September 2, 2009

Monk to Teach Morality Through Online Game

[I don't know the details of what the exact message of this game is, but from the description below it seems that it is meant to teach moralism rather than Orthodoxy. The ideology that doing good rewards and doing bad brings suffering does not correspond to reality or Orthodoxy. In fact, doing good more often brings suffering than doing bad, and suffering for the good is one thing we are called to do as Christians. What could be further misleading is that morality saves. The prophetic, apostolic and patristic message is not that humanity is divided between the moral and the immoral, or that humanity is divided between the good and the bad, or that humanity is divided between the virtuous and the wicked. The message of the of the Lord is that: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." There is no division; we are all immoral, bad and wicked. It's only a question of degree, or kind, or manifestation and the response we have to our condition. Whatever somebody's external degree of morality might be, we still all are condemned sinners headed to hell apart from Christ and His Church. It is the imitation of Christ and the Saints and the sanctification of the body and soul in Christ which saves. Therefore, if the game description below is accurate then it is my hope that it does not pass to be an Orthodox Christian game. But I will give it the benefit of the doubt till I find out more. - J.S.]

Monk-missionary Invents Online Game to Attract Youth to Churches

Moscow, Russia
September 1, 2009

Chancery of the Moscow Patriarchate received a proposal to create a computer program for studying Orthodoxy in form of a simulator game, the website has reported.

The project’s author Father Maxim is convinced the new online project is necessary, as it will help youth to learn more about the Church in exciting form of a computer game. According to the project, a user creates his personage, chooses his s ex, age and appearance. Then the personage develops from level to level as his secular life is based on commandments and he is rewarded if he behaves well and suffers hardships for his unrighteous actions.

A player can also choose to develop in a church sphere: women can become sisters of mercy, nuns or mothers superiors in nunneries, while men can be seminarians, priests and bishops.

“Anyway, young people spend their time in virtual world, and it’ll be better if they spiritually develop instead of “shooting and killing,” Fr. Maxim believes.