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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Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
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Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakersimply oust people that do harass others.09/20/2014 - 11:34am
Sleaker@Conster - I can say the same thing if you think there's been more than a handful. Until there's an actual study on rates no one can claim to know how widespread the incidence of harassment is. Thus the best we can do is 'there might be an issue' and...09/20/2014 - 11:33am
ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
 

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