06 December 2005
Preetom Bhattacharya: The Washington Post’s Tech Gift Guide 2005 features “The Bible Game,” the first major Christian videogame for the Playstation 2 and Xbox. John Gaudiosi, who wrote the review, does not judge the game for its content and acknowledges the game’s target audience — Christian families — and focuses on the aspects of the game that Christians would appreciate or disapprove of. This is a far cry from the game review by IGN Entertainment, an affiliate of Fox and considered the leading Internet media and services provider focused on the videogame market. This review, by Juan Castro, ridicules the game not only for its content, which Castro calls “hokey,” but also for the game’s concept and its “lack of biblical depth.” Castro’s critique and justification of “hokey” comes from the fact that the game’s content puts players in biblically inspired situations, such as throwing rocks at a Philistine army or running through a parted Red Sea, without any mention of the faith required to overcome “impossible odds,” as the Bible would teach. Granted, as a critic, Castro’s job is to judge, but the target audience of the game will be looking to edify their children with biblical knowledge in as many ways as possible, whether it be through interactive media or other means. Rather than stating that Christian families will find the game “not Bible-y enough,” couldn’t Castro have gone the route Gaudiosi did by refraining from judgment, focusing solely on the game’s playing options and the fact that this was a “first effort on consoles, [offering] just enough interactive entertainment to convert new players to the gaming space”? In doing so, both reporters would be reporting the game’s content and would allow families to make their own call as to whether enough Bible instruction and trivia was included in the game.