A video game trailer was released over the weekend for a video game called “I Am Jesus Christ”.
I hope this is just a clumsy attempt at trying to ignite a market for faith-based video games. I think this has been tried in the past with properties such as Left Behind (which happened to allow players to play the part of the Antichrist in the game) or various Bible trivia games.
I really don’t like that they’ve reduced the miracles of Jesus to visible magic tricks with glowing hands. Even worse, there is some kind of power meter that shows a decrease in His power when performing a miracle. While Jesus noted that he felt power leaving him as the woman with the bleeding issue touched the hem of his robe and was healed, He gave no indication that He had a finite reserve of power to heal with (or that it would need to be recharged over time).
And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”—Mark 5:30 (ESV)
Even worse, the title of the game suggests a Biblical connotation that is reserved for Jesus alone. Christ plainly declared His identity as God (I AM) in human form to the Jews, who wanted to stone Him for blasphemy.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”—John 8:58 (ESV)
To play a game where Jesus is reduced to a character that you direct around in light of a verse like that seems like the real blasphemy. At the very least, it demonstrates an ignorance of who Jesus really is.
I love simulation games where you have the power to build something, create a city or an amusement park or a zoo or whatever. However, to play a game where you are taking the place of Jesus, directing Him around, kicking Him off His rightful throne to be a pretend Jesus… it’s all too much for me. We have enough trouble in our own lives desiring to supplant Jesus as it is.
There’s probably a time and a place for portraying Jesus in a video game medium, just not having direct control over Jesus in that medium.