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Let us pray (and play): Church service includes video game

At a cathedral in England, congregants will pass around a PlayStation 3 Sunday as part of collaborative gameplay meant to enhance the spiritual journey.

Exeter Cathedral will incorporate a nature-based game during a month focused on stewardship of the Earth.
Exeter Cathedral

Put down the hymnal and pass the PlayStation. A British cathedral plans to incorporate a video game into worship services this Sunday.

At the Exeter Cathedral in Devon, England, the congregation will collaboratively play the PS3 game Flower, passing the Sony controller around until the first level is completed.

Developer ThatGameCompany calls the game a "video game version of a poem." In it, players guide a flower petal through environments that swing between the pastoral and the chaotic, and in doing so, cause the onscreen world to change. Sounds a lot more contemplative than Call of Duty.

"Together we will enter a 'virtual creation' and bring our own touch of transformation to it," the centuries-old Anglican cathedral says on its Facebook page.

Andy Robertson --who produces the Family Gamer TV show and runs the Family Gamer Awards -- will facilitate the interactive gameplay while music from the game forms the background for other elements of the evening service.

"I was inspired to choose Flower for the Cathedral service after experiencing a public performance of it at the GameCity festival in 2009," Robertson explains in a Wired post. "There, the game was performed by one person in an old shopping center, but for me it was an undeniably spiritual experience. I'm really looking forward to discovering how the experience fits, contributes to, and changes the Cathedral service."

As, we're guessing, are all the game-console-worshipping youngsters planning to attend.

Flower screenshot
Flower explores the tension between urban bustle and natural serenity. ThatGameCompany