Originally published in Exeposé
Making history in Exeter Cathedral as Marcus Beard, Games Editor, reports on Flower being used as part of Holy Worship
“History is being made in Exeter Cathedral today” says Canon Missioner of Exeter Cathedral , Anna Norman-Walker. The ambient orchestral score of thatgamecompany’s flower fills the knave as people have gathered to celebrate the Eucharist on a Sunday evening in mid-May.
“For the first time, we are going to be using a videogame as part of Holy Worship.” There’s some squirming from the mostly over-40 congregation, as we watch a single a single yellow flower blow in the wind on the 6 foot screen. Andy Robertson, editor of gamepeople.co.uk, takes hold of a controller, and as the petal on screen opens up to start our communal game of Flower, a collective gasp can be heard. History has been made.
In late August, Andy gave a talk at the TEDx conference in Exeter. Speaking on sustainable perspectives on videogames, Robertson commented on the ethical, social, psychological and spiritual contribution to human life that games can make. He spoke of creating a new ‘priesthood’ of videogame players and writers to appreciate games in a broader sense that just entertainment value. This was when he was approached by Anna, and the idea of using videogame as part of a service at Exeter cathedral took hold.