he video: Whether by accident or design, Tuesday saw the release of two sharply polarized video games: Diablo III, the third installment of the blockbuster devil-themed franchise, and Journey of Jesus: The Calling, which developer Lightside Games calls "the first-ever video game based on Jesus." Lightside's Christ-centric followup to its modestly popular Facebook game, Journey of Moses, promises to let Facebook users relive the Gospel stories in a historically accurate virtual Holy Land, watching Jesus heal the sick, for instance, while using real money to collect (and trade) millennia-old items in a Farmville-style adventure.
The reaction: There's certainly a built-in audience, says Tim Newcomb at TIME. "The biggest demographic among churchgoers are women over 30" and about half of the world's 300 million social gamers are women age 30 to 60. You do the math. Maybe, but "as a game, it's horrific," says Luke Plunkett at Kotaku. Despite its "veneer of religious study," this is just another "grinding Facebook adventure game." The emphasis isn't on learning, but on "buying crap with real money," as if Farmville's makers had shifted their focus to "religious Facebook scamming." Watch a trailer of the "holy curiosity" for a taste of gaming with Jesus:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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- Why Holy Thursday is so important to Christians
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