Christians and video games are a strange mix. The fact that geeky movies, books, communities and other forms of media are growing rapidly cannot be ignored. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that includes consoles, handhelds like the 3DS or Vita, and especially mobile gaming. Yet, I do not see much engagement from Christians within this sub-culture.
What I feel is lacking is more practical solutions for things like video game addiction, anger management (aka rage quit), prioritizing responsibilities, or being respectful to females (that one is for guys). As believers, God has equipped us to help others through prayer, counsel, and just being an example for them to model. The image of the jobless guy in a dark basement playing his Xbox or PlayStation has to end.
Not as different as I thought
In regards to Christian video games, there’s a lot of creativity that has been coming up in the past few years. From That Dragon, Cancer to FIVE: Guardians of David and Aetherlight, I can say that Christians actually have some nice choices in games to choose from. There are others as well, and some more in development, but being creative and doing things with excellence is the way to make a great game.
Playing Christian games isn’t what makes a gamer though, that’s just a choice in genre. I also do not recommend sticking to just games that discuss God and the bible, as that makes a person very narrow and unaware to other experiences they could have. Sure, not every game glorifies God nor is a positive experience, but most of them are pretty harmless and enjoyable. Some games we can even learn from, while others should be avoided.
Being a Christian who plays video games for as many years as I have, I have learned different disciplines that have helped me out. As a follower of Christ, I read His word and shape my life around His will and purposes for me. In that way, I don’t take part in certain activities that other people might not have an issue with. Whether that’s drinking, sexual activity outside of marriage, cussing, gossip, or hating other people, I ask God for strength to keep me away from temptations like these. He has a better plan for me, and even with video games, my faith reflects what I spend my time on.
Not playing games that are overly sexual or full of gore are some things I avoid, and for other gamers that might look different. When a Christian is online and chatting with others, they should show them the love of Christ and share the hope that they have. Gamers have the bad habit to be pretty foul online, so when they see that we play and interact in a loving way, it will be noticed.
Spending time in places where gamers hang out should be another way to be part of the community. I don’t think there should only be Christian groups for gamers, we should be in all of them. I am part of several Playstation communities that are for believers, and they are great, but how much would I be missing if I just stayed there?
I want to always be a light in a dark place and not afraid of the world, which is not what Christ called us to do. He told us to go into the world, not be of it. I hope to one day see more panels in cons discussing God in video games, or people being prayed for in arcades right after playing. It has to become a lifestyle, just being someone who will share the love of God to others. This applies to everyone, not just those who play video games. I too am challenged to not just talk about it but go and do it! I have been recently asking God how else He wants to use me in this area with greater impact, than simply writing a blog post.
What should Christians be doing to bring others to Christ using video games as the source? What would be a good idea that hasn’t been tried or not done enough that would bring others to knowing Him outside of a religious way, where they can have a personal relationship with God.
I want to hear what you have to say! Let me know in the comment section 🙂