There have been Christian video games for nearly as long as there have been video games, with devout parents desperately trying to keep the devil at bay by feeding their kids a steady diet of Bible Adventures, Dance Praise, and dozens of other off-brand, Bible-friendly Mario wannabes. And yet, we’re not sure we’ve ever seen anything quite like I Am Jesus Christ, a new game that made its way on to digital distribution platform Steam this week, accompanied by a “Coming Soon” message, and one of the strangest video game trailers we’ve ever seen.
After all, even extremely religious games rarely put players in the sandals of the Nazarene himself, on account of, well, the blasphemy. But I Am Jesus Christ appears to just go for it, featuring scenes of you and your big white hands curing the blind, calming storms, and making fish appear where fish were not—all courteous of a playable JC himself. It’s aggressively ridiculous, to the point that our online troll sensors were in full force after just a couple of seconds of exposure to the footage.
But even if it’s a joke, it’s a joke that’s managed to make its way on to Steam—admittedly, not the highest bar to clear, but still a process that weeds out things that are actual frauds—and thus one with at least some actual intent apparently behind it. Developer SimulaM is an unknown entity—with this as their first game, and the majority of their Steam comments simply reassuring critics that Jesus’ skin color doesn’t matter, because the game is played from a first-person perspective anyway. But listed publisher PlayWay S.A. is an actual entity with plenty of titles (including Thief Simulator and House Flipper) to its name, and they’re presumably signed off on this marketing push.
Our current working theory is that none of the material in the trailer is actual in-game footage—it’s too glossy, and its focus on “big” moments suggests that it was something that was mocked up as a proof-of-concept for an actual game (Okay: The fish awkwardly spawning from the bucket might be real.) As with so much on the internet, though, it’s impossible to accurately gauge what level of irony we’re operating at; the presentation is all “sincere but inept,” but also, this is supposedly a video game where you literally play as Jesus Christ on the cross and battle against big red demons possessing people, so at some point we’ve got to just throw up our hands, and let god sort it out. (Provided he has enough energy left in his power bar, at least.)