Where’s Jesus? (A Holiday Game)

by wjw on December 29, 2009

I picked this game up from Boing Boing, and discovered that it’s a perfect way to waste a cold winter afternoon, particularly during the holiday season.

Go to Wikipedia. Click on “random article” (on the left side, under the globe). Of the various links on that random page, click on the one most likely to lead you to the article on Jesus. Then continue following the links until you actually find Jesus.

My best attempt so far is 3, and with an unpromising start. My random article was Maurice Doyle, an English footballer. If Mr. Doyle has a religion, it was not mentioned in the article. But I was able to click from Doyle to England, from England to Anglican Communion, and from thence to Jesus. Three clicks, damn good. Well below par, particularly if you start with a soccer player.

One of the surprising discoveries I made in this game is how many articles on Christian churches, offices, personnel, and history do not mention Jesus in any way. Take for example one attempt, which began with the article List of States in the Holy Roman Empire (beginning with the letter R). Which, as the link attests, actually exists.

I knew that the HRE included prince-bishoprics headed by a bishop, so I clicked on one of these, the Bishopric of Regensburg. No mention of Jesus. I clicked on “bishopric,” which unfortunately did not lead to an article on bishops but an article on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Regensburg. Again, no mention of J.C. I kept hoping that “bishop” would lead me to Jesus, somehow, so I clicked on the current bishop, Gerhard Ludwig Muller. While there are mentions of Jesus in the article, none of them are linked, but I was able to click to “bishop” from there.

Apparently it is possible to write a lengthy article on Christian bishops without actually mentioning Jesus, so from there I had to go to Apostle (Christian), which does in fact have a link to Jesus.

Holy Roman Empire => Bishopric of Regensburg => Gerhard Ludwig Muller => Bishop => Apostle (Christian) => Jesus = 6. Rather a poor score.

I didn’t fare any better with the Orthodox church. My random page was the McLeod Residence, an art cooperative in Seattle. My search went McLeod Residence => Seattle => St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (Seattle) => Greek Orthodox Diocese of America => Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople => Greek Orthodox Church => New Testament => Jesus. My score was 7, which is perfectly dreadful.

So can you find Jesus? Try it. It’s fun.

Still, if you’re looking for Him, my experience suggests that you avoid looking anywhere in the established Church.

David W. Goldman December 30, 2009 at 3:25 am

Okay, first attempt. Not a great score, but after my initial dismay at my random page, things proceeded more successfully (and entertainingly) than I'd expected:

Sora No Kagami


Easter Parade (film)

Easter parade



David W. Goldman December 30, 2009 at 3:33 am

Okay, third attempt (the second immediately went nowhere), and a good place to stop:

BT100 (an impact 1-pin dot matrix printer)
Catholic Church

(Apparently the established Church works okay; you just have to stick to the Real one.)

dubjay December 30, 2009 at 4:35 am

Awright troops, beat this!

Jesus to Kevin Bacon in 5!

Jesus => Dramatic Portrayals of Jesus => Jesus (film, 1999) => Gary Oldman => Murder in the First (film,1995) => Kevin Bacon.

andrewsi December 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm

There's a related game called Cabbaging played on the BBC news website….

mindseas December 30, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Lady Gaga => Rainer Maria Rilke => angels => Jesus


john_appel December 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Interesting game. My track was:

Conway and Seiver Family
Mississipi (state)
Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Ralf the Dog December 30, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Barney Lepper
American football

Ralf the Dog December 30, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I want extra points. I could have made this shorter, but I went the science fiction rout.

In the End
Smoke and Mirrors
Neil Gaiman!!!!!!

C. S. Lewis

dubjay December 31, 2009 at 12:16 am

Here's a pretty desperate one. My random page was Category: Disambiguation Pages.

Disambiguation Pages => Church building disambiguation page => Basilica of the Sacred Heart => Basilica of the Sacre Coeur => Roman Catholic => Jesus. 5 clicks.


Dave Bishop December 31, 2009 at 12:51 pm

My first effort:

1967 Intercontinental World Cup (Basketball) => Rome => Christianity => Jesus

Rather good I thought!

My second attempt started with the University of California and took far too many clicks to get to Jesus- so I won't bore you with the breakdown.

Shash January 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm

First attempt, six tries. Not too bad considering my original article was on tires. But I know I can do better.

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