|Befittingly titled "I Am Jesus Christ," players will be able to know what it's like to be in the shoes—or sandals—of Jesus Christ / Photo by: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum via Wikimedia Commons|
There are a number of games that have players take on the roles of supernatural beings, but none of them comes close to a new video game on Steam. Befittingly titled "I Am Jesus Christ," players will be able to know what it's like to be in the shoes—or sandals—of Jesus Christ. The simulator will cover the life of Jesus starting from his baptism until the day of His crucifixion.
A Godly Simulation
"I am Jesus Christ" is based on the writings on the New Testament following the life and miracles of the Good Shepherd. Steam released a trailer for the game that shows a first-person POV to make it "highly realistic."
In a montage showing Christ performing various miracles, He can be seen healing the blind, making fish appear in a bucket, walking on water, and even stopping a storm. The final seconds of the trailer show Jesus opening the cave that served as His final resting place and finally ascending to heaven.
The stories and miracles of Christ are well-known but having a game based on them—and with a first-person simulator at that—is a lot to take in. Frankly speaking, it's kind of bizarre that one would think it's a hoax. But it isn't, and the trailer quickly made its round online with a tweet from video game and entertainment media website IGN.
The game's description on Steam also raises questions about the simulator instead of giving answers, the Insider says. The Insider is a global news and lifestyle publication that provides the latest news and stories that readers want and need to know.
"I Am Jesus Christ is a realistic simulator game inspired by the stories from the New Testament of the Bible," the description reads. "Get into old times and follow the same path of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago...Have you ever wondered [what it would be like] to be like Him – one of the most powerful and privileged people in the world? Are you ready to fight with Satan in the desert, exorcising demons and curing sick people, or calm the storm in the sea?"
As-of-yet unknown developer SimulaM created the game with PlayWay being its publisher, which is known to have published highly-praised simulation games like "House Flipper" and "Car Mechanic Simulator." The announcement didn't come with a clear announcement and was marked as "Coming Soon" on Steam.
This led to some jokingly wondered if the game will come out on Christmas, one of which was humorously answered that it will be "delayed until Easter." Other Twitter users threw jokes and suggested that Jesus should be in the next "Super Smash Bros" while others wondered if they could change the color of His skin.
Not the First Bizarre God Game
The history between video games and Christianity doesn't depict a pretty picture. "I Am Jesus Christ" isn't the first Bible-based game that came out as numerous Christian video games have been produced over the years.
According to Screen Rant, an online entertainment news site, many of these early releases were seen as either "wildly bizarre, deeply terrible, or, in the case of the 'PC game Secret of Jesus,' both."
One example of which is the 1995 "Bible Adventures" from Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) that sources like GamesRadar and Electronic Gaming Monthly have called one of the worst video games of all time.
Screen Rant says many succeeding Christian games may have unfortunately followed the footsteps of the "Bible Adventures,"—and "I Am Jesus Christ" seems like it's also at risk of being on that path.
"The gameplay presented in the trailer looks repetitive where present and one of the key features listed is simply called 'special skills,'" the online news site explains. "It could also be argued that making a flashy simulation game to depict the life of Jesus Christ is a move made in poor taste, no matter how realistic its fights with Satan are."
But even with the seemingly negative outlook for the game, "I Am Jesus Christ" will likely gather a significant audience upon release mainly due to its strangeness and morbid curiosity of gamers.
A Good Thing for Gamers
Some people find the simulator rather "blasphemous," with others saying they are "not psyched about the gamification of my faith." Despite these negative comments, Rev. Christopher J. Benek believes it can be a good thing for gamers.
In his interview with The Christian Post, a non-denominational Evangelical Newspaper, Benek said the creation of the game made sense given that a large percentage of the world's population identifies as Christian.
"Since Christian discipleship involves the process of formation in Christ, it seems reasonable that a Christian themed video game would seek to model this formation as well," said the pastor, who is also an expert in emerging technology and the CEO of non-profit organization CoCreators.
"The Apostles themselves sought to heal people, performed miracles, and even raise people from the dead.”
With Christian-focused video games having a bad reputation, Benek encouraged the church to be welcoming of new ventures such as "I Am Jesus Christ." The pastor explained that the future of the church lies in creating new ways to teach people Christian behavior using technology.
"Personally, I would very much like to see more virtue-based iterations in the tech community. I am glad to see that there are developers with religious inklings willing to brave into this rapidly expanding technological territory."
|The history between video games and Christianity doesn't depict a pretty picture. "I Am Jesus Christ" isn't the first Bible-based game that came out as numerous Christian video games have been produced over the years / Photo by: Ryan Somma via Flickr|