FACEBOOK FERVOR: “Journey of Jesus” Is Newest Interactive Adventure

Facebook users can now follow in the footsteps of Jesus, with help from a new on-line game. 

Journey of Jesus:  The Calling—the first-ever video game based on the life of Christ—launched on May 15, 2012.  The new video game, created by Lightside Games, follows last year’s highly successful Old Testament-themed adventure, Journey of Moses.” 

To play the game, Facebook users can simply type “Journey of Jesus: The Calling” into the search bar.  Registration is simple and free.  Players can choose from different paths, explore intricate and intriguing game spaces, search for items and artifacts, and overcome various obstacles.

The game opens with Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River.  Then, on-line gamers travel to Galilee to watch Jesus cleanse the temple and invite Simon and Andrew to follow him.  They’ll travel with the Master to Cana, where they’ll attend a wedding feast and witness Jesus’ first miracle.  The company plans to add new chapters and adventures each week, so that more experienced players will continue to find new opportunities for creative play, and for learning about the customs and traditions of the biblical era.   

Lightside Games CEO Brent Dusing is a self-described “game developer and evangelist.”  His company’s number one focus, he explained by phone, is “to continue to make the Jesus game into a great game.”

One wonders whether Brent Dusing’s friends and family might have predicted that he would embark on a career in social gaming.  As a child, he invented board games to play with his friends.  At an honor student at Yale, he majored in Economics. 

Dusing was especially influenced, he reported in a telephone interview, by the 2004 drama The Passion of the Christ, starring James Caviezel in the role of Jesus.  Although he had gone to church in his youth, Dusing—like so many others—was profoundly moved by the film, which he described as “a great film, with great acting, great cinematography, great music.”  The Passion helped Dusing to understand Jesus’ profound sacrifice, and it inspired him to try to create a video game to carry the gospel message to social media enthusiasts.

Dusing is proud of the game’s high-quality artwork, music and excitement.  He explained that the company’s threefold goal is to create games which
(1) are fun to play,
(2) utilize high quality graphics and music (the opening scene features a song by Enya), and
(3) are faithful to biblical truth.

Already, Dusing reports, early feedback from players has been enthusiastic.  With 300 million people playing games on Facebook each week, Lightside Games hopes to attract a wide audience of game enthusiasts for its biblically based Facebook games.   

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  • Sue Smith

    I found the game a refreshing alternative to other Facebook games, and the content cleverly avoids making statements that are likely to irk particular Christian denominations. It does have that significant weakness of many Facebook games of coercing the player to “invite their friends”. It never seems to occur to marketing types that if a player had a friend who might be interested in that, they would very likely be invited without encouragement from marketing!

    Unfortunately, from the AppData application it can be seen that the popularity of this game is already rapidly diminishing — although it wouldn’t be likely to disappear any time in the next months. I’m not privy as to why this would happen, but the chances are its the same rocks many other Facebooks games founder upon: a) too much need to ask friends for large amounts of “help”, b) application bugs, c) repetitive play with no interesting long-term goals. Most of this is driven by a desire to get a game to market “as soon as possible”. That is, sooner with lesser quality, rather than waiting an extra month or two for greater quality. Facebook is known for games that are just marginally worth the time and effort to play, so that’s what often gets produced, rather than the exceptionally high quality new games that are produced for PCs.

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  • http://JounrneyofJesus Betty Ann Ramirez

    i need more friends that play this game i love this game