Introducing Vatican Wars, A Facebook Game For Catholics

June 22, 2011 -

SGR Games has been quietly testing a game called Vatican Wars (formerly codenamed Priestville) that challenges players to serve as Catholic Priests and performing duties that Priests perform. The social game for Facebook tests the intersection of religion, politics, and social issues by challenging players to take strong positions on issues important to the church such as capital punishment and abortion. The game launched last week as Vatican Wars but prior to its official launch developer SGR gave it a nine-month test under the moniker of Priestville.

Today the company announced the results of a survey of 461 of the 30,000 players that participated in the pilot program. The company claims that those players who identified themselves as "regular churchgoers" who played a few minutes a day for at least two weeks said that it increased their interest in attending Catholic Mass, daily readings, and an interest in the priesthood. We assume all of the respondents were male. The finding as provided by SGR can be found below:

The Impact of Playing the game on Practicing Catholics Who Attend Mass Less Than Once Per Week:

1. 30 percent of this group said that, since they started playing the game, they now attend Mass more often.

2. The percentage of this group who do Daily Readings at least once per week grew from 4 to 52.

The Impact of Playing the game on a Player’s Interest in Becoming a Priest:

1. 45 percent of young men (age 24 and younger and excluding Seminarians) said that playing the game made them more interested in becoming a Priest. 35 of these said, “Much More Interested.”

2. 23 percent of Seminarians surveyed said that playing the game made them more likely to actually become a Priest. 70 of these said, “Much More Likely.”

The Impact of Playing the game on a Player’s Understanding and Support of Someone Else’s Choice to Become a Priest:

1. 47 percent of young men (age 24 and younger and excluding Seminarians) said that they would be more understanding of a friend’s choice to become a Priest as a result of playing the game.

2. 54 percent of Seminarians surveyed said that playing the game could help their friends and families understand why they are considering the Priesthood.

“This data confirmed our belief that this is the most powerful and compelling tool we’ve ever seen for increasing Mass attendance, religious practice and interest in the Priesthood,” said Cheyenne Ehrlich, founder of SGR Games, LLC. “But we also had some problems. Players blackmailed and bullied each other to try to control the online Papacy. This required us to make changes to the game before we could roll it out on a larger scale."

The company stressed in its releases that it is not associated with Zynga, nor is it associated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Ultimately the game is seems to be about debating theology in a respectful and thoughtful way and non-Catholics are encouraged to join the game at apps.facebook.com/vaticanwars. It should be noted that in order to play the game you have to choose a calling - there is no option to play as another religion or as a non-believer. The differences in choices seem to be more about politics than religion.

More details on the study - including why the game was changed after the pilot program and what Clergy thought of the game - can be found here.


Comments

Re: Introducing Vatican Wars, A Facebook Game For Catholics

It doesn't bother me that this game revolves around a corporation (yes, not a religion, but a corporation) with very hypocritical social, ethical and political positions to the point that it condemns opposing positions to the point of outright damnation.

Nor does it bother me that it makes claims that it is a powerful tool for bringing christians back into the church while admitting that a substantial number of players played the political war game in order to "control" something that is non-existant, yet reveals the true nature of those "christian" players.

No...

... what bothers me most?

It's another goddamn facebook game. Click, Refresh, Go Back One Page, Send a Gift, Make some "friends", Spend some Money-- Never goddamn win.

Re: Introducing Vatican Wars, A Facebook Game For Catholics

Damnation? What history channel special were you watching? That first paragraph aside, yeah, I've got the similar issues with this as a facebook game with supposed philisophical and educational value. I'll be checking up on the exact gameplay. There might actually be some eductational value in this.

 

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Introducing Vatican Wars, A Facebook Game For Catholics

</ Joke about raping little boys and covering it up /> 

Okay, now that that's out of the way, bring on the constructive comments!

 
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Andrew EisenOh, there's also the Facebook page.05/27/2015 - 4:29pm
hidannikOkay :( Guess I'll just have to YouTube it when I've caught up on all the other podcasts.05/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI honestly don't know. The show is on my YouTube channel and we promote it here on the site every week.05/27/2015 - 4:11pm
hidannikIs there nothing a podcast app can key on?\05/27/2015 - 4:09pm
Andrew EisenYeah, we lost Libsyn quite some time ago. As such, no RSS or iTunes. We're working on finding a new (and cost effective) home but it's been really slow going.05/27/2015 - 4:07pm
hidannikThe last one on that feed was Feb 905/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikThe feed is at superpac.libsyn.com05/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikI ask because it hasn't shown up in my PocketCasts feed in a while. (I'm currently a month behind)05/27/2015 - 4:02pm
E. Zachary KnightAE, Loved your mom as the guest on your 30 Days of Netflix series. She is one interesting lady.05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
E. Zachary Knighthidannik, If you mean on iTunes, we are working to get it back up there soon. Otherwise, the show must go on. We record live every Saturday at 8pm Central05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew Eisenhidannik - The podcast will continue this weekend and every weekend after for the foreseeable future. What makes you ask?05/27/2015 - 3:29pm
Matthew WilsonI say no it isnt, but it depends on the reason for not selling it. were the pressured to not sell it. aka target au, or did they chose not to on their own aka gog with hatred.05/27/2015 - 3:28pm
hidannikIs there no more podcast?05/27/2015 - 3:26pm
E. Zachary KnightHere is another thought exercise. How would you feel if game developers traded in IP? http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JorgeMunoz/20150520/243471/Why_dont_developers_buysell_intellectual_property_much_like_other_assets.php05/27/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenSlightly Mad Studio comments on Wii U version of Project Cars: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/05/exclusive_slightly_mad_studio_head_ian_bell_sets_the_record_straight_on_project_cars_wii_u05/27/2015 - 11:54am
E. Zachary KnightGamasutra has a really interesting interview with the Hatred developers. http://gamasutra.com/blogs/AlbertPalka/20150526/244229/Real_talk_with_Destructive_Creations_Hatred_interview.php05/27/2015 - 10:11am
WonderkarpLove Gamerevolutions Summary of Splatoon "It's like Double Dare found love with a roll of sushi and made a beautiful, action-packed Wii U game."05/27/2015 - 9:41am
E. Zachary KnightExtra Credits promotes SJW PC crap by discussing Rust's decision to include race but not give players a choice. ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1zfdUTqBY05/27/2015 - 9:20am
ZippyDSMleeIt would be haliarous if soemone started complaining about it in some form or another.05/27/2015 - 8:58am
E. Zachary KnightMore SJW PC crap being shoved down the throats of game designers and gamers ;) http://gamasutra.com/view/news/244376/Bloodstaineds_female_lead_Miriam_reflects_the_games_audience.php05/27/2015 - 8:43am
 

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