Friday, October 7, 2011

Spiritual Warfare

This is a game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It looks pretty much like a Legend of Zelda knockoff. It was produced by the legendary Wisdom Tree production company, blowing ever new life into sucky video games, aimed at stimulating Christian kids in their faith or, more likely, offering a Christian alternative to the secular games that gave the parents a good feeling about what they bought for their children and gave the children in turn a poor video game experience. It's another moment where I think: Why? If anyone should be good at making video games, it should be Christians! Such a rich mythology from which to draw inspiration for a good game. They should have been able to make games that made kids amongst each other go "I know it's a Christian game and all, but Goddamn that shit is just too good!" And yet what do they come up with? Knockoff games based on already existing formulas in stead of innovative games that celebrate the rich cultural resources of Christendom. They had the holy grail and they decided not to use it! In a way I am thankful because as much as I appreciate good video games, I appreciate the blundering failures as well of course. My sympathy does go out to you if your parents thought somewhere in the 1980s that getting you a Wisdom Tree game was a good idea. I worry for your soul if today you still agree with them on that!

Might I also draw attention to what the front of that video game might lead you to expect and the crushing disappointment if with this image still upon you, you flick the "on" switch on your console and are greeted with the lameness shown above? Granted, that happened a lot with Nintendo games in those days, be they secular or religious, but still, this one, Spiritual Warfare. Hello, what a title! And with a warrior figure, sword heaved high, ready to mercilessly strike down the many evil spirits, demons, monsters and who knows even Satan himself as a final boss... and then you get this? Again, my Christian brothers and sisters who grew up playing this video game, my sympathy!

I cannot resist including a link to the review of this and some other Wisdom Tree games by an artist in his very own right, the Angry Video Game Nerd: The good man has a website as well, why not throw that one in too:

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