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Screen shot of the Bible Online game
Virtual Genesis, anyone?

Posted on 01 September 2010, 4:02

If you had to choose any book of the Bible to turn into a game in the style of World of Warcraft, the book of Genesis would be a strong contender, despite stiff competition from the blood-soaked book of Judges and the warlike books of Samuel. The Bible’s first book is a natural for conversion into a game, with its heroic characters, feuding families, epic journeys, fire and brimstone.

So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that a new multiplayer game, The Bible Online, is about to open with the pre-10 commandments world of Genesis as its chapter one, titled ‘The Heroes’. The TechEye site commented today that the game is ‘unlikely to attract the wrath of the Bible Belt, in fact we think they are going to force kids to play it.’

The Bible Online, produced by new German games publisher FiAA, is a MMORTS (massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game) in which many thousands of players can play and interact simultaneously. The game features the world and story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, complete with ziggurats, camels, sling-firing soldiers, bearded patriarchs and quotes from the Good Book, and can be played through your browser.

FiAA describe the gameplay thus: ‘As the leader of their tribe, players have to construct their villages, manage recources and the budget. They will have to decide between diplomacy and warfare. However, players do not stay in one place. They will go on a quest to the Promised Land. Leading Abram’s tribe from Ur to Haran and finally to Canaan, players and their heroes will face many challenges before reaching their goal.’

The illustrations I’ve seen on the website look a bit Sunday School (and the symbol for Priests is a bishop’s mitre complete with a cross), but this could be interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing which Christian group will be first to establish a virtual church inside the game and then produce the theology to justify Christian worship BC.

AiFF are running two other role-playing games: Kalos War, launched in August, and Operation 7, launched last year – the company says it has hundreds of thousands of players. The beta launch of the Bible Online is on 6 September.

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