Rules of the Game – Don’t Be A Jerk

Last night, I was playing Fall Guys with Wyatt. We were having a good time. We loaded into a game mode called Treat Thieves. In Treat Thieves, you have to either:

  • Defend the candy/tag people out (they go to jail until someone hits the release button).
  • Seek the candy/hold onto it until you reach the other end of the level and place it in your team’s goal.

I was playing defense and guarding the jail release button when someone from my team came up and hit the button. What? We had 5 out of 8 players in jail at the time. If we had gotten all 8 players in jail, we would have won the game.

“Wyatt, did you see that?”

“No.”

“That guy, our team mate, just let the other team go.”

At first I thought my team mate didn’t know what he was doing. First time and all that, right? Wrong. He continued to press the button, releasing all the other team’s players from jail.

“What is wrong with this guy?”

I ranted and raved, yelling at the TV screen in disgust.

He released everyone again!

“AHHHHHHHH!”

Our game of Treat Thieves soon came to an end.

Surprise! We lost.

I have no clue what was going on with my team mate, but he was behaving like a jerk.

Moral of the Story: Don’t be a jerk. It cost us the game.

God Loves You / I’m Just Getting Started

Forgotten, collecting dust, that’s the state I found my grandparent’s Atari in. I was young, as in kindergarten/first grade young, when I had my first tastes of the digital world. The game was Combat, which was released in 1977, on the Atari 2600. Combat featured a tank game that forced players to go head-to-head. Navigating barriers, boxing in your opponent, and shooting for the kill. The game was fantastic!

Beyond the 8-bit thrills of the Atari, my second taste of the gaming world came from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, Little Nemo: The Dream Master, and DuckTales ruled the days (along with many other games). I have fond memories of pausing which ever game, leaving the system on, and then coming back and playing more; I also have fond memories of playing games together with my sister.

I write the above to say that video games are in my DNA. At 41 years of age, I still enjoy a good game.

 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 (NLT)

Since 2003, I have been part of the discussion and writing in the faith, life, and gaming space of the internet. Basically, I’ve been around since the dawn of time. All along I have been championing the phrase, “There is more to life than just video games”. In other words, saying that I believe that there is life, in this world, beyond just sitting in front of a screen. A life where we:

  • Have hobbies
  • Grab a cup of coffee/tea/soda and talk about faith
  • Surround ourselves in community
  • Build relationships

With the base foundation that God loves you.

That it.

It’s simple.

God loves you.

He desires a relationship with you.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9 (NIV)

The Good News of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, is at the very heart from which I write. That Jesus Christ was a real person. That He came, died, and was resurrected on the 3rd day. Why did He do this? For you. Because He loves you.

So I write with the purpose of sharing my life, wrestling with matters of faith, and diving into the latest boardgame/video game I’m playing.

I want to renew my pledge that the virtual door is always open. That there is indeed more to life than just games. Gaming shouldn’t define who you are, dear reader. It is an aspect of who you are but it should never define you. That’s another post for another time though.

Bottom Line: The front door is open, there are drinks in the fridge, and I encourage you to kick off your shoes and sit down. It is 2022, and I’m just getting started.

Until next time,

– Bryan

Hot Springs, Guitars Have Souls, and the Prius

A few weeks ago, my brother Mike called asking a question:

“Do you want my Toyota Prius?”

His initial question led to my family driving to Hot Springs, Arkansas the following weekend. Which is the halfway point between Longview, Texas and Norfork, Arkansas.

We got lunch and then spent the afternoon walking into various stores. Did I mention it was hot? No? It was.

As we were sitting around a table, in the Arlington Hotel’s lobby, cooling off, Wyatt told Mike that he was looking to buy his first electric guitar. According to my brother, guitars have souls. Each guitar speaks to you in different ways. So you have to play different guitars until you find one that speaks to you. Wise advice.

Ended the day by driving back to where we had parked the Prius. Mike went over how to:

  • Start the car
  • Put it into park

He signed the car away, handed me the keys, and I hugged him goodbye. Wishing him the best with his move from Arkansas to Florida. And then my family and I drove home.

In the time since then, I’ve registered the car in the State of Texas. It’s now a Texas Hall Family Vehicle. I have also sold my Honda that I had driven for at last eighteen years. Goodbye sweet friend.

With the money from the sale of my car, Tab and I were able to make the final payment on her car.

The end result is how good God is. He knew what we needed (I’ve needed a car with AC) and when we needed it. I didn’t realize, deep down, how ready I was for a newer vehicle until now.

Good luck in Florida, Mike. Thank you for allowing yourself to be used to bless another.

I love my car.

Mr. Bryan

Here in East Texas, we teach our children to call adults “Mr. Steve” or “Mrs. Janet”. For some reason, the title of Mr. or Mrs. before the first name conveys respect. (I should note that usually its the title plus the last name.) There are even adults at church that I call Mrs. Renee or Mr. Richard because I can’t imagine calling them by their first names. They are older than me and have surely earned their respectful title.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to journey to Stephenville, Texas to attend a sister-in-laws college graduation. It was hot! My brother-in-laws brother-in-law asked me a question, “Mr. Bryan…”. I was thinking in my head, “Why are you calling me that? I’m not that old.” But then it dawned on me, I am definitely older than him.

I think it is funny how we can be a certain age (in my case, 41) and still feel much younger (I feel somewhere in my 30’s). I feel no different than I did in the past. And yet, I can remember when my dad was in his 40’s as well.

I’m finding as I get older, I feel more like I don’t have life figured out. And I think the key is learning to be okay with that.