The Catholic Church Releases 'Pokémon Go' Style Game

You know, some people think that kids these days aren't into religion, and that the modern church needs to do more to attract hip young things to the flock by getting in touch with them on their terms.

What with the abject failure of Christian Rap, and the even more pronounced failure of Christian Rock, the Vatican has now decided to put out an app that they intend to be a Catholic version of Pokémon Go.

Yes, you heard that right.

via GIPHY

Given that nearly everyone stopped playing Pokémon Go about two years ago, perhaps this particular ship has sailed.

The Vatican's version of the popular game/app/waste of time and effort think that they can entice kids to reconnect with the history of the Vatican and the teachings of the Catholic church by getting them involved with the snappily titled 'Follow JC Go'.

Let's see how that pans out for them.

The same basic principles of Pokémon Go apply, except instead of hunting down the 150 Pokémon such as Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and - of course - Pikachu you're now hunting down the saints and some other biblical figures.

Instead of Psyduck you'll search for St Symeon the New Theologian. Instead of Gyrados you'll hunt down St Jacinta de Jesus Marto. Instead of Beedrill you'll be looking for...you get the idea.

Sounds like a whole heap of potentially blasphemous fun.

Is that a Charizard? Nah, just another St Ignatius of Antioch... Credit: PA
Is that a Charizard? Nah, just another St Ignatius of Antioch... Credit: PA

Once you 'catch 'em all' your gang of religious friends becomes what they're calling an 'evangelisation team' that will help you follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ together.

Exactly how is not clear, but extra points are awarded for going into churches when you pass them.

You must also look after your saints' nutrition, hydration, and 'prayer count' - whatever that is - by collecting objects, praying for the intercession of God, and such like.

It's kind of like having a religion themed Tamagotchi.

Credit: Follow JC Go!
Credit: Follow JC Go!

Unfortunately, it's only available in Italy and Spain just now, but if you're in one of those countries you can get it on either iOS or Android. If you're not - fear not! - the game will be coming out in English, and Portuguese, too.

The game has been developed by the Fundación Ramón Pané - an organisation within the church - in time for World Youth Day. They've spent around $500,000 on developing the game and it's taken two years and 32,000 hours in total to get it to where it is.

Unsurprisingly, Pope Francis is reported to be a fan of the game. According to Ricardo Grzona, from the foundation that developed 'Follow JC Go', at least.

Grzona told Crux Now: "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 evangelization,"

TECHNOVANGELISATION. Surely, this is the way forward.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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