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Articles - CfP Topic

Vol. 7 No. 1 (2021): Materiality of Writing. Reconsidering Religious Texts

Reading The Book of Joseph: A Communication-Oriented Analysis of Far Cry 5

July 3, 2020


In the game Far Cry 5, a book called The Book of Joseph, plays an important role. It is the confession, autobiography and compilation of sermons written by Joseph Seed, the leader of the fundamentalist Christian-inspired, violent Doomsday cult “Project at Eden’s Gate”. In the game, the player is tasked to defeat Seed’s grip on – fictional – Hope County, Montana (USA). The Book of Joseph is not only found in the game, where its content is kept hidden from the player, but is also featured in a live-action trailer, called The Baptism. However, most importantly, Joseph’s book has also been published as a physical object and was distributed to the first two thousand buyers of the “Mondo Edition” of the game.

In this article, the authors argue that the communicative function of The Book of Joseph differs significantly from one medial object to the next (game, trailer, book), influenced by the intertextual and intermedial relationships between those medial objects and by their exclusive characteristics. Using a communication-oriented method of text-analysis, the authors investigate the various communicative processes within the different “texts”, in order to establish the narrative “loci” of the book’s materiality.