Evangelical Christianity: A Videogame Concept
The game starts with a cinematic of you being pulled out of the fiery flames of Hell by a plastic Ken doll. He has unrealistically straight teeth, an elaborate jeweled cross donning his neck, and a glimmering tract in his left hand. A beam of light shines upon him from Heaven, obscuring your sight.
After it’s over, you’re taken instantly to the character creation screen. Woohoo! There’s many options for eye, hair, and skin color but unfortunately…. gender options are in short supply. Your only choices? Cisgender male or cisgender female. By the way, if you make multiple toons across servers: You’ll notice that if they’re a woman and/or person of color, the base intelligence and resilience stats are higher but everything in the game is more difficult, expensive, and NPC’s aren’t as nice to you.
Now it’s time to choose a class for your character! Let’s do this. Classes include: Pastor Paladin, Children’s Director Druid, Coffee Serving Shaman, and Missionary Monk, among others. (Note: Women can’t be the Pastor Paladin class, and while the option is available for men of color, there’s a chance they might get suspiciously disconnected from the game upon selection.)
After you make your selection, it’s time to choose the denomination you specialize in. Options include: Southern Faptist, Assemblies of Dog, non-phenominational, Calvary Crapel, and many more. You’re also directed to choose your toon’s name from a list of pre-written names of Biblical figures. Once you hit “next,” you’re ready to begin your journey!
Another cut scene unfolds that shows your character confessing their sins to a random bearded white man on a mountain named Gawd. There’d be white angels with gold harps, dramatic lyric-less “altar call” music, and a palace that is suspiciously designed in the shape of a penis.
The cut scene ends. The screen loads, and you realize you’ve suddenly landed on a continent called Evangeliculta. A map opens in front of you and a game narrator explains it’s comprised of 4 questing regions that are designed based on the four elements: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air.
Air represents the Holy Spirit at salvation.
Water represents baptism.
Earth represents communion.
Fire represents the charismatic baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Got it? Good.
You’re now free to do as you please. Except…. you go to check your spell book and wait, what’s that? There’s no spells in there. You also notice your rank is “baby Christian,” you’re only allowed to interact with your own Evangeliculta faction, and if you get too close to someone of a different gender… you lose experience points! Wild. What the h*ck are you supposed to do now?
You start interacting with NPC’s to figure out what’s next. Eventually you find a tall, suited Pastor’s Paladin in skinny jeans who appears arrogantly in-the-know. He explains: As you journey through Evangeliculta, you progress through the Air Zone by training up your denomination’s “specialization” and reading spellbooks, including:
· “Give Everything To Caesar”
· “Fascism 4 Fundies”
· “Colorblindness is Totally Not Racist”
· “Abortion is the new Baal”
· “How To Be Offended By The Word Fuck And Not Systemic Oppression”
Once you’re finished following his instructions, CONGRATULATIONS! You completed the Air Zone. You’ve unlocked a new title: Soldier For The Lord. You are given the elusive Sword of the Spirit and can now interact with non-Evangelicultists. Depending on which denomination you chose as your “specialization,” from here you can move on to the next zone!
Of course, each Zone has a theme, special mobs, and a final boss. For instance, the Fire Zone’s background music is “Set A Fire” by Jesus Culture playing on repeat, which rapidly morphs to death metal when you battle the zone’s final boss: Satan.
The Earth Zone’s final boss is Jezebel. She wears rainbow booty shorts and a crop top with a planned parenthood pin. She’ll cloud your vision with her “exposed ankles” move, so don’t let her make you stumble!
The Water Zone’s final boss is a whale named Jonah — make sure to interrupt his “Devour” move! That’s not all, though. The second stage of the raid consists of him flooding the island with his blowhole. Pro-tip: As innocent onlookers are dramatically drowning all around you to the tune of Hillsong’s “Oceans,” you must abandon them all to make the ark and save yourself.
Aside from slaughtering demons, intersectional feminists, and hungry marine mammals, there’s many quests throughout Evangeliculta. Some examples include:
· Ignoring living children begging on the street in order to picket clinics for providing reproductive healthcare services
· Typing the pledge of allegiance in less than 20 seconds (make sure it includes “under God”!)
· Assigning binary genders to food
· Matching feel-good metaphors used in Veggietales with their violent Biblical references
· Inventing as many alternative swear words as possible
All of these activities can leave your character spent. If you’re low on health and out of potions: remember to visit a megachurch’s Healing Room in your nearest city for a full hit-point hand-laying.
That’s not all. In Evangeliculta, there’s also various ways you can power up your character and unlock access to additional content. For instance: If you invoke your “Sinner’s Prayer” move at least once every hour while the game is active, you’ll gain a stackable buff that boosts your Holiness stat. This stat benefits the genders differently: If you’re a cis male, it’ll draw Evangelicultists to you, compelling them to give you free items and titles. If you have a cis female toon? Be prepared: Pastor Paladin’s will flock to make you their Pastor’s Wife. If you accept their elaborate proposal, progressing through content will become slower as you are forced to complete tedious side quests related to Abeka homeschooling and women’s Bible study bake-offs.
You must be wondering at this point, though: Aside from questing and defeating enemies, how exactly do you unlock all regional content and gain the most reputation with the Evangelicultists?
If you know anything about evangelicalism at all, you guessed right: By convincing NPC’s from other factions to join yours.
But wait. There’s a catch. Little do you know, while you’re traveling and blissfully completing content throughout the world, other soldiers from your faction are stealthed behind bushes, meticulously watching your every move. If they see you pick liberal books off the ground, wear revealing armor (even if it gives better stats!), drink alcoholic health potions, or talk to people outside your faction with instantly coercing them to join yours: You lose reputation.
What happens when your reputation gets really low, you ask? The answer is not pretty. You see… the Evangelicultists will rapidly start turning on you. They’ll gank you at night. Throw millstones around your neck. They’ll even strip you of your Soldier title and replace it with another: Lukewarm, Backslider, then Apostate respectively.
Every NPC you’re near will see it and cast literal stones at you as you walk by, instead of lauding you for your recent conversions and demon-slaughtering triumphs. Their brow-beats and back-pats will be replaced with snickers and side-eyes. You might even walk by NPC’s who are passive-aggressively invoking your name whilst praying loudly on street corners.
That’s not all. Losing reputation with Evangeliculta also means you’ll have to pay out the wazoo for potions, armor, and weapon repairs in major cities. Your playing experience will become progressively difficult as different barriers are added to the game.
That sounds like it sucks, doesn’t it? I’m sure at this point you think the aim of the game *must* be to complete all four zones and become the Ultimate Believer then, right?
That’s what you’re supposed to think.
See, if you decide to disobey Evangeliculta’s rules by reading diverse scholarship, defying arbitrary questing instructions, and listening to non-Evangelicultists despite the various difficulties they add to the game: You’ll learn stronger spells, uncover the true history of the world, and unknowingly gain SECRET POINTS.
What are secret points for, you ask?
To win the game.
PLOT TWIST: The aim of the game is to fight your way out of Evangeliculta despite all explicit instructions, barriers, and odds stacked against you to reach freedom!
Once you’ve successfully gained 666 Secret Points, YOU WON!
CONGRATULATIONS! You unlocked the rest of the world map outside of the 4 tiny regions that you ignorantly thought comprised all of existence. You no longer have to fight anything anymore and the game transforms into an advanced version of The Sims.
Surprise! You are now allowed to wear, read, and drink whatever you want and become whoever you want to be. The final cinematic shows Gawd taking off the costume that people forced on Her and revealing that She’s actually a queer trans woman of color.
Revelation Song hums softly in the background: “Clothed in rainbows of living color, flashes of lighting, rolls of thunder…” Gawd slowly cracks a smile and opens Her bold, red, lipstick-stained mouth.
“It is finished,” She says.