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Citizens of Virtue

Today I stumbled across a website that’s just too damned funny: Citizens of Virtue. At first, it looks like your standard right-wing, evangelical Christian site, but you dig a little deeper and see that it’s actually a finely crafted satire. The add for Passionix—the drug for correcting rampant hormones in teenagers—should be enough of a tip-off for anyone.

This is, of course, part of a new ARG designed by a pack of geniuses I’m proud to call friends. I don’t know much more about the game than what’s on the site, but I can’t wait to find out.

Comments 20

  1. While evangelicals certainly lend themselves to satire, and I too look forward to seeing how this pans out, I have to admit that I am becoming bored with the “Gamers vs. Evangelicals” permanent meme. Let’s leave the culture wars where they belong…in the 80s.

    The only result I can predict from this event, other than some laughs, is a continuation of certain ill feelings toward gaming and a continuation of the alienation of the games that I enjoy playing by mainstream society.

    We have all made fun of the Chick tract “Dark Dungeons,” it’s patently ridiculous. But I find the rampant anti-religious sentiments among many in the gaming community tedious and as wrong minded as Jack Chick’s thoughts regarding gaming.

    Recently Jeff Grubb and you had a conversation on this blog regarding the McCain aide who made stupid snarky comments. It was right to criticize him for being an idiot, but I found some of the analysis to be deeply rooted in individual biases. “Gaming = The Devil = Obama Support = Devil Worship.” Really? How about D&D isn’t cool, like sitting in your mom’s basement (as Time Magazine used to say about bloggers) in your PJs. It was a stupid comment, but did not seem to me to be bringing out the old culture war canard about gamers. I think that was reading too much into it.

    The same goes for Jeff’s anti-intellectualism analysis. Certainly, there are some conservatives, and many Americans, who are anti-intellectual (a certain person who’s middle name starts with a W comes to mind), but most people don’t equate D&D with smart anymore. They just equate it with overweight, bearded, smelly, and awkward. Maybe smart on top of those, but those are the first images that come to mind.

    That said, I have found the CoV site amusing so far, I just worry that too many gamers are hung up on how 2nd edition removed their beloved devils and demons from the MM and that shapes some of their anger toward the religious.

    My goal, as always, is to increase the number of people who play the games I love and not to alienate anyone. I want Evangelicals playing D&D and Savage Worlds instead of Dragon Raid (http://www.dragonraid.net/home). Speaking of which…if Citizens of Virtue added a Dragon Raid parody, I would be completely won over. I own a copy of that game, and let me say it is asking for parody.

  2. While evangelicals certainly lend themselves to satire, and I too look forward to seeing how this pans out, I have to admit that I am becoming bored with the “Gamers vs. Evangelicals” permanent meme. Let’s leave the culture wars where they belong…in the 80s.

    The only result I can predict from this event, other than some laughs, is a continuation of certain ill feelings toward gaming and a continuation of the alienation of the games that I enjoy playing by mainstream society.

    We have all made fun of the Chick tract “Dark Dungeons,” it’s patently ridiculous. But I find the rampant anti-religious sentiments among many in the gaming community tedious and as wrong minded as Jack Chick’s thoughts regarding gaming.

    Recently Jeff Grubb and you had a conversation on this blog regarding the McCain aide who made stupid snarky comments. It was right to criticize him for being an idiot, but I found some of the analysis to be deeply rooted in individual biases. “Gaming = The Devil = Obama Support = Devil Worship.” Really? How about D&D isn’t cool, like sitting in your mom’s basement (as Time Magazine used to say about bloggers) in your PJs. It was a stupid comment, but did not seem to me to be bringing out the old culture war canard about gamers. I think that was reading too much into it.

    The same goes for Jeff’s anti-intellectualism analysis. Certainly, there are some conservatives, and many Americans, who are anti-intellectual (a certain person who’s middle name starts with a W comes to mind), but most people don’t equate D&D with smart anymore. They just equate it with overweight, bearded, smelly, and awkward. Maybe smart on top of those, but those are the first images that come to mind.

    That said, I have found the CoV site amusing so far, I just worry that too many gamers are hung up on how 2nd edition removed their beloved devils and demons from the MM and that shapes some of their anger toward the religious.

    My goal, as always, is to increase the number of people who play the games I love and not to alienate anyone. I want Evangelicals playing D&D and Savage Worlds instead of Dragon Raid (http://www.dragonraid.net/home). Speaking of which…if Citizens of Virtue added a Dragon Raid parody, I would be completely won over. I own a copy of that game, and let me say it is asking for parody.

  3. Thanks for the comment, Christian. I can see why you or others might see Citizens of Virtue as a swipe at organized religion, but as I believe we’ll see as the game unfolds, it’s not that broad of a brush. I’m told it’s specifically targeted at the most hypocritical forms of religion. Although it’s not been revealed as of yet, the group has the backing of a prominent member of the clergy in their part of the country, and I don’t think he’d get behind the project if it was designed to hurt him and his congregation as well.

    Jeff and I may have read too much into the McCain camp’s silly D&D remarks. You might also be showing your own biases with the images that your mind conjured up. They aren’t the first ones that came to me. Either way, I think it’s clear that those remarks did more to offend voters than win them over.

    I don’t know that the minds behind Citizens of Virtue wanted to do anything other than make some biting social commentary using the art form of their choice. I think it’s wonderful to see games of any kind used that way. It happens far too rarely in any art form these days, and it helps legitimize the idea that games can be art rather than (or as well as) mere commercial products.

    Thanks for that Dragon Raid link. I’d not heard of the game before, and it’s hilarious. I think it’s like the Jack Chick material in that it’s patently absurd to most folks—but there’s a segment of the population that might still swallow it whole.

    I hope I don’t come off as anti-religion here. I don’t really care how anyone spends their chosen sabbath. I just want people of all sorts to take the time to develop a healthy sense of skepticism and to learn to think for themselves, whether it’s about religion, politics, finances, or any other aspect of their lives.

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    Thanks for the comment, Christian. I can see why you or others might see Citizens of Virtue as a swipe at organized religion, but as I believe we’ll see as the game unfolds, it’s not that broad of a brush. I’m told it’s specifically targeted at the most hypocritical forms of religion. Although it’s not been revealed as of yet, the group has the backing of a prominent member of the clergy in their part of the country, and I don’t think he’d get behind the project if it was designed to hurt him and his congregation as well.

    Jeff and I may have read too much into the McCain camp’s silly D&D remarks. You might also be showing your own biases with the images that your mind conjured up. They aren’t the first ones that came to me. Either way, I think it’s clear that those remarks did more to offend voters than win them over.

    I don’t know that the minds behind Citizens of Virtue wanted to do anything other than make some biting social commentary using the art form of their choice. I think it’s wonderful to see games of any kind used that way. It happens far too rarely in any art form these days, and it helps legitimize the idea that games can be art rather than (or as well as) mere commercial products.

    Thanks for that Dragon Raid link. I’d not heard of the game before, and it’s hilarious. I think it’s like the Jack Chick material in that it’s patently absurd to most folks—but there’s a segment of the population that might still swallow it whole.

    I hope I don’t come off as anti-religion here. I don’t really care how anyone spends their chosen sabbath. I just want people of all sorts to take the time to develop a healthy sense of skepticism and to learn to think for themselves, whether it’s about religion, politics, finances, or any other aspect of their lives.

  5. Certainly, you and I are on the same page when it comes to the last paragraph you wrote. As for my own personal biases, I spent too much time in the Paizo forums reading the anti-4e writers among their fanbase. 😉

  6. Certainly, you and I are on the same page when it comes to the last paragraph you wrote. As for my own personal biases, I spent too much time in the Paizo forums reading the anti-4e writers among their fanbase. 😉

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  9. Those links got me to visit the Mars Hill website and check out their statement of faith. Looks pretty cool and instantly makes moot all earlier statements.

    Looking at Rob Bell’s, of Hero Games, page made me wonder if you were the only non-attorney employee/writer from that time period.

  10. Those links got me to visit the Mars Hill website and check out their statement of faith. Looks pretty cool and instantly makes moot all earlier statements.

    Looking at Rob Bell’s, of Hero Games, page made me wonder if you were the only non-attorney employee/writer from that time period.

  11. There were a few of us, but if you knew how many lawyers and computer programmers were involved with ICE, you might have a deeper understanding of how and why they wrote their rules they way they did. 🙂

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    There were a few of us, but if you knew how many lawyers and computer programmers were involved with ICE, you might have a deeper understanding of how and why they wrote their rules they way they did. 🙂

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