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“This data confirmed our belief that this is the most powerful and compelling tool we’ve ever seen for increasing Mass attendance, religious practice and interest in the Priesthood,” said Cheyenne Ehrlich, founder of SGR Games, LLC. “But we also had some problems. Players blackmailed and bullied each other to try to control the online Papacy. This required us to make changes to the game before we could roll it out on a larger scale."
The company stressed in its releases that it is not associated with Zynga, nor is it associated with the Roman Catholic Church.
Ultimately the game is seems to be about debating theology in a respectful and thoughtful way and non-Catholics are encouraged to join the game at apps.facebook.com/vaticanwars. It should be noted that in order to play the game you have to choose a calling - there is no option to play as another religion or as a non-believer. The differences in choices seem to be more about politics than religion.
“We had two major problems to solve in PriestVille,” said Ehrlich. “The first was the lengths that some players were willing to go to become Pope. It was horrifying. We had three reports of a player being blackmailed into quitting the race for Pope in the game. And the amount of player bullying we saw turned our stomachs. It was so awful that, on several occasions, we considered ending the game.”
Says alot about the cross section of humanity, about big organizations, about what drives people, etc.
Whatever it is, it's interesting that people got in to the game and, instead of acting all holy-holy as priests, they started blackmailing other members ( in the game, I don't think IRL) and bullying etc etc.