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April 4, 2024 — There’s an old saying in Jesuit circles: If you’ve met one Jesuit, you’ve met one Jesuit. A fun list to make is all the different careers guys had before joining the Society of Jesus. We have actors and comedians, doctors and lawyers, astronomers and one former lieutenant governor. Shane Liesegang, SJ, today’s guest, is the only Jesuit host Mike Jordan Laskey has ever met who was a video game developer.

Before entering the Jesuits in 2015, Shane worked for over a decade in video game development for several different studios. He worked on hugely popular games like the Fallout Series and Skyrim. Shane was living his dream. But then he felt called to something more. Today, Shane is a Jesuit scholastic studying Theology at Boston College’s Clough School of Theology and Ministry.

He didn’t leave his entire gaming life behind when he entered the Jesuits, though. In fact, one of Shane’s former employers, a hugely influential studio called Bethesda Game Studios, brought him back into the fold to work on a game called Starfield that was released in 2023. In this deeply complex space exploration game, the studio wanted to create a fictional religion that certain characters in the game would profess. So they asked Shane to write this religion’s core texts, which are featured in several places in the game.

Shane argues that creating video games is an art form. The combination of visual aesthetics, interactivity and storytelling, not to mention the incredibly detailed and vast universes game developers make, all combine to elevate video games to something more than a mere time waster. If you’re skeptical about this claim, let Shane try to convince you in this conversation. Shane also talked about his unique vocation story and how game design is not dissimilar from Ignatian imaginative prayer in some crucial ways.

This was an utterly fascinating conversation and we think you’ll really enjoy meeting Shane, whether you love video games or not.

View a clip from the game that features the religion Shane wrote, and learn more about Shane.

AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

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