Ever since I came up with the idea of making some Bible-based computer games a little under four and a half years ago, I’ve been using the phrase “Bible-teaching Computer Games” to refer to my endeavours. On my cute little Moo business cards and my Twitter profile I even refer to myself as “the Bible-teaching computer games guy”. But why that particular phrase?

The Negatives

One purpose of using the phrase was to deliberately disassociate my game from other more obvious labels like “Christian computer games” or simply “Bible games“. The history of Christian computer games is a pretty sorry story, and the very phrase conjures up so many bad associations for people that I didn’t want to be painted with the same brush. My game is not a game about morality or something designed merely to impart facts about the Bible. If it were then I’d have no interest in pursuing such a project – I think it would bore me to tears just trying to write the thing, let along playing it! The phrase “Bible-teaching computer games” is not something I’ve come across elsewhere, so I hoped it would mark mine out as being a bit different and new (not to mention the fact that it’s great for SEO!)

The Positives

On the flip side, I wanted to communicate something positive about what my project is seeking to achieve: I’m unashamed about the fact that I do want to teach the Bible, just not in a boring classroom style way. Bible teaching isn’t Bible teaching unless it engages the heart and grabs our attention: good Bible teaching moves and inspires and challenges and humbles. There’s nothing boring about that!

Where It Fails

The sad reality is that I’m not sure the phrase Bible-teaching Computer Games actually achieves what it sets out to do. As this forum thread demonstrates, people just hear two immediately off-putting words: “BIBLE” and “TEACHING” and they picture the very worst examples of what I’m trying to avoid – cheesy Christian entertainment combined with every gamer’s arch-nemesis: the dreaded EDUTAINMENT!! They groan immediately at the very thought of it.

Without a good video clip showing what I DO mean by the phrase, it’s very hard to counter such attitudes. I face a serious marketing battle, and so I need YOUR help in coming up with a better phrase. How would you go about marketing the idea of a Monkey Island-style point & click adventure game set in the midst of an Old Testament narrative, that aims to show the player truths about God and how they cash out in the real world in an engaging and enjoyable manner? Or do I stick with what I’ve got and just prioritise making a kick-ass demo video? Why not Twitter me your thoughts or drop me an email?

If you’re interested in my Expository Coding endeavours then please sign up for my Bible-teaching computer games mailing list!


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