Anyone who thinks video games are just that — games — needs to take a far longer look.
For spiritually, they can be “serious as a heart attack,” as the old saying goes.
More on that in a moment.
But first, the news: a new “game” called Holy Purge Exorcists, described by a gaming site as “a popular choice for horror game enthusiasts since its release.
“The game was developed and published by Celeritas Games in the year 2022. The gameplay involves players taking on the role of priests who are tasked with exorcising demons in various scenarios. Recently, the game launched a new map which adds to the excitement and challenges offered by the game.”
It goes on:
“The latest addition to the Holy Purge Exorcists game is a brand new map called Bible Camp. In this map, players and their friends will embark on a harrowing journey as they face relentless hordes of demonic creatures that are out to get them. Players will have to face off against the relentless terror of a Flying Demon, which adds an entirely new level of fear and danger to the game.”
Especially there is concern among exorcists — perhaps alarm might be a better word — about a game called Diablo 4.
“It’s no surprise that a game dedicated to slaying hordes of demons like Diablo 4 has its fair share of disturbing content,” says GameRant. “As players unravel the true extent of Lilith’s corruption of Sanctuary in Diablo 4, it becomes clear that the game is even darker than its predecessors in both art style as well as narrative. The best examples of its dark nature can be found in the side quests players will come across throughout Diablo 4‘s map, with some of the most disturbing optional content coming from the chain of exorcism side quests found in Kyovashad.”
“Lilith” is a major demon, infamous since ancient times — the most notorious female entity in history.
Yet (also in the news): Kentucky Fried Chicken is joining forces with this game to promote sales.
Nothing to play around with. (Prayer need.)
“Partnering with video game giant Activision-Blizzard for the release of their upcoming title ‘Diablo IV,’ KFC is laying low about the campaign featuring the demon Lilith,” reports Charisma News. “The subtle marketing campaign has made it so that people are not just given the Diablo IV themed items, but instead must link their BlizzardBattle.net account to their KFC account and order their food online.”
Say it ain’t so, Colonel.
Those who don’t think it’s serious business might want (after spraying Holy Water) to check out a documentary episode that aired recently on Peacock about a family called the Breakfields in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Their home was plagued by strange disturbances, a tall dark intimidating male “ghost,” and unseen hands that at one point grasped the ankles of the mother, Ashley, and tried to drag her off the bed.
The severe haunting began after a young son left home — following years spent playing video games, beginning at age 16, in a dark, gloomily painted bedroom where he spent endless hours gaming at the cost of his grades, social life, and hygiene, allowing no one else in that room.
It was after moving into his bedroom when he left home that Ashley and husband Scott, devout evangelical Christians, called in a preacher. The minister tried to cast the spirits out but only partly succeeded. Suspecting the problem revolved around son Eric, the boy — now a young man of 22 — was baptized in a tub of water.
That alleviated circumstances for a time but did not purge whatever spirit was behind it.
Soon they would learn just who that “spirit” — the tall dark man — was.
For upon another trip home, Eric was prayed over and revealed that his main playing had been a video game called “The Contract” in which participants compete against the devil.
All one had to do to “win” was to sign a contract with him.
Reviewers sang its praises. “I became a millionaire before I was twenty-three,” wrote one gamer.
Others had similarly glowing testimonies about its efficacy in worldly success.
It was a participant who used the online username “Magus” that had first drawn Eric into the game, popping up on Eric’s screen and urging that he join. After a while — as an obsession with the “game” grew — Magus said he would send Eric a sought-after contract with the devil via the computer printer — which Eric was to sign in the real world with real blood.
And with a proscribed ritual, Eric signed it and burned the paper.
This has been fully documented (in interviews and on a show called “Paranormal Witness,” which if viewed should be done so with caution). Immediately after signing, the contract worked its magic: lonely Eric suddenly had girls at his high school hanging all over him and won the heart of the most popular one.
He started dressing with great aplomb.
And his nearly failing grades bolted to the “A” level.
He had what the devil promises: success in the “kingdoms of this world.”
Strangest of all — and unnerving to Eric — one day a gorgeous new car pulled up behind where he was parked and an extremely tall well-dressed man got out and walked up to Eric. The man’s eyes were nearly a frighteningly gelid blue, and Eric estimated his stature at seven feet.
His license plate was “Magus 1.”
Soon Eric began hearing Magus’s voice day and night, demanding that he recruit others for the game, convincing him that his girlfriend was cheating on him and should be killed, telling him to kill his mother, and one day, at church, planting the thought that he should kill a young girl sitting in front of the family by stabbing her in the neck with a pencil (which Eric nearly did!). Reenactment:
Soon he lost everything.
Or so testifies the entire family and the preacher about the various aspects of this case. Now 22, Eric agreed to an intense deliverance with the preacher, Dan Owens (who was assisted by seven others), when his young nephew, who was now living in the house, was threatened with harm by the “ghost.”
“It was hell, hearing voices speak to me, what they were telling me to do ( I thought I was crazy),” recalled Eric. “And yes, it was an exorcism. There was so much evil happening in the house, in my life.”
During that deliverance, in 2012, claimed witnesses, a dark vapor spewed from Eric’s mouth — and Eric’s eyes briefly turned gelid, almost fluorescent blue, like those of Magus.
That was the end of it. That “exorcism.”
But it could have been the end of real people and real lives, thanks to an exciting video game.