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The Digital Watchmakers: Playing with the Sacred in Video Games

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Stephen Covell


Comparative Religion

Presentation Date


Document Type



With video games establishing itself as a multi-billion dollar industry, academia as a whole has been slowly looking at the medium as an object of study. The field of religious studies has also begun to take notice of it. At face value, this is a great a way to observe concepts of religiosity in a fairly new medium. In spite of this, the same questions are being asked. The first is how are the narrative of games depicting religious motifs? Secondly, what can we learn through the social interactions of people within a digital space about religion? Finally, how are religious groups interacting with the medium through play and/or creation? Although these are great questions for the medium at hand, it is not addressing the one unique aspect of video games. This is the fact that they are interactive. Thus I intend to critique how the field thus far seems to view the medium, and further prove that the following questions needs to be addressed. How are game mechanics and systems representing religion? What is the experience of the player interacting with those systems. Finally, what does this analysis say about the creators of games and those that play them.