I am neither a video games expert nor a Bible Studies teacher, so apologies in advance if I muck this up. However, I found fascinating the idea of story in video games, which I touched on last week in my conversation How Video Games Desensitize us to Violence, and I am equally intrigued about how believers are portrayed in video games. I did not know that it was even a component in video games today so it was a #TIL opportunity to go down a learning rabbit hole.
“The game Bible Adventures, in Nintendo’s first gaming console, included platforming quests where, playing as Noah, you gather as many pairs of animals as you can for your ark. Another quest had you play as Moses’s mom. Your mission: Throw baby Moses into the river. If you knew nothing about Christianity or Judaism, Bible Adventures would leave you even more mystified. Historically, the two modes of portraying religion in games are literal interpretations of sacred texts and stories, like Bible Adventures, or ornamental set dressing, like in the Assassin’s Creed series.”
In the new title, The Last of Us Part 2, discussions of faith occur explicitly between the main characters:
“Do you still pray?” Ellie asks.
“Sometimes,” Dina says to Ellie’s surprise. “I said one when we left Jackson. … Sometimes I just say little ones to myself.” “
“Does it help?” asks Ellie, who is still grieving and angry over the loss of a loved one.
“I think it calms me. Helps me put things in perspective. It’s a way to deal with grief, a way to show respect. It’s what I know.”