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Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Game Collection: A Need for Re-balancing

     As Christians living in a day and age dominated by the media, we have naturally adopted this habit of filtering what we let into our minds. Not only does this have biblical precedent (Phl. 4:8), but it's almost a necessary reaction to the sheer amount of information that gets put in front of us everyday by various forms of media.
     As a gamer then, I naturally have a filter by which I decide which games to play and which ones not to. However, the more I have thought about it recently, the more I wonder how effective I am at filtering.
     For instance, I was looking in my case where I keep my most played games, and I noticed something: every single one of the seven or eight games was a shooter. Troubled, I looked through the rest of my games and was a little disturbed to see how shooters vastly outnumbered any other type of game in my arsenal. Now without getting into specific contexts that this violence happens, I felt like I was justifiably disturbed at how little constructive and non-violent gaming content I had made available to myself over the years (so naturally, I immediately bought Minecraft. An investment I sorely wish I had made sooner).    
     Now I am not trying to spark a debate over the merits of violent video games: that's a discussion for another day. However, I think a valid conversation Christian gamers ought to be having is the amount of "good" gaming we make available to ourselves. Are we taking enough time to pull ourselves away from games focused on destruction to play ones that make us focus on teamwork, creativity, building, etc.? At what point do we draw a line and say "I'm going to play something different today, because I need to focus on something else."
     In a biblical sense, it's the gluttony argument: that too much of anything (regardless of it's merits) is always a bad thing. Looking over my video game collection, it was pretty apparent that I may indeed have had too much of one particular thing. Regardless of your opinion on violent games, it is undeniable that more "Artistic" games: Minecraft, Rock Band, Portal, etc. have the ability to stretch the mind and bring out a creativity that most people don't realize they have. So as we look over our game collections, may we pause once and awhile to see how well our filter is working. Maybe we all could do to play a little more Minecraft.

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