermediate understanding of Bible stories and religious facts, basic understanding of catechism, basic application of moral law (Holy Trinity as one God in Three parts, simple subtext in parables, age-appropriate applications of catechism and moral laws to self)

Teenager: Advanced understanding of Bible stories and religious facts, intermediate understanding of catechism, intermediate applications of moral law (Understanding of symbolism and subtext in passages, recognizing pope's right to rule, ability to understand applications of catechism and moral law to others)

Adult: Focused on honing areas of interest, such as Apologetics.

So, a game for Children could well be a Candyland-style romp through Bible stories, the trivia game could have difficulty sets for all ages, a Teenage-focused game might involve invoking sound judgment in the form of matching teachings to problems to succeed, and an Adult game could focus on resolving moral ambiguity.


#7

Bible trivia can be fun. The only frustration is when the questions are too tough. To alleviate this problem have multi level answers. For instance no clues award 3 points, after one clue award 2 points, and after 2 clues award only 1 point.

Scott
thebestbiblestories.com/bible-trivia/


#8

One of the problems with trivia games like that is that they are too challenging for beginners and then when one becomes familiar they start to become boring.

The problem with video games and “fighting evil” God wants us to focus on Him. Those He calls to directly face the devil are few and far between, and only those who are deeply centered in His love. Putting yourself (or a child!) in a situation where you were fighting “evil” is putting a tool in the devil’s hands to manipulate. (either into fear or into pompousness). I’m not a huge believer in video games and those that are should be morally neutral.

You may be better off reserching video games and other games and producing a book or blog that reflects what games are appropriate for catholic/christian families.


#9

Thanks for the suggestions and opinions! Those are excellent points regarding trivia games from both sides: how to alleviate boredom and the difficulties of the newbie. Trivia games would be less of a “teaching” tool and more of a “quiz/memory check” tool, I’d imagine. Like quizzing oneself on the definitions before a vocabulary test, it only really works if you already know the answer.

In regards to evil as an antagonist: perhaps my statement was too grandiose. A game where the protagonist must make moral decisions and resist temptation could be said to be fighting “evil”, but it would be just as accurate to say “immorality” or something similar. As creatures of free will, our lives are a string of decisions stretching back to the beginning. Several of these decisions are between right and wrong, the path that was hollow and immediately satisfying and the path that was arduous and truly gratifying. Putting these sorts of choices in game form (simplified, of course) could serve as a training tool for the young or as catalysts of self-contemplation for the more mature.

Further, the games I’m considering are definitely not of the video variety. Think more along the lines of board, collectible card, and maybe a role-playing game if I can figure out a way to swing it.


ps: I work 40hours over Friday and the Weekend, so I won’t be able to post again until Monday. Looking forward to everyone’s responses!


#10

I started a post on a concept for a video game using catholic morality
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=6800294#post6800294

Which I am hoping would bring games out of the mere trivia, and into some real life practice.
(For that is where I have found we most often have the disconnect)

Board games might be a more feasible way of implementing this, a sort of role-play learning…

Anyhow its another relevant thought to what you have here, and I would appreciate any feedback I could get myself


#11

Chess - with the different levels of warrior Saints and Archangels!


#12

I was not a big board game fan as a child because I always felt like they were… boring. Too much sitting around. I think your goals for the child age group – basic understanding of bible stories – are good but they need to be more active than simple trivia. Maybe instead of “Who were the fist people created by God?” it could be “Tell a story about when God created animals.” It’s appealing because the child gets to be the center of attention and can be active and engaged while telling/acting out a story and the parent playing along can check for understanding in addition to memorization of facts. It might be a little long in terms of game play but I think if you set it up correctly it could work. Maybe some squares require an active response, some just trivia ect.

Also in addition to the categories you specified, it might be useful to include some blank cards and let the family decide on questions together. That way they can tailor the game to their children a little bit more. You might also consider selling additional card sets for trivia type games. Additional sets could be sorted by ages or by subject (books of the Bible, holidays, different types of moral dilemmas), kind of like expansion packs. If you can work that out then you don’t have to market separate games to different age ranges, you just sell the one starter set with the board and play pieces and then families can customize it for their needs. You give them the building blocks and they can create their own goals.


#13

Just a notice if you decide to try a video game (which actually isnt that hard, especially using freeware software) you should try an adventure game like the Monkey Island series. You could place christian themes in it and at the same time develop reasoning skills in children. Of course dont expect optimal graphics, youll be working with old 8 and 16 bit platforms here.


#14

You should also look to these games for inspiration:

Shadow of the Colossus
youtube.com/watch?v=_vuPyAOH41E

Ico
youtube.com/watch?v=YSXwreNIuYE

Both have a simple, yet a touching and heart wrenching plot with a sort of Bible esque feeling to it (ESPECIALLY Shadow of the Colossus).

Well, here's my 2 cents.


#15

[quote="timorage, post:3, topic:194020"]
Definitely not planning on it being sole source of income. I doubt any income would be flowing in from this venture for a few years at least. Asides from which, the stability that a steady job would afford me is necessary for me to feel comfortable taking care of my (soon to be) wife.

As for there being a market for it... I'm sure there is one, as evidenced by the games I did find. I'm just curious to find what the users here would find to be age-appropriate... themes, I suppose?... to guide development. I'm wanting to attempt the creation of teaching aids that are so fun the players don't really know that they are learning. It happens all the time in games, especially video games. You don't think about Down, DownRight, Right, B-Button releasing a special attack as learning, but through playing the game and learning what works, you know something new.

Of course, I might just be crazy. Or over-ambitious.

[/quote]

I would stick to the basic topics: prayer, sacraments, saints and the ten comandments. For ideas on the level of learning, you could go to your local Catholic bookstore and check out the books in the children's section; the most difficult groups will be pre-teen and teen. They are the most at risk of leaving the faith, usually due to lack of interest.


closed #16

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