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Looking for inspiration is the key, to innovation that makes a difference. Where have you seen Christ already, in the world of gaming?
Latest Activity: Oct 29, 2012
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Naturally, if you have chosen this group to view or comment in, you are looking for more detail, that will help inform your thinking on the subject. Bear in mind, that I believe gamers to be the most oppressed people, in a free society - you might find that hard to accept, but ask yourself this "How many people in the world woul be oppressed, if everyone had fun?"
But I digress, the point of this group is to look at inspiration where it already exists: in the game industry (as its called). Finding inspiration where Christ has already succeeded in getting through is basically the first step in working out what Christ says has currency, as a product of fun. Where this lines up with scripture, we have a definite winner.
Take Portal, for example. For those of you who don't know what it is, Portal is a game where you move doors around to create passage to other locations in the game. It is extremely fun, completely non-lethal and very educational. It is also about the Door, our Lord. By playing this game, you come to understand that with the Door, all ways are accessible.
Games that focus on war of some kind or other are a lot harder to see Christ in (even though they are popular) and not only that but games like Portal, in which there is no real war, are very few and far between. But I think the point is to try to start at the furthest reaches of gaming (even the war games) and see how we can bring them into context with a revelation of Christ.
So there you go, you know the point of the group now. Perhaps you have seen Christ in gaming already, and can share!
Have you ever wondered, how will people ever see Christ in wargames? Let me tell you.
There is a game called F.E.A.R, which is a first person shooter in which you can slow down time to steady your shots if you want to. You may have heard of it. Well, it just so happens that as you are playing, you come across these... ghosts... which you must naturally shoot. But what is different about them, is that when you destroy one of the ghosts, they explode into a constellation of sparks, momentarily.
Now, if you have not asked for the ability to interpret the constellations of stars in the Heavens, this will strike you as odd (to say the least), but actually, just as the Word of God is written in the stars, God was able to write of lost souls in the sparks created by these ghosts, as you destroy them (the sparks were randomly generated, but as Solomon says "every roll of the dice, is from the Lord).
Playing this game (FEAR) I was able briefly to learn about all manner of lost souls (such as legalists, griefers, oppressors and so forth)... such as that the legalist looks for the law in the afterlife, but does not realize he is called to act by faith, or that the griefer assumes there is a burden to act in the afterlife, but has no faith that it is meant for him, etc.
So you see, Christ was in the game, that the game developers had not intended. I will note for the sake of your peace that Christ eventually said to me "that is enough, playing this game" once it was clear that it held nothing more than gratuity left to educate me by, but I absolutely will not deny that my life was significantly changed by it.
So yes, even in wargames there is Christ to give inspiration, if you know how to find it.
Somewhere else I have seen Christ in a game (albeit indirectly) is simply the med class in Team Fortress games, et al. Christ is after all, the healer: so being able to heal, is in fact a great way of revealing the nature of Christ.
I read a great story about this, in fact: apparently, when they first introduced the med class into TF (or was that Battlefield?) they were so popular, they had to dumb it down a little. Apparently, all people really wanted to do in a war simulation, was run around healing people!
To me, this kind of example is exactly what game developers and the gamers they inevitably try to be, see as inspiration in game development: that kind of possibility - that you could have inspired people, actively taking up the life of Christ, in a working context. I really believe games can deliver that, even while delivering the theology that should be part of everyone's life, as the kind of safeguard and advance authority that it is (I am aware that I am giving scripture a unique interpretation, that may not be your own - it is meant to be tailored to a gaming mentality).
I pray we discover the fullness of what the God of gaming has in store for us, in gaming examples like this!
Simcity, shows you the workhardiness of the Spirits of Christ. Since a city must work together, from its disparate parts, just as the body of Christ takes up the Spirits of Christ and works together towards the end G|d has set. This is distinct from the council which representatives of the city give you, being made in the image of the Spirits of God.
With each successful city, players see the value of teamwork, which balances competing interests. Just as Christ would weigh compassion against justice and so forth, moving between Meekness and Righteousness for Understanding and Joy and Happiness.
Working together is not the standard Christ sets, but working together on the advice of those with council in the place of authority is. While it is called on you to be a very high official, in the sight of G|d, the difficulty of achieving the right balance more than sets the players mind on arbitrary works, but on higher balance - one that will sustain the stresses of failure, and the highs of success.
(You are - I hope - beginning to see the point of looking for inspiration!)
Role Playing Games (RPGs) are perhaps the last place you would expect to see Christ. My contention is of course, that that is the place you should most find Him. We learn about Christ when we surrender choice, so a game that constantly revolves around growing, based on the choices we make, is at least in theory, very much able to point to Christ.
Interesting, just as G|D spoke through his stars, to inhabitants of the mansions in His great Mansion (if it were not so, Christ would have told us), G/d speaks to us through randomized game elements. As I said, FEAR had this trait, temporarily, as things exploded; another game that had it was in fact Oblivion, the RPG. Because G\d had been able to influence the arrangement of the star patterns in the sky in Oblivion, you could actually learn things, like that 'a son always thinks he has disappointed his mother, but a mother always holds him to account for what he can do' and such things as that. This is in fact different from what the stars tell us - being more to do with life (if you will ask the Holy Spirit) - but in the same vein, very relevant.
As you might expect, other random elements in the game speak of G|d also, just as the arrangement of things in life, G/d is able to use as indicators of things that we could learn about, informing ourselves of them, by the principles represented. The effect of this in a game, if my own testimony is anything to go by, is that you become much more interested in learning, than in engaging in conflict of any kind. I actually virtually stopped playing this game, when I discovered that the screensave function did not work with my particular computer. Later when I picked the game up again, I lost interest once the game's storyline was I assume accidentally broken - this would not have happened if the point was to learn what G|d had created through the game (I would have kept playing, I assume, simply pursuing other directions than the main plot).
What is interesting is that, a savvy developer could easily have left the details up to G|d to begin with (being the firstfruits of the design) and then incorporated the interpretation of these developments into the game's design for the player's to reflect on. Such a game would be an experience like no other, could even be left open to other players to share the experience of through savegame files - that stored their interpretations for others to replay.But I digress, I suppose the point is that Christ is earnestly seeking to communicate with players, even before the game developers announce they have faith in Christ - being more than willing to be represented by G|d in random occurences throughout the game. Were we to comprehend the W|sdom of this and give our lives to the God who makes this possible, games would be very different today... one can only imagine!
I remembered there is one game that (from what I heard) use the character of Jesus Christ for the main character model.The first Deus Ex game (not the latest one, Deus Ex: Revolution) has a main character called "JC Denton" and from what I know, "JC" on "JC Denton" actually stands for "Jesus Christ".I might be wrong though but do correct me if I'm wrong. :)
Hmmm... yes, it would be easy to cash in that way, the way the Matrix did.
What would be great is if they used words, Jesus used, as well!
Bubble Bobble showed me Christ, in that it was the first game I played where I could share the screen with my brother. We learned honour, by communicating who should get what bonus, where. It really was unforgettable - it was perhaps the only time when I agreed with my brother, as a child.
Am playing Portal 2, at the moment, and am falling more and more in love with the Door as I play. You can make a portal anywhere, you don't have to kill, you don't have to destroy. This needs to be remembered when it comes to making games that _honour_ Christ.
I know the world spits at that idea, but the heavenliness of this game, the sheer joy of believing that the door will save you, is so close to sharing Christ that a message in a game that imitated this (can you copyright a portal?) could so easily point to Christ in people's lives, unmistakeably. You could easily witness of Christ based on Portal (people want the door to be there for them, right, well, they are in Portal, and they can be in life - Christ is the one who opens and shuts the Door, it's fantastic!)
If you think you can put your game and Christ in the same sentence, you know you are on a winner.
Another game I have seen Christ in, was simply Doom. You fought Hell. Literally. You were Death, to Hell. Something resembling the Devil made an appearance, and you killed him, too.
Naturally this lacked Wisdom, and was superficial, but you had no choice but to acknowledge that there was evil, evil with power you could not trust. You had to kill.It was to save Earth and therefore a godly fight.
What is difficult here, is that no time was given to dwell on Christ, on the possibility of compassion, on the righteousness of teamwork, with others who were against the enemy. No room for love to grow, only fight.
It was perhaps the most fleeting glimpse of Christ in a game, that you can imagine.
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