Now you can, via the weird new Facebook game, “Vatican Wars.” It’s “Farmville” for the churchy set.
Details, from the game’s press release:
Players are divided into two teams based on their opinions on topics including abortion, same sex marriage, the ordination of women and the use of birth control. Each team then works to ensure that a player from the other team is not elected Pope.
“We did extensive surveying of Catholics before launching the game and were surprised to find that 80% of Catholics surveyed supported creating a game where they could debate these topics,” said Cheyenne Ehrlich, Founder of SGR Games, LLC. “It will be interesting to see if that’s because they want to elect a liberal Pope or because they want to prove that Catholics are unified and conservative on these issues.”
In Vatican Wars, a player who is elected Pope can make gradual changes to the Church’s position on each topic. Gradual changes made by ten consecutive liberal Popes could, for example, reverse the Church’s position on same sex marriage. Popes are elected based on their own gameplay, their team’s gameplay and actual voting by all players. Gameplay within Vatican Wars is based on the Catholic liturgical calendar, daily readings, Saints of the day and debating theology.
Offensive? Just a bit. And I can’t escape the feeling that by splitting the faith into two sides — Templars and Crusaders — the game strives to effectively divide and polarize an already polarized Church. Or so it seems.
The curious can find a link to the game in the press release.