In the soon-to-be released downloadable action video-game, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, you are Enoch, and your mission is to defeat the fallen angels:
Developed in Japan, El Shaddai (Heb. “God Almighty”) is planned for Japanese release on 28 April 2011, and will run on Xbox-360 or Playstation 3. It mixes ancient Jewish literature with the look-and-feel of Japanese gaming – a sort of Evangelion for gamers. Here’s Enoch, who underneath his pure white robes/armour, surprisingly enough, wears a pair of jeans:
It looks like a merry mix-up of mythic themes, translated into a Japanese gamer’s sensitivities. From Tech Buzz Blog:
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is a potentially special title because it is based on the Book of Enoch, one of the documents that are part of the Dead Sea scrolls, a cache of documents that offer an alternative take on the history of early Christianity and on the person of Jesus himself.
The mix between Western mythology and religion and Japanese video game sensibilities is another unique selling point for El Shaddai and the development team includes developers that have put in work for games like Devil May Cry, Okami and Resident Evil.
Well, the Dead Sea scrolls are certainly useful for interpreting early Christianity and Jesus, but not, as many people think because they have anything to do with Christianity or Jesus, let alone an “alternative” or “suppressed” version of Christianity. They don’t even mention Jesus or Christians, and belong to a quite distinct group of religious-minded Jews. Instead, what the Dead Sea scrolls offer is a first-hand glimpse into a form of Judaism that has many commonalities with (yet many differences from) early Christianity, as well as some idea about how Jesus might have viewed himself and his eschatological role.
But none of this should detract from the exciting prospect of becoming Enoch – and defeating those fallen angels! Could an Enochian role-playing video game enable us to transform into our “heavenly twin”? If we sit in the dark playing El Shaddai for hours on end, drinking only power drinks, would we ascend (or descend) to the chariot?
UPDATE: Jim Davila (PaleoJudaica) notes that he earlier provided comments from El Shaddai creator, Takeyasu Sawaki, including the gem: “I read, of course, the Book of Enoch, and I also read a lot of other people’s books dealing with those two characters. I think all of those books were boring.” Jim also provides other reports on the game, here, here and here. The third link has another gem of a comment from the creator: “As for Japanese people, the Old Testament, we’re not familiar with these kinds of things at all. They don’t feel familiar. It’s a complete fantasy for Japanese people.” Indeed.