Video Game Controversy: ‘I am Jesus Christ’
By Jeremiah Thompson
Video games have been around for a long time. Since Pong graced the screens in 1972, video games have grown and evolved. Christian games, however, are rare. I am Jesus Christ is a video game coming out with controversy following close behind.
I am Jesus Christ is a video game that allows the player to play as Jesus Christ. This video game simulates the life that Jesus lived as expressed in the Bible. According to Steam, this game is a “realistic simulator game inspired by stories from the New Testament of the Bible.” Other than on Steam, this simulator will be nowhere else when it comes out. So if people wanted to play it, they would have to play it on Steam.
About the Producers
The creators of I am Jesus Christ are from a small indie company called PlayWay SA. Based in Poland, PlayWay was founded in 2011 and has produced games since then. On their website, PlayWay states that they have “released over 70 games that were sold or downloaded worldwide.” Many of their games are under the radar mostly, but titles like House Flipper and Car Mechanic Simulator have made a name for themselves in the video game industry.
PC games aren’t the only market for PlayWay either. According to PlayWay, they are “one of the leading producers and publishers of PC and mobile games in Poland.” Ironically, they also state that they are “the only developer in Poland.” However, the number of mobile and PC games they have created in only nine years is nothing to scoff at.
All for I am Jesus Christ
When I say “all for,” that’s a slight exaggeration. Most people who have commented on this game have exhibited mostly that of mild interest, maybe even indifference. Most people who have commented on it treat it similarly to that of a parody or joke. IGN talked about the game on their website, mentioning that it “bring[s] a multitude of New Testament stories to life.” Angerbeard, @AngerbeardTV on Twitter, further mentions that “the features on I Am Jesus Christ are gold.”
Some people find the concept of playing as Jesus Christ amusing. Although the game isn’t out yet, people are already making jokes like creating DLC for creating an ark for the dinosaurs. Although not everyone finds the video game to be a joke.
Rev. Christopher J. Benek, in an interview with Christian Post, pointed out that this video game could be “a good thing for video game players.” An internationally recognized expert in technology and theology, this pastor believes I am Jesus Christ is a good step in introducing video game players to the world of Christianity.
Some Christians, like Rev. Benek, believe that I am Jesus Christ is a good opportunity for people to learn about Jesus Christ. Christian values are extremely lacking in the video game market. This game, however, is one of the first promising games to tread into the field of Christianity. Rev. Benek remains optimistic that this is a good step for Christian technology. Other Christians believe that this video game is heretical and blasphemous.
Heretical Video Game?
Many Christian reviewers are outraged by this game. To many, this game is mocking their religion and beliefs. Experts of the Christian religion remain mostly silent on this issue, but Christians everywhere vocal.
One of the issues people have with this game is the blasphemy of being placing yourselves into the shoes of God. It has long been known that pretending to be God is sinful as seen by the verse “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me, there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5, New International Version). The act of being God, even in a video game, is towing that line a little too much for many Christians.
Another problem is that many people feel that their religion is being diminished. One viewer commented on the game’s trailer that they were “not psyched by the gamification of my faith.” Christianity has been portrayed in all the other mediums like movies and literature. People don’t seem to like video games portraying their religion. With this in mind, the future of this video game seems uncertain.
The Future of this Video Games
Despite the controversy surrounding this video game, it is still being developed. Seemingly undaunted by all the jokes and anger, I am Jesus Christ will be released on Steam sometime near. There is one thing that can be said, however: all publicity is good publicity. The controversy will sell this game because of people’s curiosity and interest.
This game may upset some, but others believe that it’s a good step in the right direction. Once this game comes out, more may be said about it. All we can do, however, is watch and wait as I am Jesus Christ is developed.