I love diversity. It’s a beautiful mix of color, language, culture, tastes, music and more that God wonderfully put together in this world we all live in. Gamers are also quite diverse, and are all over the world. I had the opportunity to send some questions to Ms Naime who runs a ministry in France called In-Game Avec Jesus which translates to “In Game With Jesus”. I wanted to share what she is doing with my readers and hopefully you will check out her site, blog, Instagram and everywhere else she is sharing God’s love with geeks. If you know anyone that speaks French, send them this post and her site so they can also see what she’s up to.
Samuru: Thank you Naime for your time! Please, share a little about who you are and what you do.
I am the leader of an outreach group for geeks. I am a geek, gamer, anti-globalization activist, peacemaker, animator, narrative designer, and comic book writer. I live in a suburb of Paris.
I am genuinely passionate about the artistic and cultural interpretations of the Bible.
Samuru: How did you get into video games? What are some of your favorite games and consoles?
I’ve played video games since my childhood. I grew up with the Sega Master System which was my aunt’s console when she was a young adult. She lived with my grandmother so I was there very often. It was like my second house! I had a cousin who also had a Megadrive and we often played Spyro. Since then, it has become a great passion in my life. Those moments have become precious memories for me.
I played games a lot so it’s really hard to say which games are my favorite. I would say it’s games like Bioshock, The Last Of Us, Final Fantasy X, and Life Is Strange. Narrative and Indie games are my go-to genres.
Samuru: How did you start In-Game Avec Jesus?
In-Game With Jesus was born out of failure. In 2015, I had a project to help Game Church come to Paris Games Week, which is the most ex-aquo gaming event in EUROPE with Gamecom in Germany. We had started to take some steps except that the organizers of Paris Games Week refused to give us a position because they are against proselytizing and activism in their events. Eventually, the project was abandoned. Subsequently, I had no more news from GameChurch so I had the choice to resume my normal life or form my own group.
I said to myself, “why outsource to strangers what we can do ourselves at home?” I didn’t give up and In-Game Avec Jesus was born with our own vision. We never had access to Paris Games Week but maybe one day, God willing.
Samuru: What do you do with the ministry? Give as much detail as you like. Stories, events you have been to and the purpose of the ministry?
We go to certain events offering extracts from the bible in manga or comics, as we did during the Japan Party in Nanterre.
We also distribute IGAJ postcards. Attending events like Paris Games Queer (who would have thought they were more tolerant than Paris Games Weeks?). There, we were breaking the ice with the LGBT gaming world while discussing spirituality. With the In-Game Avec Jesus Youtube channel we do a lot of vlogging and spontaneous interviews where we honor the projects of certain people and at the end, we will ask them to play with us or do a quiz on the bible.
We also went to the Geek Faeries, a geek and medieval event in the provinces where we interviewed festival-goers by asking them questions about the influence of Christianity on video games. We asked them a number of questions about the triforce and the first magic book from the Legend Of Zelda. COVID caused a lot of damage because we are a grassroots group that does a lot of vlogging in geek events as many were canceled.
We also want the church in France to adapt to these new media and be more inclusive.
Contrary to what one might think, there are quite a few that are open. We really want to fight against Christian oppositions which are based on prejudices and prevent the sharing of our beliefs. We also ministered at large and small Christian youth events such as the Love your neighbor event, a young Malagasy Christian event, and at the Sport & Faith summer camp.
On our Youtube channel, we’ve presented board games from Christian game designers and presentations of non-Christian indie video games that can have a positive impact. These games are generally used as an educational and awareness-raising tool, for example, This War Is Mine which raises awareness of the conditions of a civilian war victim.
The goal of this project is to change the outlook and perspective that non-Christians have on us or on Christianity. We can be Christians and play video games or read manga. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make us lose the urge to have fun, it’s just that we play and read differently.
We also help in the prevention of addiction to screens, awareness of bullying and mental health (depression, anxiety) because many gamers deal with these issues. There’s also our Discord server as a virtual discussion space.
Samuru: What are your future plans with the ministry?
I hope that this community will be bigger and that we can impact more lives.
We would like to organize video game tournaments, do more live gaming, Youtube videos, podcasts, etc. And why not have an Esports team or a guild on an MMO, or even make our first manga/comics or even our first independent game who knows? Only time will tell!
You can find Naime and In-Game Avec Jesus below!
Here are some prayer requests that she would like for you to join her in asking God for.
Pray that event-organizers (Christian or not) will be less hostile to groups like us.
Pray that all of our actions can have a positive impact and that He will lead us in His will.
Prayers to have new members active and the necessary equipment for the progression of the ministry.
We pray that the church can take the digital realm into account and will have more consideration for geeks and otakus. They too need to know the gospel!