Where is God found in Gaming?

pexels-photo-682933.jpeg
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.

Psalm 1 – Purpose

I have a bit of a history with Psalm 1. During my early school years, I went to a local independent Christian school where we did memory verses every month. The first one I remember doing was Psalm 1. Fast forward to my late teens and the first assignment I’m working on at Bible College is about Psalm 1.

But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 1:2&3 (New Living Translation)

At times I struggle with some of the imagery in the Psalms. When the psalmist says that they are like trees, I get horrible flash backs of awkward school drama lessons. But there is also something about it I love. It takes the idea of delighting in the Law of the Lord which feels somewhat abstract and turns into something that feels more tangible, a tree that bears fruit every season and it’s leaves don’t wither. Before clarifying that they prosper in all they do.

I don’t feel that this means that if we delight in the law of the Lord we will therefore prosper in anything we do. A tree is not able to bear fruit every season if it decides that it wants to try being a house instead. If we’re living in the purpose set aside for us whilst delighting in meditating on the law of the Lord then yes we will prosper and see success in that purpose! The key is understanding the purpose God has for us and submitting and committing to it through thick and thin. Ephesians 4 says that God created us to do good works which he has designed for us. I don’t know about you but it sounds like a good plan to me.

Prayer

Dear God, I want to delight in your law. Teach me to meditate on your word and what you are saying to me. Show me your purpose for me and let me prosper in it! Amen

In The defence of Homer Simpson: Life on the fast lane

Inspired by a Church Sermon that said “don’t be like Homer Simpson”, I started watching The Simpsons to decide. Is he really that bad? Here’s an attempt at forming a defence based on “Life on the fast lane”. Otherwise known as “The episode of The Simpsons when Homer gives Marge a bowling ball”.

Episode quality wise – its no Telltale head, and it is one of the ones where people remember Homer for giving a truly stupid present. BUT two things here:

The thing that really seems to make a difference here is Homer complimenting his wife.

And…

All the adults are idiots in this one.

Really…

Blogging Through the Psalms

Welcome to a new series, here on The Church Sofa – and it’s going to be a long one. Don’t worry, it’s in a good way! We’re going to be blogging our way through the psalms.

I love the Book of Psalms. It’s like the song book of the Bible, full of every emotion you can imagine, good, bad and ugly. Lots of them were written by King David who is one of my all time top blokes. He has this kind of of perpetual blessing and anointing combined with an unbreakable grace that no matter how badly he screws things up (and he does, in spectacular fashion on numerous occasions) he always comes through closer to God and trusting even more.

The idea for how I’m going to do this came from my wife. She did something similar a few years ago in a notebook. What she did, and what I’m going to do, is focus on one verse from every Psalm. As I go through I’ll be highlighting these in my Bible (yep, real book kind of Bible) and blogging about my thoughts, why I’ve picked this verse and what I feel God is saying to me through it.

Hopefully some of what I write through this seems relevant to you and might encourage you in some way too.