The following is an interview with a community I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the past couple of months. I am more extroverted than introverted, so I like meeting others and talking about our shared interests. Hence, a group that loves God and plays videogames is perfect for me! The owner, MadKingBob,
Gaming & God: Thank you very much guys for giving of your time to answer my questions. I hope my readers can learn what you’re about and hopefully give the community a try!
MadKingBob (MKB): First off Samuru, thank you so much for having us on Gaming & God. I’ve been a fan of the blog for a while now and I LOVE what you’re doing here.
I’m MadKingBob, co-founder of Higher Score Gaming and show-runner for our HSG Podcast. I’ve been gaming since the late ’80s and have always enjoyed the more social aspects of gaming. I believe experiences are 1,000 times better when shared with others. I began playing Destiny 1 on Xbox at launch and within weeks had met T-Rex and Pr0ph3t online through matchmaking. We knew we liked hanging out but we never really discussed our faith. One day, I guess you could say we just got ‘close enough’ and someone brought God into a conversation we were having. I don’t remember which one of us it was, but I remember it being a transformational moment for us.
A couple years later, I had become a podcast junkie and joined a ‘positive gaming’ community that wasn’t all it appeared to be, at least to newcomers. It was very cliquey. I was hungry for community and I desired a community that embraced faith and gaming. Finding none, I asked a crazy question one day to T-Rex and Pr0ph3t, ‘What if we started a show?’
It only took a couple weeks before we were rolling. We decided how we would format it. We ordered equipment, studied the competitive landscape a bit and decided to go full-force with a unique fusion of faith and gaming. A fan of the show asked me once, ‘Do you have a Discord server?’ to which I replied, ‘What’s a Discord?’ We started one immediately, and the community has been growing ever since. The show is now re-balanced as sort of a 50% ‘fan’ service and a 50% give-back to our awesome community.
PR0PH3T0FRAGE: Hi, I’m PR0PH3T0FRAGE. I started my gaming life circa 1989 with the old school NES with Kung Fu. I graduated to better games like the Super Mario Series and then to the SNES with Super Star Wars and the like. I missed out on a couple of generations of consoles when I was living in India for medical school and rejoined the grind with the OG Xbox. I’ve been an XBOX gamer since the beginning while also dipping my toes in the Nintendo and Playstation oceans on occasion. I started HSG with MADKINGBOB and TRUCIDUS REX after gaming with them for several years on Xbox Live in games like Destiny and The Division. We all decided we were sick of playing with gamers who were very antagonistic, demeaning, and downright rude. We wanted to start a community that made people feel welcome, loved, and supported to enhance their gaming experience.
Trucidus Rex: I’m Trucidus Rex (but most call me “T-Rex”), and I’m a co-host and the news editor of the HSG podcast. I had known MadKingBob for a couple years having met him randomly in Destiny. I met Pr0phet0fRage through that friendship with MKB and we became a kind of a Destiny fireteam. One day while playing Destiny, MKB pitched an idea I just loved: a podcast for a Christian gamer demographic. I consider myself something of an amateur game historian, so I think that’s what MKB thought I could bring to the table (that and catch-phrases). We just refined the idea over time until we thought we were ready to press start on the thing, and the rest is history.
Gaming and God: What events can people expect to enjoy when they join and why should someone join the Higher Score Gaming discord?
MadKingBob (MKB): The church and gamers typically don’t mix well. Gamers tend to keep their game-time to themselves. The church is generally quite comfortable with the idea of fellowship on the couch during a sporting event on Sunday. When video games are mentioned, a judgmental spirit sometimes gets let off the chain, even in the heart of the most well-intentioned believer.
Gamers feel misunderstood and go right back home, convinced that they were right all along about those ‘church people’. We believe that both hardcore gamers and hardcore Christians both benefit from trying harder to open up their worlds to each other, so we bridge this gap on a regular basis. Here’s the thing: both unsaved gamers and Christ-followers are made from a lot of the same stuff. They both want more than this world has to offer. They both want to accomplish something larger than themselves. They both have to come together with others like themselves to accomplish these larger-than-life objectives. The building blocks are there. Our goal is to show the unsaved or ‘Christ-curious’ that gaming and faith share a lot more common ground than perhaps they’ve ever considered before.
For bonus points, we also like to demonstrate that you don’t have to be toxic and treat people like trash to find satisfaction. The podcast and the Discord server are both planted on 1 Cor 15:33 that reads,
“Do not be deceived; bad company corrupts good character.”
We always joke on the show and say, ‘We’ve gathered all of your future best friends in one place. You’re welcome!’ As cringe-y as that is, we do believe it’s true. We have seen so many lives changed and friendships formed here.
We currently are stretching our fearless crew across a few spaces and that includes podcasting, Discord, and Twitch. A new member can expect enough content to keep them lifted up a couple times per week at this point between Twitch streaming and scheduled ‘Community Plays’ where we all get together and jam on games together.
We have many weekly events such as Raid Training for Destiny 2, Grinding with T-Rex in Division 2, Weekly Bible Study on Twitch, crossplay on PS4 and Xbox, and many more.
We are also especially proud of our Story Mode show on Twitch which is a Bible study by gamers (really for anyone) but built to reach gamers. Most importantly, we’ve been told that we have the best Discord server on the planet on multiple occasions. The prayer channel in the server is active, LFG’s happen on an hourly basis most evenings, and don’t believe the propaganda that clean memes aren’t funny. They’re hilarious. Our members have found most of them and you will laugh every single day you check the server out. Again, you’re welcome!
G&G: What future plans do you have with HSG?
We are getting ready to launch something called “Team-Up Tuesdays” (working title) where we deliberately build groups made up of players we KNOW haven’t met one another yet. We truly are committed to building friendships.
The podcast will continue for as long as people enjoy listening to it. We’ll also add games to our rotation.
Some of our East-Coast leadership team is going to DreamHack Atlanta 2019 on November 15, 16, and 17. We are having a meet-up or two and I’m rocking a press pass on a mission to bring some new content to our January podcast episodes. You can also expect some amazing interviews on the show throughout 2020 as we continue to mature the show and begin to compete with the IGN’s and Kotaku’s of the world.
Over the long-term, we’d like to simply keep seeing the community grow, more relationships being built and God’s will be done. We’ve got our ears open to hear what that is. One member mentioned to us that they’d like to see a ‘Higher Score Jr.’ for younger gamers. I like the sound of that and we’ll see what happens!
G&G: How can people reach you or HSG, and how can we pray for HSG?
You can find us on the interwebs at Higher Score Gaming where a link to join our Discord server sits proudly on the front page. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
By searching for ‘Higher Score Gaming’ on any podcast platform you can also subscribe and listen to our show. We are on Twitch under the name Higher Score Gaming as well. We do have a YouTube channel that is undergoing construction at the moment, but it should be filling up with content in no time.
You can find me on Xbox Live or PSN as MadKingBob. Feel free to friend me directly. I’d love to meet you!
In terms of prayer, please simply pray that whatever God has in mind for this movement
we’ve been building, it comes to pass and that the choices we have to make along the way to stay in line with His will are obvious, so we can keep it moving! Thank you!
I’m grateful for these guys and what they are doing for the gaming community. God is doing new things and lives are being changed for His glory online, through gaming. That is the heart of this blog, so I am proud to be part of this community and look forward to what is coming next!
Remember to check them out in the following links, and also find more communities here in my resource page.