Video Games in Church!

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Video Games in Church!

Since the dawn of religion, people have found a spiritual connection within nature, so it perhaps shouldn’t be that surprising this same connection is experienced by people who play the liltingly beautiful game Flower. The impressive part is that this game was recently used in a centuries-old church in the UK – the Exeter Cathedral.

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The cathedral

On Sunday evening, May 13th, the congregation gathered to play the first level of Flower during a church service.  The event’s coordinator, Andy Roberston said, “The plan is that it will be played collaboratively by the congregation while the game’s music will form the background for other elements of the service.”  Forbes complimented Thatgamecompany’s peaceful video games with writer Dave Thier stating:

There’s certainly something spiritual about the gentle back and forth and slowly welling music in Flower, and the idea of using an interactive experience to communicate something about our relationship with God is sure to bring a smile to the face of even the most jaded games advocate.

In the past, I attended contemporary church services that incorporate full garage bands to play religious music and church hymns but never before did I imagine all the implications behind the word “contemporary.”  To think the phrase “contemporary church service” would someday include video games during a church service is just incredible.  I was surprised when the California church I grew up with incorporated a video based upon Facebook for its Christmas Eve service, documenting the birth of Jesus through status updates between Mary and her friends.  That seemed plenty contemporary to me!

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Flower Screenshot

As more churches and religious institutions around the globe learn of this new development in church services, are we likely to see more churches playing Flower? Maybe it will even cause a religious games revolution.  Instead of focusing solely upon religious education in video games among Christian companies, perhaps they will expand to create Flower-esque experiences.  Just look at the difference between the renowned Flower in this YouTube video and this educational Facebook Noah’s Ark game.

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KitGuru says: Just like the Veggie Tales movies got kids excited about stories from the Bible, video games may be a way for churches to regain and retain teenage/young adult members.  What a crazy world we live in.

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