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Detroit-Made Video Game Teaches About the Bible

Whose blood does Revelation say overcame Satan? Choose one: the prophets, the Woman, the saints. Or the lamb.

Or how about: What was the name of Rebekah's nurse who died in Bethel? Ruth, Deborah, Hagar or Leah (answers below).

These are a couple of more than 18,000 questions pulled from among the Bible's roughly 31,000 verses in a new Detroit-made video game.

"We think this game will completely revolutionize how people study and interact with the Bible," said Melvin Claxton, senior managing partner with Epic 4D, the company that developed "The Great Bible Race."

On Monday, he introduced the Progressive National Baptist Convention edition of the game to a couple of dozen people at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church on Detroit's west side. The game consists of Bible trivia and is playable on Mac or Windows computers; app versions for smartphones and tablets are expected in early 2016.

One to six players select avatars, and in the edition launched Monday, they include Detroit pastors Charles Adams and James Perkins, among others. The characters race against each other on a path, gaining points for correctly answering multiple-choice trivia questions. Customized versions are available to churches seeking unique avatars or questions. Using online updates, the pool of questions is expected to continue growing, Claxton said.

The main edition of the game was released in August.

Claxton said biblical scholars helped with the questions, transcending denominations to "create a Bible game so accurate and authentic that everyone could agree."

The questions come from verses in the King James translation, and there are three game modes. In the Bible study mode, the player can choose questions by books of the Bible.

"Sometimes we call it an interactive Bible, rather than a game," said Claxton, who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who worked at the Virgin Islands Daily News, the Chicago Tribune and the Detroit News before he made video games.

The Rev. Charles Christian Adams, whose father, Dr. Charles Gilchrist Adams, is an avatar, said Monday that it's a great way for people to learn the holy text.

"I think it's more than a game," he said.

Claxton said part of the inspiration for the game came from data showing that despite widespread ownership of Bibles, many people don't read the Bible regularly.

"It's a book that a lot of us find difficult to get into," he said, adding that he anticipates the video game will deepen people's connection with the Bible.

He said work is under way to release a Spanish version at 300 Walmarts in the Southwest U.S. by summer 2016, and they're working on versions to be released in Singapore and Brazil.

The game was five years in the making. Claxton's company is also working on biology, geography and math games.

"The Great Bible Race" is available for sale at greatbiblerace.com for $59.99.

The answers to the questions at the beginning of this story are: the lamb, and Deborah.

Contact Robert Allen: rallen@freepress.com or on Twitter @rallenMI ___

(c)2015 the Detroit Free Press

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This article was written by Robert Allen from Detroit Free Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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