Jesus and Plastic Guitars
Since most of America is debating the virtue or vice of McCain's vice-presidental pick, I suggest we delve into the realm of religious popular culture for a change of tune. Digital Praise has created a video game aptly titled Guitar Praise, a Christian version of Guitar Hero (though not associated with the brand). Now, folks who are offended by secular rock music can rock out, in a wholesome way, to songs by Relient K, dc talk, and Caedmons Call among others. One can groove with a plastic guitar and praise at the same time. Digital Praise wants to combine interactive media with effective worship.
This game is not unique considering there have been other Christian video games as well as Christian guilds in secular games, like World of Warcraft. But, it showcases a desire for Christian media that avoids the pitfalls of various non-Christian media, similar to the development of GodTube (see my previous post). What might be unique is that this game could be successful where other Christian games have failed to gain ground. Guitar Hero is a huge success because it fulfills the dreams of all who wanted to be rock stars by allowing one to be a star in your own living room. Guitar Praise will likely build upon this success with more spiritual aspirations, of course. Not surprisingly, Christian bloggers, churches, and ministries are excited about the game for kids. The gaming community, however, is not too thrilled, and various bloggers make easy fun of some of the game's religious aspects. Wired notes, "By tilting your guitars toward heaven you'll be able to send each other "surprises.' Hallejujah." Whether or not the game is scorned, I am betting it will be bought and played by those who want their gaming to match their Christian values.