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PlayStation in the Cathedral

14/05/2012 Thinking Faithful Gamer Article
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PlayStation in the Cathedral Article

PlayStation in the Cathedral

Further reading:
Videogame Theatre
TEDx talk

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From Greenbelt to Theatre to TEDx to a Cathedral. Videogames can be found in the most unexpected places. When they are it's fascinating to see the enthusiasm they garner from both gamers and non-gamers.

One thing leads to another. My Greenbelt talk led to me thinking about unusual ways to review videogames and my Videogame Theatre show, this in turn was the perfect example for my Sustainable Perspectives on Videogames TEDx talk. This has been the ideal seed to take videogames into unexpected places, firstly Exeter Cathedral for their Holy Ground worship service.

"Andy Robertson will be facilitating an interactive video game throughout our worship where together we will enter a virtual creation and bring our own touch of transformation to it."

The service will make use of the PlayStation 3 game, Flower. The plan is that it will be played collaboratively by the congregation while the gameís music will form the background for other elements of the service. The controller will be passed around while other parts of the worship continue, and then brought to a conclusion as the first level of the game is completed.

I was inspired to choose Flower for the Cathedral service after experiencing a public performance of it at the GameCity festival in 2009. There, the game was performed by one person in a old shopping center, but for me it was an undeniably spiritual experience. Iím really looking forward to discovering how the experience fits, contributes to and changes the Cathedral service.

The whole idea took shape after clergy from the Cathedral attended TEDxExeter and heard my TED talk about meaning and videogames. From there the idea of using the game in a service simply seemed like a good idea.

Although at first this may sound like an odd thing to do, a videogame is actually an excellent fit for this sort of expression of faith. Not only is it inclusive, in that everyone can participate, but it also visits themes of creation, nature and our response to the world. The proof will be in the pudding this Sunday (13th May at 7pm). I will be to report back after the event.

Press Coverage of the Event

Written by Andy Robertson

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Andy Robertson writes the Faithful Gamer column.

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