Pioneers of Christian Video Gaming Gather at Developer's Conference

( [email protected] ) Jul 02, 2004 07:50 PM EDT

Christian-themed video games, among other genres of Christian entertainment such as music, movies, and books, still remains as another frontier yet to be pioneered. The Christian gaming industry makes up such a small percentage of Christian entertainment, that the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association does not keep its sales records.

However, the field is growing as many companies start revenues in the gaming field. On July 30-31, the Christian gaming industry sees its 3rd annual Christian Game Developers Conference where around 100 attendees are expected. Christian gaming enterprises will gather at the conference to discuss the development of faith-based video games and to introduce them to the mainstream market.

The organizer of the conference, Tim Emmerich, noted that Christian game developers want to offer alternatives to faith-damaging material presented from mainstream games such as "Grand Theft Auto." Through the gaming industry, the Gospel will be introduced in a mind-engaging manner.

Without any track record to speak of, most retailers are reluctant to stock Christian video games. So, the Christian video game industry is hoping to jump-start interest by developing titles based on established properties from other mediums like the Left Behind books and "Veggie Tales" children's video series.

"There's a huge void and a tremendous opportunity for growth," said Troy Lyndon, co-founder of Left Behind Games Inc. The company’s first title, due in late 2005, is based on the plot of a book series centering on apocalypic themes.

Lyndon and other game developers hope upcoming Christian games can avoid the criticism commonly levied against the genre. Christian video game developers say their ultimate goal is to see their games on the shelves of mainstream retailers like Wal-Mart and Target.

"We just have to pray," said Tim Emmerich. "If God wants us to succeed, we'll succeed."