Many see the Bible as just an ancient text, with no relevance for daily life. Recent surveys have found that even most Christians aren’t spending time in the Word like they should.And what of the children? In a recent survey, the American Bible Study found that more than half of Christian adults wish their kids read the Bible more. Some 40-percent of them find it hard to teach children about the Bible these days—and 54-percent would use a tool to help their children understand the Bible.
Enter the allegorical videogame The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance. Created by Scarlet City Studios, this interactive experience draws young players into a fantastical world where they learn the Bible in the course of their adventure.
“We have taken the greatest story ever told—the story of the God of the Bible and his relationship with humanity—and built an allegorical world that is truly epic,” says Scarlet City CEO Carl Becker. “Our hope is that this brand-new expression of the biblical narrative will help them to see their own world—and their part in it—through new lenses, with greater hope and a richer sense of meaning.”
The Aetherlight retells the historical events of the Bible in a new narrative context—not unlike C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia or even the many VeggieTales retellings of classic Bible adventures. But retelling the Bible as an allegory isn’t a challenge to be taken lightly.
Scarlet City’s Tim Cleary, who wrote the story behind The Aetherlight, says it’s a huge task.“Not only do many of us have Bible college and church experience,” says the former youth minister, “but we also have a Theologian in Residence who is involved in much of our work from planning and pre-production, to writing, to the books we’re working on and our Bible.”
The Aetherlight Bible helps to reinforce the connection between the game and the Scriptures. Created by Scarlet City and Tyndale House, this one-of-a-kind resource invites readers to dig deeper into the biblical story. Tweens learn to connect the dots between the game’s characters and prominent figures and storylines of the Bible.
“For some of our players, it may be their first encounter with Scripture,” Cleary says. “For others, it could be just what they need to help them want to truly engage with the text.”
Blaine A. Smith, associate publisher at Tyndale House, says this new Bible will help parents engage with their children in an environment they understand. “Tyndale House grew out of the efforts of Dr. Kenneth Taylor as he worked to make God’s Word accessible to his children. For over 50 years, Tyndale has been focused on providing innovative ways for people to connect to God’s Word. This new partnership with Scarlet City Studios enables us to engage children in a game environment with the truth of Scripture.”
Given the crisis in Bible literacy, the game The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance and the companion resource The Aetherlight Bible could not have come
at a more important time.
“There is a battle for the
hearts and minds of young people,” says Roy Peterson, president and CEO of the American Bible Society. “That’s why I’m excited about The Aetherlight. Through this gaming experience, we have a mechanism to get young people to engage with Scripture.”
“Ultimately, we have a set story to tell,” Cleary says. “And it’s a retelling of the most important story you’re ever going to hear!”