The article discusses some interesting facets of gaming, including the fact that there are a number of Christian games that are produced and released. The article even discusses Ominous Horizons, I game I happen to own. I will admit that I didn’t actively seek out and purchase the game, but was given it as part of a radio contest on a local Christian station that I listen to regularly. It’s an interesting game.
One particular quote I found especially interesting from the article is an observation near the end that the author, Tom Loftus, makes:
One day perhaps, as games grow larger in size and more realistic in play, a modern day St. Augustine will write some treatise on the notions of truth and morality in game play. Until then, gamers will have to negotiate those mazes of “twisty little passages,” on their own.
Merging two of my loves in life, my faith and gaming, creates for some really interesting scenarios. For example, I have a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on my computer. I enjoy the play because it is very open and free-form. While there are missions that I can take and complete, I don’t have to. I can get a car and drive around jamming to interesting 80′s music, which is one of my favorite music genres. However, then I think about my means of acquiring the cars: theft. I also think about some of the more violent actions that can be taken. I might shoot someone, then think about what I’m doing. I’ve actually felt guilt in the past due to these actions.
Oddly enough, other violent games, such as first-person shooters, don’t invoke this same sort of feeling, this same guilt. Is this God’s way of telling me that he doesn’t mind an FPS, but he doesn’t like GTA? Am I feeling a prompting that’s trying to steer me clear of some other messages? After all, I’m told that GTA has some other negative facets, such as dealing drugs or owning a strip club, but I haven’t (and doubt I ever will have) played far enough to see these elements. I ran through a few scenarios one time, but the content got to a point where I had no interest in it, and was actually fairly repulsed.
Am I being morally elitist? I have friends who enjoy these games – does my repulsion of it make me think I’m better than them? Absolutely not. It’s just my personal moral compass. For some reason, alerts go off when I play GTA that make me not wish to play further. Other “violent’ games such as Counter-Strike or other FPSes don’t trigger this same response. I tend to not play them as much, but that’s more because I’m bored with them rather than offended.
Normally I don’t ask anything of my reader. You leave a comment and I’m ecstatic. However, this time I’m going to do something a bit atypical of myself, as that seems to be a trend lately. I’d like you to leave your comments regarding something you’ve read here. It could be comments about the MSNBC article. It could be thoughts on religion and gaming. It could be thoughts on my personal approach to gaming. It could be anything really, I’d just like to see some conversation sparked up around this, as I find it incredibly fascinating. I have some personal thoughts I’d like to post, but I think I’m going to save those for later today or tomorrow, just so that this post gets top coverage on the blog right now. Thanks for taking time to read my thoughts.