When participating in the discussion "Making Church 'Fun'", Cory Zipperle said, "Somebody needs to come up with a Bible MMORPG."  So I thought, why not at least shoot some ideas around?  First of all, if you don't know what MMORPG stands for, it's a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.  Basically, a bunch of people play online in a game together via computer or other game source (click HERE to get a better idea).  So the idea of a bible mmorpg has been proposed.  What are your thoughts?  For it?  Against it?  If you're for it, what would be some ideas of things you would like to see in a game of this sort?  If you're against it, why?

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I think it would be tricky to come up with something that doesn't trivialise the truth of what life is like by an attempt to make a biblical setting work through game mechanics. For example, you would probably want prayer to have an impact and the Bible is full of people praying but how do you model it as a relationship with a loving creator rather than a mechanistic power-up?

I'd be in favor of something that helped the newer generations know more about Biblical or church history, as that knowledge is slipping away. But Wulf has a good point; I'd be leery of a game where I earned enough tokens to get God to blast open the city gates just so I could defeat the Philistines...

Interesting idea, though.
I think you can't help but trivialise God, unless you specifically frame the game within Historical Biblical accounts of certain events. For instance, you could thematically set yourself within certain time zones and areas. So whilst you could interact with certain things, you couldn't actually change the outcome of those fundamentals (which is pretty much what an MMPORG is anyway..)

The problem with building a game is that you necessarily create rules that govern the game engine. This means you have to, for instance, explicitly account for what happens when you pray, or explicitly dictate what "3 minutes of meditating on gods word" equals. The real problem with doing this is that you are either teaching cause and effect christianity (which leads to legalism) , randomness (which God may appear at times, but certainly isn't) or a very rigid and extensive "one time" series of interactions with God that take no account of motive.

That said, I'm sure there's a way to do it. It just needs some creativity to allow the interaction with scripture to be explored, discussed and studied without offering neccesarily a defined interpretation.
I can't see how any of it would be as fun as current RPG's. You'll get a big yawn from the young crowd. I'm all for getting them to learn church history or even the bible through an interactive medium, but we've all come to expect MMORPG's to be exciting and full of action. So the thing you want them to learn is the church history, but what you would have to present is a lot of shooting and action which teaches nothing.
Are you suggesting that a fallen world is more fun that the creator? *gasp!*
I know, it's sad. But try getting your kid interested in the Reformation over Halo IV. Heck, I have a hard time staying with Augustine's "City of God" myself!
I almost forgot - weren't there a number of "Christian" games you could by on CD? How successful were they?
Yeah, there were quite a few, however, they were always pretty basic. It cost quite a bit for them to create and produce them, so the cost to buy were also pretty high. Also, it was either a little dry for the teen/young adult market, or it was marketed towards children. But to my knowledge, there has never been a Christian MMORPG. But I could be wrong.

i dunno, i rekon if you based the game off the bible, it would prob get a rather  "adult" classification... i mean, you start off in genesis and there 2 players completely nude. then a Cain bashes his brother to death,  then plenty of battles, kings throwing people in fires,  who knows what the stage of the game would be like when you got to "Song of Solomon"  then there are plenty of stonings in the NT a crucifixion,  and then you have all the almost horror of revelation.  haha it would certainly be interesting.

Agreed!  There are plenty of parts in the bible that would appeal to the video game crowd, it's just that the Christian market (at least in the USA) wouldn't be too excited about it.  I think that it would create more controversy than anything.  Kind of sad, but it seems like the general population of bible-readers tend to focus more on the New Testament than the bible as a whole.  Just because it happened 'more recently' doesn't mean it's more relevant.  I'm not trying to take away from what Jesus did, but I think some get too caught up in His story and they tend to forget the rest of the bible in the process.

I'm not sure a video game, picking all the things that would appeal to the video game crowd, would have much merit for building biblical understanding. Bible history isn't just a painted backdrop against which there is endless scope for random acts of senseless violence, even though there are plenty of stories which make Grand Theft Auto look tame.

I think there is scope for vignettes - for example, how about having to creep across Jerusalem after curfew without being caught by a Roman patrol - but not for the standard video game which places you as a powerful character with a licence to wreak destruction as you wish.



there would have to be times where there could be some senseless violence haha... BUT it would ONLY be when Moses hands were high... as soon as he put them down, the killing would have to stop ;-)


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