Dec 1, 2022 - Technology

A new video game lets users play as Jesus Christ

Video game screenshot of a man's hands over jars of water. Text prompts invite the player to press a button to turn the water into wine

I am Jesus Christ. Screenshot: SimulaM / Axios

Gamers can now turn virtual water to wine in the newly released playable prologue of the PC video game I Am Jesus Christ.

Why it matters: Movies, TVs shows, and songs about Jesus Christ have been around for a while. A very famous book dates back even further. But a game about Jesus is all but unheard of.

Details: I Am Jesus Christ is played in a first person perspective that puts players in Jesus’ sandals, mixing serious depictions of moments from the New Testament with those best described as video gamey.

  • In the free prologue released today, players can chat with Jesus’ mother Mary and approach two future apostles to encourage them to be “fishers of men.”
  • But players will also learn to repel fireballs that Satan hurls at them in the desert. They’ll marshal physics powers to create and move gold blocks. And they can’t perform the water-to-wine miracle at the wedding in Cana without first destroying several purple crystals in the region, claiming the land like it was a cleared zone in a Far Cry game.
  • The experience is novel, if technically rough and at times awkward to control. It’s also explicitly a free work-in-progress, with prompts to offer the developers feedback.

What they’re saying: A video game take on Jesus can give an audience more of a you-are-there feel, says I Am Jesus Christ’s lead developer, Poland-based Maksym Vysochanskiy.

  • “They virtually visit places where Jesus Christ walked,” he tells Axios. He noted that readers of the Bible or people who watch a movie about Jesus are taking a passive role; his players will take an active one.
  • In the game, virtual Jesus Christ has that most video game of elements: a health bar that depletes when he gets hit. Vysochanskiy says 1) It’s a game and “the main character should have that” and 2) “In my opinion Jesus Christ was born in a human flesh.”

What’s next: The full I Am Jesus Christ game is set to release as a still-in-development early access game by Easter 2023, Vysochanskiy says.

  • It is set to offer players an unlockable suite of powers for Jesus, including walking on water (30 seconds at a time) and tossing a dove into the air to guide the player to their next quest.
  • It will also include interactive versions of events such as The Last Supper.

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