Pokemon Go-Inspired Catholic Game Launches (VIDEO)

Pope Pokemon

For years, religion has condemned video games. Bloggers with terrible web design skills condemned games as the work of Satan. That hasn’t stopped any gamers from picking up the sticks. In some cases, it may have even encouraged more playtime. Pokemon Go didn’t receive the sin shaming that other games did, but some still found the evil within. The Fundación Ramón Pané, however, came up with a radical idea. What if the Catholic Church embraced video games instead of telling kids they were full of sin?

The Fundación Ramón Pané created a new AR app inspired by Pokemon Go entitled Follow JC Go! Instead of catching adorable creatures with a variety of powers, players meet Biblical heroes. Instead of trapping them in Pokeballs players answer religious questions to recruit the icons to their e-team. (Short for evangelical team, obviously.) You also collect food, water, and spirituality to keep them strong. Hopefully the developers had the foresight to use manna, fish and loaves, or milk and honey and not just generic food.

The game’s spiritual encouragement doesn’t stop at collecting saints and prophets. Messages prompt players to pray when they pass hospitals and churches and donate to charities through the app. No word yet on whether churches serve as centers a la Pokemon Go, but I’d be against it. Catholics tend to discourage anything but steadfast attention during mass.

According to Fundación Ramón Pané, the most recognizable Catholic in the world believes in Follow JC Go! Yes, Pope Francis has apparently played the religious AR game and found it very enjoyable. “You know, Francis is not a very technological person,” explained executive director Ricardo Grzona. “but he was in awe, he understood the idea, what we were trying to do: combine technology with evangelization.”

The app certainly shows off the level of commitment famous throughout the gaming world. The game cost around $500,000 and took over 32,000 hours of research and development. That might be about a week’s work for Rockstar, but that’s quite a bit for an evangelical indie. They created the app leading up to World Youth Day 2019, which takes place in Panama this January.

Whether or not you are interested in the title, you have to applaud the dedication to their cause. Maybe a successful app could spark a new mindset for religions everywhere, or at least some respectful tolerance.

Follow JC Go! is available for smart phones now at the perfect price of free. However, the game is currently only available in Spanish. English and Portuguese versions should launch soon.

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Drew Weissman218 Posts

Drew is a freelance writer for DFTG. He's the former Managing Editor of Haogamers and has been published in the Chicago Tribune and The Paragon Journal. He also edited the novel Three Brightnesses and Artist Journey: Rachta Lin (2016 and 2017 editions).

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