Simvangelism

Catechumen is a computer game in the “first-person shooter” genre of Quake and Halo, but with a Christian flavor. As a new convert, the player’s mission is to navigate the catacombs of ancient Rome, past legions of demon-possessed soldiers, to rescue one’s catechist from prison. The player carries the Sword of the Spirit—which shoots balls of spiritual light at soldiers who, overwhelmed, kneel in prayer to the soundtrack of the Hallelujah chorus. At each new level the player acquires more-powerful swords—or even the Staff of Moses—to more quickly dispense the, er, gospel.

“We state up front that there’s no violence against human beings in our games,” said creator Ralph Bagley in an interview in Willamette Week Online. “These are all demons that get vaporized.” Bagley’s N’Lightning software company describes its corporate vision as based on Acts 26:16-18, a call to turn people “from the power of Satan unto God.” They also want the gaming world to know that “God is for them, not against them.”

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Sojourners Magazine June 2006
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