Can we make good material? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I recently started going through one of the Assassin’s Creed games because I have heard there is a lot of religious symbolism in there, and indeed there is. I was told to start with the Ezio Collection. Turns out it looks like the game is the second one, but that’s okay. I’m still getting what’s going on.
To explain what is making this appealing, it is set in 1474-1499. When you come across a character, you are allowed to push a button and get a brief synopsis about them and their life. Some of these are people I have never heard of, but I am learning that historians have been studying them.
I also understand the layouts of the towns are made to be remarkably just like the towns that they are in. I was looking up some information on that just now and what do I see but places like Ireland are using Assassin’s Creed to attract tourists. Gamers are wanting to go and see these places that they have played games in so much. Yes. We don’t just want to sit on a couch playing games. We want to do things.
Of course, in this game, there’s some physical activity. You encounter townspeople that want to kill you and you get involved in fisticuffs. Your character is incredibly athletic and can run and jump across roofs and climb buildings practically like Spider-Man. That’s cool, but really, for a game, it’s not really the main draw.
What is fascinating is realizing I’m actually getting to interact with historical figures. I’m playing last night and come across Leonardo Da Vinci and I’m thinking, “Wow. I’m going on a mission for Da Vinci.” Not only that, I read in the game that he was born out of wedlock and he was a horrible procrastinator. I look it up online after and lo and behold, that’s right. That is fascinating and that knowledge is very unlikely to leave me any time soon.
That left me wondering, “What if we could do the same thing for the Bible?” Imagine playing a game where you get to be a soldier in the time of David and Saul. Imagine being a peasant in Judah at the time of Jesus. Imagine being a traveler in the Roman Empire at the time of Paul. There are so many scenarios you could do.
Now I have been told there is a company that is working on making Christian video games. I hope it’s an enjoyable one because I have seen non-Christians on videos about Christians video games saying they would play a Christian game if it met one standard. It’s a really simple one.
The game needs to be fun.
Too often when we make media, we make media that we enjoy and don’t consider if anyone else will. Who goes to see many secular movies, hear secular songs, watch secular shows, and play secular games? Christians and non-Christians. Who goes to see Christian movies, hear Christian songs, watch Christian shows, and play Christian games? Christians. Do you know a non-Christian who has a subscription to Pureflix? I’m not saying Christians can’t make things for Christians, but we also need to make materials that non-Christians will want to interact with that can get them interested in Christianity.
If people are playing an Assassin’s Creed game and wanting to visit Ireland as a result, what if they play a similar game and want to study the Bible as a result? What if they get introduced to historical aspects that they never would have known of? The account doesn’t just become words on a page, but something they see and interact with and they get to see what the world of the Bible is like.
Not only this, but I think this is one of the best ways we learn. We learn by doing, and that includes playing. One benefit I have had in apologetics is I have been on the internet and debating these issues so much so where you have to know them immediately and be ready to share them. We could see a parallel in the Karate Kid with behaviors like painting the fence. Daniel didn’t realize he was learning the motions of karate the whole time.
We live in an age of multimedia and we need to use it. Now I do not know enough about programming to do such. I am still looking for a YouTube expert to help me with my videos! I would be glad to provide historical and theological information for a game though as I’m sure many others would.
I look forward to a day when the best material out there is not made by secularists, but made by Christians. Make it real.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)