The Bible offers a lot of information to take in. By the time you reach the end of the book, you’ve probably forgotten 75% of the detail from the beginning. This, of course, is not the fault of the message, but of the reader. As our attention spans get shorter, it’s becoming more and more difficult to contextualize the Bible as a whole.
Allow me to offer my thoughts on a possible study companion.
Every medium comes with its strengths and weaknesses, and video games are no different. I’d like to discuss how they could be great for Christians and everyone else.
- They’re fun. When a video game has nothing else to offer, this is what keeps bringing people back. We love video games, and the number of people that play them is increasing every year.
- Experience events “first hand”. There’s a big difference between being in a burning house and reading about a burning house in the newspaper. Instead of reading about Noah’s ark, the animals, and flood, you could now see the grand scale of the boat, witness all of the animals swarming into it, and watch as everything around you is annihilated by water. I would be willing to bet that many of us did not grasp the magnitude of this event just from reading about it. Video games can bring us one step closer to realizing how incredible this, and many other events in the Bible, really were.
- Context and connections can be emphasized. This is the biggest problem I’ve run into with reading a large amount of text. Even with references to past related verses, it’s difficult to see the big picture. By offering a “More Info” button whenever a reoccurring person or place is near, connections are immediately reinforced in the player’s mind. Imagine having a bank of information the size of Glo Bible‘s that you are unlocking as you work your way through the game. Now imagine having the ability to view it all sorted by time, topic, or location. Yeah, I think that would be pretty cool, too.
- Emotion is injected back into the text. My father once made the point that when we hear the Bible read, it often sounds quite a bit more bland than it actually is. One example of this would be in 1 Kings when an ecstatic Elijah mocks the prophets of Baal. I can just imagine him cracking up as he says, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened!” Depending on who’s reading these lines, all of this emotion can quickly disappear.
- You don’t have to play the good guy. It’s no secret that the Word of God is meant to be shared with everyone. This is why it may almost be better to play the role of a conflicted soul. Imagine the game’s story is set during the time of Jesus. You’re an assassin, of course. The nature of your job causes you to travel a great deal. During your missions you here about this ‘Jesus’ character, and you’re even present for many of the key moments in his life story. Your final job lands you in Golgotha. You see the curtain tear, the earthquake, and the dead rise up. Wow, that’s intense!
A project this huge would require a lot of care, talent, and time. If it’s done right, we could have one of the most enriching, educational, and unifying experiences any of us have seen in quite some time. What do you think? Should this idea come to life or not?