Early edition: We Rule competitor to launch on Easter

It’s a new month, April, so when I got the word on this new game I couldn’t wait until Monday to write about it. I wanted my readers to be the first to get the news. It turns out the We Rule has caught the attention of certain religious groups who have decided to fight back with a social network game for Christians: He Rules.

He Rules will officially release on Easter Sunday, but don’t expect rabbits’ dens or decorated eggs like those on the new Dragon’s nest in We Rule.

My sister Aimee had made me aware that We Rule was coming under fire in certain evangelical circles. Not all evangelicals mind you, just the ones who think Harry Potter books and movies are seducing kids to the dark side. I didn’t take it seriously at the time, but maybe I should have paid attention. From the very beginning We Rule featured wizards, witches on broomsticks, dragons and (worst of all) taverns where teenage players served beer to stumbling patrons wandering off with pots of ale. Then they added Greek gods and when they finally got around to adding a church, it wasn’t a Christian church, it was “a place of worship.”

The final straw was the discovery that We Rule would release a “dragon hatchery” in time for Easter. The dragon hatchery would feature‚Äînot the traditional easter eggs that Jesus hunted for as a child‚Äîbut dragon easter eggs. According to Pastor Bob Gladhand, founder of JCL():) game company, “It’s stepping over the line. It’s bringing evolution into the celebration of Easter.”

If you haven’t seen any publicity for the game announcement, do a search on “he+rules+game” to find it.

Although JCL():) hasn’t posted any screenshots or game videos yet, I was able to piece together a game description from different press releases.

He Rules is definitely a social network game. The game metaphor is a pilgrimage, not a kingdom, and players build religious shrines on their journey to meet Jesus at the cross (Level 40, although there are plans to add extra levels where players can take over an empire and even ascend to heaven). Instead of magic emporiums and wizard towers, players can erect mangers, add pieces of the river Jordan to baptize characters, and even erect a temple. Players also recruit disciples and perform miracles in order to gain the spirituality points they need to advance through the different levels.

Players can connect to other players using a pilgrimage map. As they follow other players’ routes they can leave blessings and request prayers (both of which earn additional spirituality points). According to JCL():) publicity, He Rules will offer young and adult gamers alike the ability to play online and stay on the straight and narrow.

Unlike We Rule, players will not buy magical “mojo” to help them level up more quickly than other players. The JCL():) site insists “players should not be able to buy themselves into God’s grace.” Players can, however, buy “manna” which will allow them to gain spiritual experience and support “future ministry and game development.” In addition, one-tenth of any coins players earn to finance their pilgrimage will be “tithed” back into the game.

JCL():) insists there is nothing commercial or cynical about pitting He Rules head to head with games like Farmville and We Rule. I emailed Gladhand and he insisted that He Rules is just as appropriate as dating sites like Christian Mingle.

My mother is excited about the new game. She’s already concerned that my nephews Steven and Nathan, who aren’t allowed to play We Rule but can play Trade Nations, are showing secular tendencies. But she’s even more negative about Harry Potter than my sister Aimee. She’s already on Aimee’s case to limit what the boys read to Christian books like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

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31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chezmah
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 09:47:45

    WOW !!!! Live and let live !!??!!
    well i, for one, love the dragons and fairies and witches and elves, and all the sweet little magic creatures of we rule !
    i am not evil or unspiritual or doomed to hell.
    i much prefer the light than the dark and would rather live in a beautiful world where fire and brimstone, fear and judgement do not cloud my visions !
    if children big or small can not dream of beauty without bounds, our beautiful creative minds become prisonners of the tyrany imposed by those who seek power over our souls.
    i do not want my joyful soul to wither and die so i dream of beauty and light, magic and joy, wisdom and freedom.

    Reply

    • Galendulac
      Apr 03, 2011 @ 16:43:23

      Organized religion claims a monopoly on all those things, and says you can’t have any of them until you die, and then only if you indulge completely in their own particular brand of self-hate. To have them while you are. alive is a mortal sin.

      Reply

  2. LocoCoyote
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 09:51:13

    ROFL……good one!

    Reply

  3. Judy Jameson
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 14:52:05

    I can only hope this is a spoof! I am a very conservative Christian ( at least I thought so) and if your description is anywhere near accurate this is a silly game that offends my sense of good taste and Biblical accuracy.
    Why have a religious game that plays fast and loose with with serious topics. At least Harry Potter and We Rule are acknowledged fiction like the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and Greek Mythology.
    I read and study the Bible daily and attend services at my “place of worship” every Sunday. I am a baptized believer in Jesus Christ as the son of God and yet I do not apologize for saying I play games and read fiction for diversion.

    I play games and read fiction for fun and diversion.

    Reply

    • Totalthinker
      Apr 03, 2011 @ 02:18:55

      So the question, I suppose, is WJPTG? As a Baptist Preacher’s Kid, I can say that any game (even a real one) will fail to meet someone’s test of scripture.

      Reply

  4. Ladyblue1
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 16:37:11

    Please say April Fool

    Reply

  5. Superknight98
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 20:40:00

    I’m not Christian, I’m Hindu but I still might, a very big might, get that game.

    Reply

  6. rob88249
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 22:45:10

    Cant anyone see the date of the posting?? What is done on the 1st of April hmmmm 🙂

    Reply

  7. Moontown
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 01:21:00

    I think we rule was really scared of this new game so today they sent a plague of frogs to my kingdom. Anyone else get them. 😉

    Reply

  8. dot
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 03:54:03

    I thought those frogs were there to do bug clean-up. 😉

    Reply

  9. slazzier
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 06:13:06

    yeah and aliens in we farm 🙂

    Reply

  10. Galendulac
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 07:11:30

    The place of worship looks more like a Baha’i temple than anything to me. They seem to be a pretty weird Christian-ish religion, with the notable exception that they have never tried to murder everyone in sight. Probably why the fundies don’t approve. Anyway, I’ve studied the true roots of Judeo-Christian religions enough that I will probably get the game and play it until the tolerable hypocrisy level outweighs the amusement value.

    Reply

  11. Superknight98
    Apr 03, 2011 @ 19:11:29

    Sorry for the off topic comment, but should I invest in sapphire groves or buildings?

    Reply

    • Totalthinker
      Apr 04, 2011 @ 21:38:37

      Since sapphire groves cost mojo, I’m a bigger fan of a combination of buildings and rubies. If you’re determined to spend mojo, go with the sapphires but you will eat up your mojo quickly.

      Reply

  12. QueenMaub
    Apr 03, 2011 @ 20:44:52

    Totalthinker – a couple days late for my post but good one. You did fool a few.

    Reply

  13. Ravenpuff
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 05:21:11

    OMG… Are you sure your sister and mine are not one in the same. I guess not cause your mother sounds too much like my brother. I will not go into a rant, but by my game name you can guess where my attitudes lie when it comes to Harry Potter books. Next time they go on a tear about religion, just point out that Abraham and Sarah were half siblings and Lots daughters got him drunk and slept with him. Also, eating shrimp is supposed to result in a death sentence. Enjoying Harry Potter books does not mean one embraces Satanism or witchcraft. Might as well say that Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are also seducing kids to the dark side, Alice in Wonderland promotes drug use, the Little Red Hen book is book that shows that selfish people won’t share to those less fortunate, and Green Eggs and Ham promotes homosexuality.

    Reply

  14. Galendulac
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 00:16:11

    All true! Childhood is the work of Satan and must be abolished!

    Reply

  15. Moontown
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 07:01:49

    Or it could just mean green eggs and ham, sorry I wear rose colored glasses and love it that way.

    Reply

  16. Superknight98
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 00:48:45

    Can you please post a link? I googled it but it’s not showing.

    Reply

  17. Moontown
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 03:42:57

    ??????? 🙂

    Reply

  18. sheoul
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 19:22:20

    Nice… there were some good laughs in there. However, the one pulled by yours truly fooled a lot more people (and upset a few, unfortunately):

    http://kevinkwalter.com/?p=444

    Reply

  19. slazzier
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 14:43:58

    april fools certainly got a few… good one Total Thinker 🙂

    Reply

  20. Moontown
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 06:43:55

    I have been redesigning my main kingdom. I had 215 ruby trees. when I stored them to move things around the game would only let me put 191 and locked me out and said I had reached my limit. Has something changed. Did I do it by stacking and adding them back? I see plenty of kingdoms with more than the 196 allowed rubies. Is there something I dont know about? If anyone knows a trick, please share.

    Reply

  21. Superknight98
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 11:42:56

    Ohhh….. it’s April Fools.

    Reply

  22. Trackback: When Social Games Go Too Far « Empty Kool-Aid Cup

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