Beverly B. Media and Communications

Meet the Christian Video-Game Makers

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By Richard Clark

Given the common image of video games—violent, trivial diversions—the idea of creating one about a personal tragedy may seem strange. But Green and Larson are contributing to a growing genre known as “empathy games.” Players don’t attain goals or overcome obstacles as much as empathize with characters on a significant life journey. This genre has allowed Christians to make inroads in an industry traditionally indifferent—if not hostile—to faith.

In an early demo of the video game That Dragon, Cancer, a certain moment struck a nerve for one user. “We had a player who got to the point where she had to press pray,” said codeveloper Josh Larson. She said, “I can’t keep playing. I put myself in the player’s shoes, and I wouldn’t do that if it were me.”

Larson and Ryan Green are Christians developing That Dragon, Cancer, a game that aims to convey Green’s experience raising his son, Joel, who died of cancer last year at age 5. Where a writer might convey that experience with words, Green and Larson are doing so in a video game. Click to Read More


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