QUAERITUR: Holy Mass videogame for the Wii

From a reader:

Father, did you see this: http://masswepray.com/ ? A game for Nintendo Wii simulating Holy Mass. At first I thought it’s a hoax, but "gameplay movies" look quite real. Someone put a lot of effort into it. Maybe some of WDTPRS readers can shed some light on this matter. I also wonder what you, as a priest, think about such games. Personally I’m feeling a bit uneasy.


I don’t know what to say.

An initial reaction would be….


I don’t know.

Okay, if forced to say something I would have to make two observations and a question.

First, perhaps this could be a tool for instruction.

Second, whatever we do concerning Holy Mass should bring us to an encounter with mystery.  I am not sure this will do that.

That said, is Master Chief one of the ministers?  Is he, perhaps, an usher somewhere?  Can we take prayer books from our "allies", or throw sticky grenades if the priest says something stupid?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. chironomo says:

    Will there be controller adaptors shaped like a Chalice and Ciborium? Seriously though, if they actually do this… I BET that the music accompanying will be chant….

  2. Jack Hughes says:

    The master chief is one of the servers :)

  3. Konichiwa says:

    Fr. Z, this was linked in one of your recent posts. I was thinking that it’s just a joke. Isn’t it?

  4. Alfred says:

    It’s gotta be a joke, Father. The ad is clearly homemade, based on the lighting, sound, video quality etc.

    In addition, the graphics on the game itself are absurdly poor. Any company that actually made a game like this for the wii, and put the energy into making special controllers, would have to make sure that it didn’t look like “futuristic” 3d rendering from 1996.

    Unless someone has made a really, really bad game.

    Taking it as a joke, and not as some poor company’s terrible idea, it’s pretty funny.

    On the huge, huge off-chance the game is real, or if anyone ever does make a “Mass game”, would it be any different than the Mass playsets kids can get now?

    Oh, and who cares about Master Chief— the important question is can we play as one of the old-school italian plumbers?

  5. paladin says:

    Yeah, I think it’s a parody/joke. Otherwise, I’d have something to say about having the game allow lay kids to wield aspergilla during the Sacred Liurgy… :)

  6. cnaphan says:

    I think it’s a pretty cool idea, especially if it used the Wii Fit board, which could monitor your posture, giving you extra marks if you genuflect with the correct knee, bow at the proper times, etc… Follow five rubrics in a row and you get a score multiplier. It could be awesome. But I think it’s a joke.

    To paraphrase Luther, better to think of church when playing video games than to think of video games when in church!

  7. Tradster says:

    Oh, I don’t know. The NO is perfectly suitable for a shoot-em-up video game. Think of the possibilities. First, destroy the veiled women who randomly appear in the pews. Once you’ve cleared the church of those disgusting traditionalists, the presider comes out as a clown who releases balloons in the church. Pop enough balloons and the EMHCs and altar girls break into wiccan-style liturgical dance. Finally, Bp Trautman comes to the pulpit to speak. Whenever his speech bubble displays words like “ineffable” you blast away all those stoopid words to win the game!

  8. medievalist says:

    Sales Clerk: “Can I help you, sir?”

    Customer: “Yes. Does the Holy Mass Wii game come in the Extraordinary Form?”

    Sales Clerk (smiles): “Yes, sir, it does. And now, thanks to Summorum Pontificum, no special background check or parental permission is needed to purchase it!”

  9. I think it’s supposed to be a parody

  10. Choirmaster says:

    medievalist: …And now, thanks to Summorum Pontificum, no special background check or parental permission is needed to purchase it!

    HA! No background check. No parental permission.

    You know, in some states its easier to buy a gun than it is to find a TLM!

    Seriously, though, this has to be a parody or hoax. The promotional video screams Saturday Night Live commercial!

    And how many Catholics say grace while holding hands and sitting down?

  11. smeej says:

    I want to know why it’s only blond and brunette white folks in the pews.

    Oh wait…throw in some blue hairs and you have my parish…

  12. jlong says:

    If this game is real, my concerns would be that it encourages women who think they can become priests, and female servers.

  13. smeej says:

    Also, has anyone noticed if the date on the “pre-order” box changes? Right now, it says 11/20. If it says 11/21 tomorrow, we’ll know something’s up.

  14. ejcmartin says:

    I went to purchase it for my seven year-old son, but it is rated “M” for mature due to its strong religious content. Instead I bought him “Call of Duty”, much more family friend don’t you know.

  15. Tom A. says:

    I could use one of those blaster things to put an end once and for all to the many liturgical abuses I see every Sunday.

    …keep up the funny comments. I am cracking up reading some of these!

  16. Mrs. O says:

    it has to be a joke because of the ip address and email address connected with it (this was exposed on a game website that does reviews but they said “Potential hoax” because it is supposed to be released tomorrow)
    That said…what gives with excluding the EF form?
    I mean..come on…maybe Fr Z can help with that…
    And if they really want to be correct…we would start in the first pew and work our way BACK because we all know that is the real catholic section..

  17. Mrs. O says:

    Not released tomorrow, but pre ordering…my mistake..

  18. I’ve seen several comments that this might be a viral video that is being used to promote the game Dante’s Inferno. It’s definitely possible, as the game is scheduled to be released in the next couple of months. Either that, or someone is having a good laugh at us Catholics spreading this video throughout Catholic blogs and social networking.

  19. Robert says:

    It does seem to have a shallow understanding about the Mass. It seems like it might be a Protestant parody of Catholic teachings (crosses, not crucifixes; a focus on the externals (bells and smells); no priest at altar). But then again, it could be produced by sincere Catholics who haven’t received a proper catechesis.

    On the other hand, it does seem that these guys have gone all out to publicize this. If it’s a hoax, they’ve really put a lot of investment in publicizing the thing.

  20. Trevor says:

    Ha! Could you imagine Fr. Master Chief? I’m sure he gives riveting sermons on the Covenant and the Flood…

    Maybe his Gregorian Chant is good too…

  21. lacrossecath says:

    LOL, Father you are going to get me in trouble if I keep cracking up at work!

  22. Definitely a joke, probably by a Protestant.

    1 – Wrong hands used for crossing oneself and done the wrong way. I don’t see how any Catholic could get this wrong.

    2 – Single candle, on altar, no real altarcloth? I mean, it looks like some unity candle centerpiece at a wedding.

    3 – Seems to be unaware of the existence of daily Mass.

    4 – Misses every and all really obvious joke that Catholics make about Mass or devotional practices.

    5 – Two lecterns? Not since the Eighties, sad to say.

    6 – “Lighting Prayer Candles”? “Taking Collection”? “Holy Procession”? Yeah, that’s a Catholic way to phrase it. Yeah. Sure.

    7 – If a Catholic was making jokes about the Rosary, there’d be more than two decades worth of beads on that sucker, and the ‘Cross Controller’ would be a crucifix. When Catholics blaspheme, they do it good and hard.

    8 – _Three_ crosses in the sanctuary, 2 crosses in the processional, servers swinging thuribles, and no crucifix at all? Sheesh. Definitely Protestants.

  23. Dr. Eric says:

    This is a blasphemous joke. The website says that it is supposed to be released at Easter 2010.

  24. The gamer site shacknews.com took a look and found out that the site was only registered on November 3rd of this year. A real game company would have registered potential game names a long time back.

  25. The Cobbler says:

    What languages does it come in? It should have at least four: Japanese, English, Latin and… oh, never mind.

  26. tzard says:

    Well, you could throw out the game and put a kneeler next to everyone’s bed.

  27. 9. I forgot the “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” soundtrack. Yup, must be about Lutherans.

  28. cgdouglas says:

    It’s a stunt to promote Dante’s Inferno, click the preorder now link and it will accuse you of heresy and offers a view to an exclusive trailer.

  29. caterham says:

    Why are Mary and Paul holding road flares? And what have they done with the priest?!

  30. Tom A. says:

    They appear to be dressed like your average Catholic.

  31. MichaelJ says:

    Not a spoof or joke, apparently, but a marketing ploy:


    Company Mocks Catholicism to Sell Video Game
    By Matthew Philbin
    November 20, 2009

    As if we needed more proof that Christians are the only group left in America that it’s safe to make fun of. A popular YouTube video purports to be an ad for a Wii-like game system called “Mass: We Pray,” which will be available at Easter 2010. In reality, the anti-religious video is a commercial for a new video game.

    In it, viewers see a family at home as a saccharine-voiced narrator reminiscent of the one from the old “Mr. Bill” skit on “Saturday Night Live,” says, “A family shouldn’t have to wait until Sunday to worship the Lord. Now you can go to church every day without leaving your home.”

    The family’s two children are then shown pantomiming the movements of priests and congregants during mass, using “the wireless cross controller,” a large white plastic cross with a rosary bead strap. “Every twist of the hand and nuance of a blessing is recreated onscreen,” says the narrator. The point, he explains, is to collect “grace points,” and move a number of pews toward the altar. “Then trade in your Grace points to unlock the Holy Mysteries. Add the kneeler accessory, and get off the couch and into the action.” Players can download the “seven sacraments and holy rituals expansion pack.”

    Visitors to the “Mass: We Pray” Web site are encouraged to click the “Pre-order” button as of Nov. 20. That’s when they realize the video and site have been a marketing ploy for an actual game from EA called “Dante’s Inferno.” They can either watch the trailer for the run-of-the-mill violent game based on the 14th Century poem, or they can “Damn thy Fellow Sinners to Hell on Facebook with the Go To Hell Application.”

    EA is Electronic Arts Inc., “a leading global interactive entertainment software company.” According to the company’s Web site, in fiscal 2009 it had “31 titles that sold more than one million copies, and three titles that each sold more than five million copies including “FIFA 09,” “Madden NFL 09,” and “Need for Speed Undercover.”

    So EA mocks the Catholic rites and sacraments in order to sell a hell-themed video game. Perhaps next year the company will use a spoof ad for an interactive prayer rug or “Jihadi Jump” to sell a “Satanic Verses” game. Don’t hold your breath.

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