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January 6, 2007

Bargain of the Day: Jewish adventure game

by Feòrag

The Shivah from Wadjet Eye Games is not your normal graphical adventure game.

A rabbi of a small, declining congregation on the Lower East Side is close to losing faith in God when he is informed that a somewhat disreputable congregant has died and left his small estate to the synagogue. Is this a blessing or a curse?

This narrative serves as the unlikely background plot of a recent video game, "The Shiva: A Rabbinical Adventure of Mourning and Mystery," the first to feature a rabbi as its superhero.

Unlike a certain fundie Christian game, The Shivah is a peaceful affair, where you progress through talking, not fighting.

To start, Stone attends the congregant's shiva, the traditional Jewish mourning ritual; and, like a Talmudic scholar, he begins to question the widow. To help the players along, the game provides a Yiddish dictionary for words like "shiksa." In this game, words replace weapons. What moves the rabbi forward in his quest is a Talmudic line of questioning rather than the more typical fighting that often propels video games.

Questioning is the rabbi's power, said Gilbert. Talmudic tradition is often one of questioning and analysis, and typically a rabbi answers questions with more questions.

In one scene, the protagonist is attacked by a mugger with a knife. But violence won't help the rabbi win; the only way to keep him at bay is by asking him questions.

A rabbi as superhero - the wacky premise of a hit video gameJerusalem Post, 4th January 2007.

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Posted in Religious Tat at 00:18. Last modified on May 31 2007 at 10:08.
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Comments

1: Posted by: A Voice of Sanity | September 9, 2008 3:08 AM

I like it!

Wax lyrical

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