7-3 | Playing with Religion in Digital Games

Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2014. Introduction, gameography, contributors, index. 301 pp. $30.00 cloth. ISBN: 9780253012531
Charlene P. E. Burns

Playing with Religion in Digital Games promises to explore digital gaming “as a field filled with potential for new insights into the place, presentation, and impact of religion within popular culture,” and makes the bold claim that games “reflect and shape contemporary religiosity” (p. 2). In this anthology, the essays are truly interdisciplinary: the authors hail from the worlds of journalism, game design, computer science, media studies, religious studies, and history. This wide range of disciplines creates a somewhat uneven collection of interest, most likely, to an academic audience. The essays make up three sections entitled “Explorations in Religiously Themed Games,” “Religion in Mainstream Games,” and “Gaming as Implicit Religion.” Of the three, the second is perhaps the most useful for its potential readers, but only the last section shows a clear awareness of the problems inherent in making claims about the meaning of religion in digital games.