Where is God found in Gaming?

focus photo of super mario luigi and yoshi figurines
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A while back. Somewhere around the third lockdown, I found myself caught in a conversation about a vicar featured on the BBC story about the live video game streams that he hosted.

The conversation went to a few places, notably could we do something like it ourselves, where is God in gaming, and does a Biblical game exist?

This is an attempt at answering at least the spirit of the above paragraph, with thanks to Chris for his help with this.

So where is God in gaming?

You could take the argument that God is everywhere and in everything, and there is nothing new under the sun. So in this point of view, God must be found in gaming – stands to reason if true.

turned on red and green nintendo switch
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But therefore we need to dig a bit deeper. can we really argue that God is in all computer games? Is he in a first person shooter where the only objective is to kill someone?

Arguably not.

But you could extract elements from a first person shooter, and we could talk about good verses evil (Doom), we could talk about being in a spiritual battle, we could also ask if God can be found in war?

Perhaps it depends on the type of game?

Maybe it depends on the type of game? Possibly in a game thats more story based, you could compare it to the stories we see in films, or indeed parables that Jesus told, where we could take the story told, and ask what this shows us about Jesus.

For example Stardew Valley has multiple themes of stewarding our planet, meeting with people, and even has a room that looks a lot like a chapel.

There is obviously a limit on the types of games that I would argue show a mirror of God, but perhaps that mirror is there in some games?

How about Social Games?

flat screen computer monitor
Photo by Alexander Kovalev on Pexels.com

With some games it can be harder to find.

But it can be argued that Jesus would have played games which may have had a social aspect to it, computer games such as Among Us are social games in the 21st Century. Its a social game where you relay on working out right from wrong, communicate with other players, and discern what truth is.

In fact, I can almost picture Jesus starting to ask really awkward questions if someone suggested he was “sus”.

God as creator.

If God is a creator God, and if creatives are showing their God given talents, then could God be found in the fact that some of these gaming worlds have been created in the first place?

After all, while its weapons system is very annoying in Zelda, the kingdom of Hyrule is a very peaceful place to find yourself.

But what practical suggestions are there available?

boy in yellow crew neck t shirt using white and black vr box
Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

I feel at the end of a blog about God and Gaming, I should have some sort of practical suggestion, a signpost for people. Here are two, but please feel free to leave more below.

Show an interest if you have kids who like gaming. If you’re not sure where to begin with this, can I suggest looking around the Taming Gaming website. It may not be about directly pointing your kids towards Church / God, but it may build upon the relationship you have with them even more.

And secondly champion the “geeks” in your Church. Encourage the facebookers, the gamers, shout out the streamers, and those sat on messenger apps. For the Kingdom of God can also be found at the end of an internet connection.

Please feel free to leave any suggestions or video game ideas below.

For chat about all things gaming, from a wellbeing / demystifying point of view, can I humbly suggest the Skill Check Podcast. Found at Spotify, and other podcast providers.

Introducing “Church People” The Movie.

Now this could be intriguing. Here’s the concept trailer for “Church People” The Movie.

They have funding for the full movie, and according to imdb.com, will feature some recognizable names.

And no. I cant see the guy that plays the pastor from Gods Not Dead anywhere.

Explicit Content Found in Bible.

Here’s a piece of local news that was picked up by The Families Online website:

A mum has taken to social media to share her disgust over the leavers gift given to her daughter and other Year 6 pupils by their school.

On the last day of the school year, pupils that were leaving a Church of England primary school in Exeter were given a copy of the bible as a leaving gift. In itself that may not seem unusual, but when they began reading the bible they were shocked to discover that it contained dark and explicit content.

(The content in question by the way is Lot sleeping with his daughters in Genesis Chapter 19.)

Read more over at the familiesonline.co.uk website, but the article goes onto say that the mum isn’t complaining about Bibles being given as gifts as such – but she is complaining about the content of The Old Testament.

While it would be easy for me to take a typically “so-what” position in regards to this, Sofa does feel that this says something about how the Church presents the Bible. In that it can be easy for Christians to forget about some of the more “difficult” passages, and how it can seem to people not expecting to find them in what can be expected to be a safe yet boring book.

Should there be more discussion about the Bible when giving them out? I don’t know, and I certainly don’t know what form that discussion would take.

After all, do people expect the Bible to get a little Game of Thrones at points?

Perhaps she is right, perhaps New Testaments should be given out, with the Old Testament being marketed as the “prequel to help you understand the whole story”.

I guess if we could take a positive from this. There is a discussion about Bible content taking place. Not if the Bible is true or not, but what is actually in the Bible.

But if I am allowed to be facetious for one moment, perhaps there should be a translation of the Bible that is at least marketed for an older audience? Based on when I first watched some of the more violent films of the 80s and 90s, I can only imagine that may increase interest in the Bible in young people.