What does it take to promote both interest and knowledge of the Bible in today’s young people? The BCC department Bible X is currently building a completely new gaming world based on the Bible in order to bring the Christian message to young people in an innovative way.
By Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by BCC Media
BCC Media has vision plans for substantial investment in content and projects geared towards young people in upcoming years. In 2020 it tasked a new department called Bible X with developing innovative ways to explore the message of the Bible.
Connection with current and future generations of Christians must be possible on the platforms they currently use. One such example is the rapidly growing world of gaming. Surveys from the USA show that 70% of American young people under the age of 18 play computer games. It is estimated that almost 40% of the world’s population will be gaming by 2023.
See presentation of the game here: Discover the events that changed the world forever!
Exciting ideas for Easter Youth Camp are where it all started
It started with the planned development of a 3D model of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, which could be used to engage and inspire young Bible readers in BCC at the Easter Youth Camp of 2020.
The Camp was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but in its wake, a new, ambitious project was launched: the creation of a complete game universe based on the Bible. In this world, the Christian message would be conveyed in a gripping historical setting using modern gaming technology.
Over the course of six hectic months, a complete concept was developed, and thousands of hours were spent building a three-dimensional replication of the entire city of Jerusalem in the year 33 AD. Much work remains before the final launch of the game, but the beta version of the game will be ready in early 2022.
Testing of the game will begin this coming winter
Arve Solli, who manages the BibleX department, explains that the team is excited to open the game for the first test group:
“Brunstad Ungdomsklubb (BUK) has said ‘yes thanks’ to help us with a test run. Using what we call a ‘closed beta’, BUK youth around the world will have access to try out the game for a whole year.”
Solli believes this will give the department a lot of valuable feedback they can then apply to improvements and adjustments of the concept before the final launch in 2023.
“We also believe that participation in this phase will be an exciting experience for the test users. The Beta version will be launched for BUK during this year’s New Year’s Camp, and access to a closed beta consisting of three chapters of the game will be given to them in February 2022.”
BibleX is also looking for other groups who want to test the Beta version and can give feedback on the project.
“Right now we have sent out a questionnaire to Christian youth and youth leaders in the USA,” says Solli.
BibleX has generated interest around the world on social media
Response to the project on social media has been overwhelming:
“Internationally, we have gotten many positive replies from other Christians via platforms like YouTube, Discord, Instagram and Facebook. In this way we’ve networked with enthusiastic gaming professionals and groups from the USA, Sweden and Singapore, among others. They are overwhelmingly positive and many wish to contribute to the development of BibleX.”
“For this reason we have just announced an audition for a music composer. We have received over 70 inquiries from around the world so far. Our goal is to reach as many young Christians in as many countries as possible, so we are thrilled and thankful for the enthusiasm we’ve met.”
Why are we doing this?
Building a computer game may sound extraordinary, but in reality there are several good reasons to do so. By using the opportunities offered by modern technology, we can reach many new people with the Bible’s liberating message.
Reliving some of the Bible’s most important events interactively can make it easier to understand and reflect on the gospel. Players will have tasks to solve, and experience life and people in Jesus’ time. They will hear explanations of Bible stories and hear from Jesus personally what He meant in various situations.
BCC believes that spreading the Christian message on new platforms will make it living and interesting for the next generation, and also make it possible for more people to hear the Gospel. Anyone and everyone interested in learning more about the Bible can participate in the world of BibleX: The final version will be launched in 2023.
Watch the video: young people from Canada and Norway testing the first demo of the game, spring 2021:
Parts of this article were originally published in Brunstad Christian Church’s annual report of 2020.