9 years ago I noticed that the Christian worldview was sadly lacking in the mainstream video game press. I wanted to find a web site that discussed the theological impact of the games that I played. A web site written by actual gamers that attempted to go beyond discussing the surface elements of video games (violence, language, etc.). My questions all revolved around:
- What thoughts, ideas, and experiences am I being exposed to by video game developers?
- How do these worldviews differ from my own?
- As a Christian, what should my response be?
I envisioned a web site that could compete with the big boys at the time, Gamespot and Gamespy. So I created JohnnyBGamer.com to go against the best. Quite quickly I learned that a large amount of time, talent, and money are needed to compete in any real way. In short, I couldn’t compete. Eventually I relaunched JBG as the personal blog it is today. I wasn’t defeated, just confronted with reality.
Almost a decade has gone by, and I now find myself questioning the need for a Christian video game web site. Why do we, as Christians, have to segregate ourselves from the world and form our own personal ghettos? Instead of having a Christian video game site, why can’t we have writers writing for major publications that are Christians?
The digital landscape has changed a lot since 2003. Sites such as GameChurch and The Cross and the Controller (which seems to have gone missing) now exist to plumb the depths of video games and the Christian worldview. I am in no way against such ministries, but I openly wonder at the audiences they reach. Would it not be better to influence the gaming culture from inside a major web site versus from outside in the ghetto?
What do you think?
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. – James 4:13-17 (NIV)
The future is a blank canvas that we like to scribble all over. Ideas fueled by our imaginations, egos, and sometimes even greed paint glorious indecipherable doodles that don’t always line up with God’s will. We say to ourselves, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. (James 4:13b)” Notice though, that in doing so, we have failed to bring God in on our future plans.
15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
I don’t think that we always intentionally leave God out. Dreams and ideas mixed with future planning can quickly become intoxicating, even overwhelming. No, I think that we get so caught up in planning out the future, that we do not realize just who gives us our dreams.
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Our world is full of distractions; distractions that beg for our time and that contribute to the numbness we feel towards the urgency clearly spelled out in Scripture. If our lives are but mist, why aren’t we taking everything to God in prayer?