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Game show setting for young Catholics promotes faith, interaction

Peter Schmidt and his game show have gained a following.

How are young Catholics finding community during a pandemic? Through a virtual game show, of course.

Game of Favorites, a “Catholic comedy game show,” is a place where Catholics and non-Catholics alike can have fun and be together. Every Friday evening on the streaming platform Twitch, a small audience of Millennials, Generation Zs and contestant’s parents flock to the site to watch the four game players answer prompts given to them by the host. Prompts range from “Excuses for being late to online Mass,” to “What’s the best type of noodle?” Viewers then get to vote in the live chat for their favorite answers.

Game of Favorites celebrated its third anniversary Dec. 16. The creator and owner of the show, Peter Schmidt, says that the idea for GOF came to him while watching “Whose Line is it Anyway?” clips.

“Is there something like this in the Catholic world? Are there Catholics that dedicate themselves to creating entertainment?” When he couldn’t find anything, Schmidt decided to create it himself. Now it’s grown into an intimate community of people who support each other.

Contestants say that the GOF community is their favorite part about the show.

Three-time contestant Faith Williamson, a college student in West Virginia, says that she’s “never seen such a great community of people with the same fundamental beliefs that lift each other up all the time. It’s amazing to be a part of it.”

Not only is that feeling of togetherness important and evident within the game show’s framework, but so is engaging with the audience who come to watch.

“Peter’s very intentional … about interacting with the chat and making sure that people’s messages and names are being said,” said two-time contestant Jacob Kempf, a music teacher at a Catholic elementary school in Toledo, Ohio.

“I feel like there aren’t a lot of people who are as intentional as he is. That’s what has kept me around and what’s continued to bring me back.”

Schmidt hopes to continue to grow Game of Favorites from a passion project to something bigger and more full-time.

But no matter how big the game show gets, he wants it to always “be a space where Catholics can feel like home, let their hair down, and lovingly tease each other.”

You can watch Game of Favorites live, Fridays at 8 p.m. eastern on www.twitch.tv/ptony. Archived episodes can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/gameof favorites.