Move over, “Call of Duty” — here comes “The Golem.”
A digital animation studio in Louisiana is hard at work on a video game based on the Jewish legend, re-creating 16th-century Prague so that gamers can play as the Golem, the creature brought to life to defend Jews against anti-Semitic attacks.
In the new take on the tale, Shreveport-based Moonbot Studios will pit the Golem against a powerful military force trying to ransack the city.
Moonbot should be up to the task — its founders, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, won an Academy Award last year for the animated short film “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”
“What I think is special about ‘The Golem’ as a game is how the journey of the protagonist mirrors things we take for granted in games,” Moonbot creative director Adam Volker told the Verge, a science and technology website. “So as the player learns the system, which people do in every game that they play, the Golem is learning to be whoever he’s going to be.”
Although Moonbot is still working to bankroll the new game, staffers have already delved deeply into the classic tale, which recounts Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel’s creation of the monstrous being. Their research has included visits to Prague, where clay from the banks of the Vltava River provided the body of the creature, supposedly brought to life after Hebrew words were inscribed on its forehead and in its mouth.
Volker and his colleagues believe the Golem’s desire for a human soul will inspire players to invest more emotionally than they do in other games.
If all goes well, “The Golem” will come to life — at least on Windows-, Mac- and Linux-supported devices — in 2015.