The Aetherlight is a Christian gaming program that advances Biblical literacy. It’s a fun, digital, action-adventure game geared towards pre-teens (the game assumes a reading age of approximately 10-11 years old). The game is set in a steampunk land called Aethasia, and has a look and feel to it that pre-teens enjoy. My daughter loved the look of the game and was really happy when she had an opportunity to play, and I had an opportunity to review this product!
The game is allegorical in nature (the game doesn’t depict God directly). It does not use Biblical names, places, and language as these might confuse or alienate some players. If you have a pre-teen that isn’t enjoying Church, or is questioning her faith, this might be an interesting game to introduce – it teaches the Biblical story, without being “preachy”.
Players that are open to it, and who want to engage deeper in terms of their religious beliefs can download the companion application (The Aetherlight Companion Engines) which contains mini-games that link the story of Aethasia directly to Bible text.
But now, more about the game:
And with parental approval –
Of course, kids can play with their family too! Now, that’s an opportunity for fun…and meaningful discussion.
So, FYI, this is the process we followed to sign my daughter up –
We went to https://theaetherlight.com/ to redeem the gift card/input the coupon code.
After we signed her up, I received an e-mail double-checking, and requiring my permission to let her play. I appreciated this security feature.
Then it was time to download the game onto our computer. I admit, I’m not a fan of downloading programs to our computer, but I made an exception for this one.
Once we downloaded, we had to launch the program – it took a few minutes for the download/launch. During the process we were able to mute the sound and make the screen smaller. In other words, we were still able to use the computer/do other things while downloading. Again, I appreciated this.
Then it was time to PLAY – and LEARN!
I’d like to share some of the things we like regarding The Aetherlight game –
- The topic – clearly, you can’t beat the topic. And if you are a Christian, this is a good way to introduce the Biblical story.
- Even if you don’t identify as Christian, but have Christian-Judeo values, this game might be for you and your family. That’s because the game doesn’t “hit you over the head” with Biblical tie-ins – it just seems like an adventure game – minus the negative influences that many games have.
- I do like the alagorical aspects of the game. It’s a discrete way to introduce the Biblical story if you have a child that’s not all that keen on religion.
- If your family wants to delve into the religious aspects of the game, it’s easy to do so (see info below about the Apps and the Companion Bible).
- The safety features are a plus – and yes, a necessity too.
- There is a family pack – with access for up to 5 players. Playing as a family is a fun activity and it really opens up the opportunity for discussion. There is also a Family Season Pass option which allows 5 players access to all of Season 1 (episodes 1-3). I like options – don’t you?
- There is a Parent Dashboard that is really great. It lets parents know what their kids are doing in the game, how it connects with the Bible, and most importantly, how to start a possible dialogue about the connection. Now, that’s huge! 🙂
- Players can play on multiple devices – and at the same time.
As mentioned, there are Aetherlight Companion Engines APPs! They’re available in both the Apple and the Google Play stores.
The App brings the in-game story and the Biblical narrative together – taking players directly into Biblical text, Biblical parallels, and historical contexts. This is very educational.
Here are some App screenshots
Remember how I said that I like options?
There are even MORE options below which help you tie The Aetherlight game directly to the Bible – so your kids truly “get” the connection. I’ve already mentioned the Apps-but check out the YouVersion and the Companion Bible.
Here are examples of the YouVersion tools – BTW, I really like these.
Day 1 of 15
This day’s reading – Genesis 15:1-6
Something to talk about with players of The Aetherlight:
In the game, Alexander must learn to trust the Scarlet Man and not take matters into his own hands. It’s a learning process for Alexander. This might be a good way to open a conversation with players about how we develop trust, and what faith looks like.
Day 3 of 15
Something to talk about with players of The Aetherlight:
In the game, Alexander and Selina turn their lives upside down to be part of the Resistance. Players could discuss what that might have cost them, and consider the cost Paul outlines in Phil 2:6-8.
Day 14 of 15
This day’s reading – Genesis 21:1-9
Something more to talk about with players of The Aetherlight:
Alexander’s decision to follow the Scarlet Man’s orders in The Aetherlight reflect a man who has learned that there is indeed a right way to follow. It’s a good opportunity to talk with players about how God provides the way to follow Him in Christ.
And the Bible is very nice.
If your kids LOVE the game, they’ll LOVE the Book. It’s a very cool looking Bible with the look/feel of the game.
What we like about ALL of these products:
- The message
- How the products teach Bible concepts in a way that appeals to pre-teens
- The wonderful opportunity for discussion! We’ve added this to our homeschool day. My daughter plays the game, and the following day before we begin our homeschooling endeavors, we discuss the game. Sometimes she doesn’t see the Biblical parallels – she needs me to point them out. Other times she totally “gets it” – and is very proud of herself when she does. (I’m proud of her too)
- You can play with friends and family. Playing with family enhances the opportunity for discussion. The discussion aspect is so important! At least I think it is
- Safety features are built in. FYI – here’s a link to the Player Safety Guide – https://theaetherlight.com/player-safety-guide Note that it’s for kids and their parents
- Parental Dashboard
- Options – gotta love options
In conclusion, we hope you enjoyed The Aetherlight Review as much as we enjoyed playing the game and learning how it parallels the Biblical story.
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