Creator of Bible-based Facebook game lauds internet evangelism

.- The internet and social media provide countless opportunities to reach people with God's message, says the creative force behind the new Bible-based Facebook game “The Journey of Moses.”

“There are so many people out in the world who are looking for this kind of content that is positive and shares God’s message,” said Brent Dusing, founder and CEO of the Mountain View, Calif.-based Lightside Games.

“There are a lot of people who know there is a God, they just don’t know how, or haven’t taken the time, to connect with him,” he told CNA on April 9.

“If you have a heart for evangelism, and you want to use social media, then you can go use the power of being able to spread that to millions and millions of people.”

This kind of work, Dusing underscored, must be “quality, and engaging, and authentic” and produced “in a way that draws people in and gets people to think about the core of the message and life’s big questions.”

He sees “The Journey of Moses,” launched in August of 2011, as one such work that tells the story of the Bible and spreads “God’s message in a way that is fun and engaging.”

The game follows the life of Moses beginning with his time in the court of the Pharaoh. Players collect items and trade them with their Facebook friends to progress through Moses’ story.

“We get not only into the biblical authenticity of the story, but also use it as a way to have people connect with the real human, emotional elements that these people really went through,” Dusing said.

The game plot is based on the biblical account of Moses’ life, from his youth through his discovery of his origins, his return to Egypt and his leading the Hebrew exodus out of Egypt.

The game depicts Moses meeting his wife Zipporah and includes an interactive wedding scene. One intense series of events from Moses’ return to Egypt is particularly popular with gamers.

“One of the things that our players really love is playing the plagues,” Dusing explained. “You get to turn the water into blood, you get to have the frogs appear. All of the plagues come down.”

Though every player plays the role of Moses, a user’s Facebook friends can help players with supplies and completing tasks in the game.

Dusing noted that Facebook games are increasing in popularity around the world and that 300 million people play them every week.

“For many, this may be the only time they encounter God’s word. So we want to deliver it in a way that’s authentic to God’s message,” he said.

Over 217,000 people have “liked” the Moses game on Facebook.

Dusing said he took inspiration from the 2004 Mel Gibson movie “The Passion of the Christ,” which impressed him both spiritually and from a business standpoint.

“One of the things that movie did well was it was high quality. The story was fantastic, the cinematography was great, the acting was great. You emote with these characters even though they speak Aramaic,” he said.

“The execution is so good, I believe that if you do the same things in games, not only could you attract a lot of people to play the games, but you could provide a way for people to experience the Bible and God’s message maybe in a way they haven’t been exposed to.”

Lightside Games, he said, takes pride in building products that are “high quality and fun for people to play.”

“People have time on the internet where they want to have fun. We want people to have fun and also experience stories that affirm their values,” he explained. “We’re building things so that those who love God and love Jesus can be affirmed.”

The company is developing another game based on the Bible that will be released soon. Dusing suggested it will be “a big surprise.”

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July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

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Mt 13:44-46


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