A new game MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) role playing strategy game is under development that allows players to assume roles of biblical characters, only this game is far from a What Would Jesus Do simulation. In “The Bible Online,” players assume the roles of biblical characters of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and play out more than a few of the scenes from the Bible that aren’t typically discussed in Sunday school.
According to online gaming news site Destructoid:
If you’ve ever read all the rape, genocide and deep-seated racism in The Bible and thought to yourself, “Man, that sounds like my kind of world,” then this is the game for you! The Bible Online allows players to “slip into the role of Abraham and his descendants and have the opportunity to reenact and witness the incidents of their times.”
The game is going to be split into chapters with The Heroes being the first released. The basic setup is that of an MMO strategy game, where players control their own tribe, build a city, and naturally wage war in the name of God. It won’t be a case of holding onto territory, however, as the ultimate goal is leading one’s band of merry savages into the promised land.
So we’re about to have an online role playing game that takes us through all of those Bible stories that no one talks about: Genesis 6:1-7 (angels having sex with humans), Genesis 22:1-17 (the akedah – command from God to sacrifice a child), Genesis 30:14-16 (Leah purchasing sex with Jacob from Rachel with mandrakes), Genesis 34 (rape of Dinah and the slaughter of Shechem and the city) Genesis 38 (spilling seed, Judah and Tamar), Numbers 31 (massacre of the Midianites and apportionment of the remaining women), Deuteronomy 7:1-5; 20:10-17 (various instructions for genocide), Joshua 7:2-26 (the stoning of Achan and his family/belongings), Joshua 10:16-27 (the execution of five foreign kings), Joshua 11:21-22 (the massacre at Anakim), Judges 1:8 (the massacre of Jerusalem), Judges 11:34-39 (Jephthah kills his virgin daughter), Judges 19:22-30 (gang rape and dismemberment), etc., etc.
(h.t. to Brick Testament for the illustrations.)
I’m not sure how I feel about this game. I am traditionally one to encourage students to read all of the Bible and not just those sanitized portions they find appealing. The Bible is full of sex an violence, oppression and injustice on all sides that often appear as commands from God. In that regard, it is good for people to come to terms with what is actually claimed in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. On the other hand, how much will this game overemphasize the sex and violence of the text and skew its significance in comparison to the good that the text is attempting to communicate (as I have done above)? Will the game developers build in a sense of morality or will the game be little more than Grand Theft Auto: Holy Land? We’ll see.
(ht: john lynch)