Wednesday, March 12, 2003

BBC News: Reality TV, featuring God... online
A dozen Biblical characters, and animals two-by-two

Reality TV has been damned as mindless cultural fluff, but an internet-based
contest aims to raise the philosophical bar, throwing 12 strangers together
on the Ark with God Almighty at the helm.

While those in the Big Brother house had just a few chickens to keep alive
and coax into laying eggs, the Divine Dozen selected for a new internet
reality contest will have to care for two of every animal under the sun.

The Ark - setting virtual sail on Easter Sunday - is billed as 40 days and
40 nights of games, challenges, topical discussions and arguments about
mucking out the gorillas: "Theology meets showbiz meets cowpats - and there
are no lifeboats"

A shipmate will be voted off by visitors to the site every fourth day and at
voyage's end, one passenger will step onto dry land to pick up a "handsome"
cash prize - £666.

For those who assume that mixing religion and pop culture is an idea doomed
to failure, the project's creators have already successfully re-invented The
Simpsons' often mocked Ned Flanders as a positive role model for Christians.

Not content with that, the satirical religious webzine Ship of Fools has
also just launched (in a "baptism of fur") the Rowan Bear - a cuddly teddy
homage to the hirsute Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

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