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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MattsworknameAndrew: didn't alexander get most of her articel from like another study or some such, i thought I saw a video about it08/04/2015 - 1:18am
Andrew EisenDepends on which "original targets" you mean. Sarkeesian? Absolutely. Quinn and Grayson? Absolutely. Alexander? Not a lie but her opinion piece certainly wasn't an example of an ethics violation.08/04/2015 - 1:17am
MattsworknameZippie: best of luck, I'd never have teh patience to write a full book so long as I have to work full time08/04/2015 - 1:14am
ZippyDSMleeNot story,word block of details, story,ect08/04/2015 - 1:14am
ZippyDSMleeMy main book proejct is about 40K words and maybe 30% or so complete , I started to edit it for dialog formatting and other simple things and found some fo the exposition to be to long I guess. I prefer story,details,story.08/04/2015 - 1:14am
MattsworknameIP: what do you have that shows the charges against kotkau , ploygon, et all were lies, given that almost ALL of them had to change there ethics polices in resposne to gamegate?08/04/2015 - 1:13am
IronPatriotSo what was Gamergate created to be about? In your opinion, Andrew.08/04/2015 - 1:12am
IronPatriotTherefore, Gamergate was NOT created to be about "ethics" and "ethics" itself is a lie. Right?08/04/2015 - 1:09am
IronPatriotAndrew, that is hardly my point. Not only is Gamergate's ethics charge against Sarkeesian a lie, but ethics charges against ALL its original targets were lies. Right?08/04/2015 - 1:09am
ZippyDSMleenormal publishers anyway. Witht hat said my main book project has a narrator less native style, a type of exposition. I dunno if I am goign to change it or not dose not seem to flow as well as the one I finished.08/04/2015 - 1:06am
ZippyDSMleeMattsworkname: I still do not grasp grammar and proper literature level grammar is beyond me, not to mention its a questionable game of tag with publishers so I will just self publish, since my writing style is simpsltic it dose not fit into the norms of08/04/2015 - 1:05am
IronPatriotCongrats, Zippy08/04/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI believe if Chris was actually interested in arguing the subject matter, he would have looked at the more fully formed argument linked to by Sarkeesian in the same series of Tweets he's focusing on rather than the tweets themselves.08/04/2015 - 1:02am
MattsworknameZippie:: Got a publisher yet? or you doing the "online publishing thing"08/04/2015 - 12:59am
MattsworknameAndrew: Yep, though thankfully its not as common as it was when GG started. hopefully as time goes on, it'll just fade away entriely08/04/2015 - 12:58am
ZippyDSMleeGot one of my "books" (such as it is) finished, 17k words, here is the first chapter. http://zippydsmlee.tumblr.com/post/123483609450/chronicles-of-the-lord-of-power-lost-and08/04/2015 - 12:56am
Andrew EisenPeople decided to hate her before she said anything and to this day are desperately search for something, anything to justify that decision.08/04/2015 - 12:56am
MattsworknameExactly andrw anita had teh ire of some people in the movment and as a result she got dragged into the mess . Not fair, not pleasent, but thats all there to it. Moving on08/04/2015 - 12:55am
Andrew EisenHow did she piss off a large group? By announcing the intention to produce a series of videos examining the representation of females in video games if enough people were interested in the project to donate $6k. That horrible monster!08/04/2015 - 12:54am
Mattsworknamethe whole thing exploded. The ethics targerts were actually stuff like polygon, kotaku, Gamesutra, Leagh alexander, Etc etc. Anita was just an extra name they could throw on the pile08/04/2015 - 12:52am
 

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