Finding Jesus: Catholic spin on Pokémon Go game released

A new spin on the location-based augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go has been released by a Catholic evangelical group.

Its creators say the goal is to teach players of all ages about the Catholic faith.

“Follow JC Go” was developed by Florida-based Fundación Ramón Pané for World Youth Day 2019, which will take place in Panama in January.

So how does it work?

As with Pokemon Go, the game uses the player’s smartphone camera to take in their surroundings, then superimposes digital characters.

Players progress through the game by answering religious quiz questions when they “meet” a saint.

This may involve attributing a quote from the Bible, for instance.

As an example, Moses might ask the player, “Was it I who said: ‘My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?'”

If the player answers correctly, the character will join their e-team (or Evangelisation Team).

Elements of prayer are also included in the game: players must eat, drink and pray to level-up their characters and contribute to their in-game health. The game also encourages players to go into church whenever they pass one.

Although the Vatican isn’t directly connected to the game, Pope Francis is reportedly a fan.

“You know, Francis is not a very technological person, but he was in awe, he understood the idea, what we were trying to do: combine technology with evangelisation,” says Ricardo Grzona, executive director of Fundación Ramón Pané.

Although the new game was launched in Spanish last week, Italian, English and Portuguese versions are expected in the coming weeks.


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