Where is God found in Gaming?

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

This Week In The Internet

As and when, Sofa presents a quick round up of bits of the internet – that are a little bit more random than normal.

Here’s a round up of the random stuff from this week…

Why The Christian Right Worships Trump?

RollingStone.com have had a look, a very good look at why… a particular part of the church in America seem to be in support of Donald Trump,

In other words, for the God-fearing evangelical, gay marriage, abortion, and the evils of socialism — as opposed to racial injustice, family separation, or income inequality — put America squarely in the path of the wrath of God. “Parts of the Old and New Testaments imply very strongly that there’s not just a judgment of individuals, but there’s a judgment of nations,” says historian Diana Butler Bass. “People who sin are keeping the nation away from a moral goodness that needs to be present, because they think that God’s coming back and is going to destroy everything, and they want America to be on the right side of that equation. They want to stand before God and say, ‘We did your will. We created a godly nation, and we’re the remnant. We’re your true people.’?”

Rolling Stone

Its a long read, so grab yourself a drink, and give this a read.

I Am Jesus Christ – The Video Game

It looks like there will be a new video game coming out where you are Jesus Christ, called ” I Am Jesus Christ”. Sofa will keep an eye out for more about this when its out.

And a dance to end with…

Lets go into next week – stomping on temptation!

What Place Do Video Games Have?

@GeekDadGamer offers some thoughts on the relationship between video games and our hearts:

This got me thinking…

What place do video games have in the church? Is there a place for them?
Should we be encouraging the more mature gamers in our churches to get along side younger gamers?

Or are they just stupid?

(EDIT – Gamepeople.co.uk have looked at The Exeter Cathedral using the Flower game on PS3 – worth a watch! )

Video Games Are Just Stupid… apparently

Are lego video games as stupid as Mark Driscoll reckons?So. Last night, myself and Mrs Mac go out, have a nice meal, come back and spend a fairly amazing couple of hours playing Lego Harry Potter. Mrs Mac loved it. It’s a fun, cheerful, playable, and a really quite funny video game. And a fun way to spend her 30th birthday.

According to this well known Bible teacher… that was stupid:

 

There are comments on youtube that suggest he meant people that spend hours / days on games like WoW, not video games in general. Do you think thats what he meant?

Are sweeping statements like this helpful from the pulpit?