The Sacred and the digital

The Sacred & the Digital. Critical Depictions of Religions in Video Games, red., MDPI: Basel (2019), 978-3-03897-830-5. Free download.

Video game studies are a relative young but flourishing academic discipline. But within game studies, however, the perspective of religion and spirituality is rather neglected, both by game scholars and religion scholars. Video games have used religion as a source of inspiration since decades, while on very different levels and through different modes. It is, however, not necessarily true that game developers depict their in-game religions in a positive, confirming way, but ever so often games approach the topic critically and disavowingly, like for example Far Cry 5 and Bioshock Infinite. The developers do not operate in a cultural void, but are tapping into a larger cultural criticism on the religion phenomenon in general. The critical depictions of religion in video games by their developers is the focus of this volume.


  • Frank G. Bosman, The Sacred and the Digital. Critical Depictions of Religions in Digital Games
  • Connie Veugen, Stay Your Blade
  • Lars deWildt, Stef Aupers, Cindy Krassen and Iulia Coanda, ‘Things Greater than Thou’: Post-Apocalyptic Religion in Games
  • Javier Gil-Gimeno, Celso Sánchez-Capdequí and Josetxo Beriain, Play, Game, and Videogame: The Metamorphosis of Play
  • Jan Wysocki, Critique with Limits. The Construction of American Religion in BioShock: Infinite
  • Heidi Rautalahti, Disenchanting Faith. Religion and Authority in the Dishonored Universe
  • Mark J. P. Wolf, Contemplation, Subcreation, and Video Games
  • Pavel Nosachev, The Paranormal in Jane Jensen’s Gray Matter
  • Frank G. Bosman and Archibald L. H. M. van Wieringen, I Have Faith in Thee, Lord: Criticism of Religion and Child Abuse in the Video Game the Binding of Isaac
  • Tobias Knoll, Instant Karma. Moral Decision Making Systems in Digital Games
  • Jarell Paulissen, The Dark of the Covenant: Christian Imagery, Fundamentalism, and the Relationship between Science and Religion in the Halo Video Game Series