[Inspired by a very humorous Amazon review for the Book of Mormon, I decided to post my “game” review for the current version of Christianity]
The game of Christianity is quite old but it has some really compelling hooks to lure you in. It can become quite addictive, especially if you are exposed at a very young age. Most agree it’s particularly compelling when played in large groups. I participated in the game for over 3 decades but I gave it up a few years ago. I still have many family and friends who insist on playing despite the game’s many issues. I’ve heard Minecraft or Skyrim are both better.
For those who have never played: You start by rejecting your current real-life character in a very self-deprecating ritual of sorts. Tearful sobs and pleas for mercy to an imaginary sky ghost will help to validate the new character you’ll be forming. Bonus points are awarded if your old character is especially naughty or heinous. If you are a gifted story teller, you can quickly advance a few levels by telling older players the details of past naughty exploits. The old timers relish in that sort of thing. I’m not sure why.
Once you’ve created your new character, it can be really difficult to locate a clan that you’ll feel comfortable playing with. There are over 40,000 variations of clans so choosing one can be a daunting task. Unfortunately, that first mission is made even harder since many of the clans claim they alone are the one “True Clan” and joining any other group can mean permanent disqualification and exile from the game (at least according to some). A few players give up when they discover this complexity.
Like most games, there’s a master guide book but each clan interprets the rule book quite differently. Even though significant portions of the guide were written by a collection of unknown authors, tribal feuds erupt rather frequently over the master guide book. A number of clans have attempted to bring harmony to this chaos by releasing new and improved guide books which attempt to fix past errors. These new editions are written in a more modern vernacular but many of the older clans insist that only King Jim’s version is valid. This is really odd since Jim’s version has so many errors, but in spite of this, a lot of older players will ridicule anyone who claims that the modern guide books are better. Occasionally, players who have spent considerable time studying the game will try and expose the numerous contradictions and flaws contained in , but this sort of action can quickly get a player banned. Flame wars are frequent and quite hostile at times.
The game is open to different styles of play. Many prefer the lite version, or the “pay as you go” mode. By putting a few dollars into the game plate on a semi-regular basis, your character can remain viable, albeit your character’s life gauge will stay near death unless you take further action. On the other end of the scale, there are many deeply committed game players. These individuals sink enormous amounts of time and money into their roles. These guys often become teachers, or guides, as they prefer. A few even turn it into a full time gig but the pay can be dishearteningly low unless you become especially popular. Many of us know of a former full-time player named Bruce from Ohio who gave it his all for a long time. He now helps to caution those who take the game too seriously as he once did. There are also some full time giggers who earn astounding amounts of money by tricking other players into donating significant in-app funds to their game account by promising a large gold payout to these gullible souls in a later stage of the game. Many of us try to caution new gamers about this risk, but our warnings go unheeded.
The game is open to both male and female, however female players are often told to remain silent during clan meetings and assume a subservient character. A small minority of female players even wear dainty little white caps during game play. It’s quite an odd sight. The attire for gamers can really vary and its routinely based on the particular clan you hang with. Some insist on dressing up in very lavish robes for sacred game ceremonies. Others prefer casual clothing but a person can find themselves banned for wearing immodest attire. The game can also get especially hostile to those who like to play with the same sex. Despite that odd animosity, I used to play with a group that liked to wash the naked feet of other same-sex players. This would happen just before “the sacred initiation” of level 12 in the game.
As an older game, it has gone through a number of mutations and variations. A majority prefer to play on Sundays, but a small minority insist that only Saturday is the appropriate day to play, and anyone who disagrees will be banished into everlasting game-darkness. There are also ongoing arguments over appropriate drinks, music and movie viewing that characters can partake in.
Tensions frequently run high between those who still play the game vs. the former participants. It’s a very divisive sort of thing. Whenever someone who no longer plays says something even slightly derogatory about the game to current players, these individuals cry “hater!” and quickly dismiss the naysayers as never having been True Gamers. I myself played for nearly 32 years and I often spent over 5% of my gold on in-game purchases just to get anywhere. The promises outlined in the master guide book indicated a 10-fold return to faithful game players, but only if they endure to the end. I eventually realized the game was rigged by a bunch of old uneducated geezers who made it all up some 2000 years ago. I’ve met many other players who have quit. A few have gone on to play a different game but most (like me), became so disillusioned that we’ve given up any similar sort of game entirely. I must say, I am much happier now.
For anyone considering this game, please do some honest research before you jump in. Be leery of taking a current gamer’s word for it. They have quite the confirmation bias. So think carefully before committing your life and hard earned money.