Video Games as Religious Education Curriculum

Thesis: Video games hold promise for situating players within a religious education curriculum that sponsors playful engagement with the ethical and the transcendent.

* At its best, video game curriculum integrates both narrative (explicit) and procedural (implicit) educational strategies.

* However, some evidence suggests that religious video game designers fail to understand either the full curricular potential of the video game medium or the implicit curricular significance of conventional video game procedures.

* As a case in point, this study considers the curricular incongruities of the religiously themed video games Left Behind: Eternal Forces (2006) and Catechumen (1999).

* In contrast, the historic Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (1985) introduces a well-integrated narrative and procedural strategy that might better support a religious education curriculum. The value of the Ultima IV strategy is clearly illustrated in the simplicity of its design.

* This study relies upon a literature-based method that includes video game theory, curriculum theory, and religious education.


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