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The Pop Theology of Videogames

Producing and Playing with Religion

160 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Young people in the West are more likely to encounter religion in videogames than in places of worship like churches, mosques or temples. Lars de Wildt interviews developers and players of games such as Assassin’s Creed to find out how and why the Pop Theology of Videogames is so appealing to modern audiences. Based on extensive fieldwork, this book argues that developers of videogames and their players engage in a ‘Pop Theology’ through which laymen reconsider traditional questions of religion by playing with them. Games allow us to play with religious questions and identities in the same way that children play at being a soldier, or choose to ‘play house.’ This requires a radical rethinking of religious questions as no longer just questions of belief or disbelief; but as truths to be tried on, compared, and discarded at will.
Author Bio
Lars de Wildt studies media and culture at KU Leuven’s Institute for Media Studies. He has been a visiting scholar at the universities of Tampere, Montréal, and Deakin (in Melbourne). He studies how media technologies and cultural consumption/production change each other, including how videogames changed religion in a post-secular age (and vice versa); and how online platforms changed conspiracy theory in a post-truth age (and vice versa). For more, see larsdewildt.eu.