Cultural Conversations by Daniel Blackaby November 15, 2022
“Become the Messiah”: A Bizarre New Video Game Lets You Play as Jesus
One of a Christian’s chief aims is to be shaped into the image of Jesus. The Bible teaches, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Don’t look now, but it seems some video game designers may have taken this charge a bit too literally.
A video game called I Am Jesus Christ: Prologue is scheduled for release on December 1, 2022. It’s touted as both a stand-alone game and an introduction to the full version of I Am Jesus Christ, which will be released next year. The game is described as follows:
Walk in the footsteps of Jesus in this incredible first-person retelling of the story of Christ from birth to resurrection. Perform amazing miracles, interact with a cast of biblical figures and travel around the Holy Land from Jerusalem to the Galilee. Become the Messiah in “I Am Jesus Christ.”
Players will play from the POV of Jesus as he completes the famous events and miracles of his ministry, including raising Lazarus from the dead, feeding the 5,000, and battling Satan in the desert (and to think, growing up I thought Bowser was a tough boss). To achieve success, players better prepare for some quick button-tapping to recharge their “Holy Spirit power.”
The game is said to be “inspired by the Gospel and hopes to spread the Gospel uniquely and engagingly.” It’s a worthy aim. Despite being arguably the fastest growing and most profitable form of entertainment, video games remain an unexplored frontier for believers, lagging far behind Christian contributions to music, movies, and television. There seems to be a tremendous opportunity for video games to explore spiritual themes and point players to the gospel. Yet, judging by the public response to the trailer—which range from accusations of blasphemy to an already hefty volume of memes—game designers might need to think a little more outside the box.