Gaming For God

Gaming For God

Is There Hope For Christian Video Games?

Left Behind the video game.

"Convert or die!"

So there is this thing called the Christian Game Developer’s Conference that exists in Oregon and, when I first heard about it, I rolled my eyes and pictured keynote speeches about how to create games where the main character gets to level up for correctly saying the sinner’s prayer. At the very least it would probably involve discussions on how to sell more games like the above-pictured Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a real-time strategy game where one converts the heathens to fight on your side or, barring the failure of evangelization, blows ’em all away instead (to be fair, you’re ‘penalized’ for this). Gaming blog Kotaku has a well-written article about this year’s conference, which is their 10th, and after reading it I have hope again for the Christian video game.


The first encouraging note is that attendees place the ‘Christian’ emphasis on ‘Game Developers’ and not ‘Game,’ a subtle but important distinction.

They’re building iPhone and iPad games that don’t quote so much as “Jesus wept,” or even mention Him at all. They work at BioWare, on Star Wars: The Old Republic. They go to the standard GDC in San Francisco.

As a Christian artist myself, that’s a sentiment I can get behind. Too often Christian art – literature, music, film, and games – thinks that its reason for existence should be to proselytize and not to enlighten, challenge, or inspire. Case in point, there are Christian filmmakers who insist that if your movie isn’t trying to actively win people to Christ (by including a straight-from-scripture presentation of the gospel and showing characters who convert) then it’s not really a Christian film.


“I really get annoyed when I see preachy games,” said Kelly Lawer, 20, of Portland, attending the conference as a gaming enthusiast and an aspiring professional. The mainstream’s aversion to an overtly religious game “isn’t an issue because of hostility toward my religion,” she said. “It’s an issue because it’s boring.”

Lawer decried “Bible-tract gaming” that stereotyped characters (especially atheist antagonists) and all but hand-held players through what few moral choices they really presented.

If there are Christian game developers who feel this way and if they have a yearly conference where they can get together, encourage one another, and spur one another on to create meaningful games (that just might be ‘Christian’) then there’s hope yet for the Christian video game.

Definitely check out the full article if you have the time.

Christian Game Developers Want to Leave Bad Games Behind

Comments read comments(3)
post a comment

Pingback: christian families network » Blog Archive » Is There Hope For Christian Video Games? – Gaming For God

Evan Derrick

posted July 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Very cool! I will definitely take a look into that!

report abuse

God at play

posted July 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Glad to hear that you are encouraged, Evan! It was an awesome conference.

If you’re interested in meaningful games, you should consider participating in an upcoming game jam, the format of which is explained here:

A few of us are still trying to find a physical location, but the date will be the weekend of August 12th-14th in Iowa and on the Internet. You should join us!

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

God Help Us All - Tommy Wiseau is Going to Review Video Games
If you aren't familiar with Tommy Wiseau and enjoy hilariously bad films, stop right now and go find his amazingly poor film The Room.  You won't regret it, even though it is the worst thing you will ever see.  Yes, it's that ...

posted 4:34:21pm Sep. 21, 2011 | read full post »

You Will Need the Internet to be Blessed by the Goddess in Dragon Quest X
Dragon Quest X, the newest sequel in the long-running RPG series, is going to be an online game.  Unlike it's blockbuster older brother IX, which could be played online or single player, X will be all all online.  In fact, only a few hours are ...

posted 12:35:34pm Sep. 06, 2011 | read full post »

Fallout Version of Monopoly ALMOST Makes Me Want to Play Monopoly
Y'all know I don't really care for Monopoly. But I can't resist whenever board games and video games intersect, like in this custom Fallout themed Monopoly game that Deviant Art user PinkAxolotl made for her boyfriend (she's a keeper, dude!). ...

posted 5:10:47pm Aug. 30, 2011 | read full post »

Top 10 Gamestop Facebook Quotes on Stealing Deus Ex Codes
Gamestop recently decided to open up every new copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, remove a coupon to play the game for free using PC streaming service OnLive, and then sell the game to you as if it were brand new. They then offered up a trite, ...

posted 6:21:31pm Aug. 24, 2011 | read full post »

"Makin' Satan Look Good" Game Company of the Week - Gamestop
UPDATE: We now have the Top 10 Facebook responses to Gamestop's coupon stealing. Gamestop regularly makes Satan look good. Just walking into one of their stores to be assaulted by the aggressive staff, intent on shoving magazines and ...

posted 5:47:01pm Aug. 24, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.