DvG: Conquering Giants is a new Virtual Reality game aimed at gamers of all ages, but especially kids. Because I am not a gamer myself, I asked my nephew, Max Bressler, a college sophomore in San Diego, and a gamer since kindergarten who has all the technology, to review DvG: the Game for me. It follows below. Personally, I think it is good for the Scriptures to enter into the gaming space, especially in this year that Pope Francis has dedicated to celebrating the Word of God. However, from Max’s review, DvG is a VR game, not an in-depth Bible lesson per se.
Jarom Sidwell, founder and CEO of Immersive History, LLC, developed DvG: Conquering Giants about one of the Bible’s most famous battles: David versus Goliath (1 Samuel, Chapter 17). Sidwell is a former Hollywood visual effects artist known for his work on blockbuster films, such as “The Avengers,” “Avatar,” “The Hobbit,” “The Adventures of TinTin,” “Man of Steel” and “Transformers,” Sidwell, a practicing Christian, recently shifted his focus to creating education-based experiences in virtual and augmented reality. You can read his impressive bio and those of his collaborators here DvG: the Game: press room.
Please see the Jarom Sidwell’s interview with The Catholic TV Network following my nephew’s review.
The game is available now on Oculus Rift S, Vive and Steam VR, and coming soon to Oculus Quest 2 and PlayStation VR.
REVIEW OF DvG: Conquering Giants by Max Bressler
“DvG: Conquering Giants is first and foremost a kids game which aims to tell the story of David and Goliath. As a 19 year-old who already knew the story going into the game, I can’t say that I got too much out of it. This isn’t to say there’s no place for it: I’m sure it’s a fantastic learning tool for kids that are unaware of the story of David and Goliath. The clear benefit of using virtual reality as a teaching method is the unprecedented level of engagement the player has, which is why an educational VR game is such an excellent premise. Unfortunately, this game acts more as a proof of concept than anything else.
“I’d argue the most important part of a game such as this would be the narrative. In this game’s case, the story is mostly told in short cutscenes between each level. These cutscenes are very brief and probably take less than eight minutes total, which feels appropriate considering the game’s overall length. While the storytelling probably isn’t as engaging as it could be, the swift pace makes it easy to sit through.
“As far as the gameplay goes, I’m sure the younger demographic would have some fun with it. The gameplay mostly consists of shooting enemies with a slingshot or sling while dodging projectiles. While it’s certainly not the most intricate or complex gameplay I’ve seen from a VR game, it’s serviceable and probably fun enough to keep kids playing through the two and a half hours it takes to beat the game. The game’s control scheme was pretty unique. To move, you pump your arms and move in the direction you’re facing in. While I appreciate that the developers were trying something new, I believe that the traditional joystick-based movement would have been far better. It’s worth noting, however, that some pretty necessary VR settings are downright missing, such as customizable turning controls.
“Overall, DvG: Conquering Giants accomplishes what it set out to do: retell the story of David and Goliath in VR. While I wouldn’t recommend this game to teens or adults, it could be an excellent way to teach your kids the story if you already own a VR headset. The greatest praise I can give this game is that the concept of an educational VR game is pretty genius, and even though this game doesn’t tell the story in a super engaging way it has a leg up on every other story-telling medium considering how engaging the virtual reality is.” MB
Here is an interview with Jarom Sidwell at The Catholic TV Network: