Friday, January 2, 2009

Adapting Popular Things In A "Mormon" Version

This isn't just about a neck tie with little Angel Moroni figures on it, or an R-rated movie with all the naughty bits erased. We're talking about the tendency among Latter-day Saints to sniff out a catchy trend in the mainstream and then adjust some minor aspect of it to include a token reference to something recognizable to Mormons, then selling it as an entirely new product.

The most egregious example here might originate with the wildly successful board game Settlers of Catan. This pastime features a very uniquely-shaped board with detailed elements of role-playing strategy involved. Some enterprising individual took this concept, changed the name "Catan" to "Zarahemla" (a location in the Book of Mormon), and now succesfully markets it as a seperate game.

Mormons have become the Japan of the pop culture world. Just about anything that enters American consciousness will quickly find itself tweaked, rebranded, and sold at a 15% mark up at Deseret Book.

Everybody putting decals on their car windows showing off where they're from? Well, we'll show them: our mini vans will sport doppleganger decals with creepy "RULDS2?" logos! "Livestrong" rubber bracelets making it big? Rest assured: vaguely Mormon knock-offs followed by the truckload. Harry Potter got you envious for a parallel series with LDS tones? Don't worry, it's been done.

At least this fad won't get desperate and start producing stuff like a Mormon-themed Where's Waldo? Oh, wait...

Coming soon to a church book store near you...iBoM, Hannah Utah, and Church Basketball for Wii Sports (license pending).


Steve said...

I think one of THE most annoying trends is how people are taking that "Stuff White People Like" phenomenon and running it into the ground. How long until we see a Mormon version of that? I'll bet that as soon as we get a hold of that, there will be like, 50 "Stuff Mormons Like" blogs all over the internet.

Oh, wait...

Th. said...


I agree with you in general, but it's worth noting that Zarahemla is an officially licenced variant of Catan so it's not technically a ripoff.

Zar said...

licensed or not, the point is the blatent use of LDS beliefs to make a buck. There's one minor rule change in Zarahemla, so the premise for selling it is to own the Mormon version of Catan.

My favorite? when I saw the Mormon answer to the Da Vinci Code:

The Moroni Code

Steve said...

Anyone up for a game of "Mormonopoly"?

Th. said...


Oh..... I remember hearing an ad for the Moroni Code on the radio and being convinced (and slowly, shockingly losing that conviction) that it was a spoof.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Steve beat me to the punch on this one. Way to point out the stupidity of "Mormon adaptation of popular things" on the unfunny Mormon version of SWPL.

I can't wait for your hilarious take on fry sauce and green jello.