Monday, 22 August 2011

Bible-based Game Gaining in Popularity on Facebook

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Move over Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Monster World. There’s a new kid on the interactive gaming block. The Journey of Moses was launched in early August on Facebook to join the hundreds of other online games that attract millions of participants on the social media site. The big difference is that this one is Bible-based and designed to introduce players to faith in God.

“Facebook games now have 300 million people who play them on a weekly basis, and yet there were no biblically based games on Facebook,” explained Brent Dusing, CEO of Hexify, the company that designed the game. “So we started building the ‘Journey of Moses’ as a way to build a fun, engaging, entertaining game, but also to have a great message about God’s love and God’s faithfulness.” Dusing said that he and Preston Tollinger, with whom he started Hexify in 2010, “were careful to adhere to the accounts in the Bible and the overarching spirit of the story, even vetting certain aspects with theological leaders.”

The new online game, which has already exploded in popularity since its launch, takes players through “the many twists and turns as they explore milestones in the life of Moses — from growing up in the king’s house as an Egyptian to his exile in the wilderness,” explained a press release from the company. “Then, after an encounter at the burning bush, Moses’ life is changed and he eventually leads the Israelites out of Pharaoh’s rule.”

Dusing explained to CNN that the new Facebook offering is a “map exploration game, a little bit like Zelda merged with the Moses story — that kind of gameplay where you’re exploring different areas and find different items and meet different people to propel the story.” CNN noted that the game’s map “expands exponentially as one gets further into the game. The player has to add friends to achieve certain things, thereby enabling Moses to pick up items otherwise locked to him in the game. The player must participate with friends as a collective to progress through certain parts of the story.”

As reported by the Christian Post: “A study by Lightspeed Research published in Sept. 2010 says that 53 percent of Facebook users have played a social media game. Of those surveyed, 19 percent of them said that they consider themselves to be ‘addicted’ to social gaming.”

Noted Dusing: “With web-based games played on social networks drawing nearly half a billion people worldwide, we felt it was time for a biblically based game that showcases one of the greatest adventures of all time.”

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