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Video: Designers challenged to make a video game bigger than Jesus

[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website]
January 11, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff

January 11, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Video

Courtesy of the GDC Vault is this free video of the Game Developers Conference 2011 Game Design Challenge session.

Developers John Romero (Doom, Quake) Jenova Chen (Journey, flOw), and Jason Rohrer (Passage, Sleep is Death) presented to a standing-room only crowd three starkly different approaches to designing games as religions.

Romero simulated Christianity by mixing social media with physical play and requiring the winning apostle to kill Romero himself. Chen gamified the library of TED talks, adding social features to allow people to leave better feedback on how they've been influenced by certain speakers. Rohrer created a "holy object" Minecraft mod that existed on a single USB stick that people could only play in and alter once before passing it on to the next player.

Rohrer's winning concept went on to stir a bit of a holy war, as written by Wired's Jason Fagone, including the USB stick recipient's three month pilgrimage in Hawaii and a frantic online auction for the game.

Session Name: The Game Design Challenge 2011: Bigger than Jesus

Speaker(s): Eric Zimmerman, Jenova Chen, John Romero, Jason Rohrer

Company Name(s): Independent, thatgamecompany, Loot Drop, Independent

Track / Format: Game Design

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

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