Posts Tagged ‘ ethics ’

missional gaming???

Over the last few years it has been very cool to watch evangelical Christians discover or rediscover the wonder and power of film.  “Narrative Theologians” like Stanley Hauerwas, Hans Frei, et. al. deserve our thanks.  Cornerstone’s Flickerings, and the Damah film festivals serve as signs of the raise of the narrative, as do the many thoughtful and creative people who are seriously engaging story telling.  There is little doubt that our shared/collective narrative experience through film is powerfully shaping our world, replacing old barriers, and crafting a common story. 

It seems to me that video games maybe one of the most powerful narrative forms of the emerging world.  Most games are narrative, and the stories do not exist without the active participation of the player; in fact the industry calls this interactive-entertainment.  Games invite our presence, validate our existence, and provide a community centered around a common mission.  Increasingly, games invite players to link up with other players to form alliances.  These alliances often transcend the game.  Today’s games not only allow players to choose a character but shape the personally and abilities of their character(s), and some games have cumulative affects, so that how one plays today impacts what the character can do tomorrow. 

According to The interactive-entertainment industry has been vying with
Hollywood for top dollar in recent years. Figures on video-game profits vary all the way up to $30 billion worldwide, including hardware and software sales” (November 01, 2004).

Is there a comparison between movies (say, The Passion of the Christ or any movie really) and many of our modern Protestant churches.  “Come, sit, watch… and be transformed by our presentation.”  Gaming seems to say “invest, participate, enter a different culture and co-create a narrative for communal transformation.”  Maybe I have taken this too far, but maybe not.

Has anyone seen any essays like, “how is power and control used by game makers compared to movie directors?”  Or something like this. 

I got to thinking about what might missional gaming look like?  What if characters in the virtual world were to e-embody Christ?

Peace, dwight

world aids day

Tomorrow (12.1.2004) is World Aids Day.  NPR has an informative AIDs report.  More than 15 million children around the world have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Each one of these children has a name. Each one needs hope. 

Think about it – 15,000,000 children.  I don’t want your child or mine to be 15,000,001.

The Apostle Luke tells this story; “In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of… When the man saw Jesus, he fell to the ground, face down in the dust, begging to be healed. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘if you want to, you can make me well again.’  Jesus reached out and touched the man. ‘I want to,’ he said. ‘Be healed!'”

God help us, dwight

the eve of thanksgiving

America sets aside the day to be especially aware of the people, communities, place, opportunities, events, things, etc for whom/which we are thankful.  To say that Americans have much to be thankful for, is such an understatement it borders on being trite. 

·        In a world of hunger, most American’s have food;

·        In a world where roughly 40,000 people die everyday because of unclean drinking water, most Americans waste more clean water than they drink;

·        Though many family must seek employment for their young children (sometimes in sex trades), most American children receive a free education;

·        Though there is war, we live in relative peace;

·        In many places on our globe the religious are persecuted while we have considerable freedom;

·        Or think Africa’s AIDs epidemic and our relative health;

·        Economically, even the average American is part of the richest 3% of human beings on the globe. 

I wish it were that simple… its not.  We have often lived as though we are entitled to these blessing; entitlement is the enemy of gratitude.  America – including my family – consumes more food, wastes more water, creates more wars, and has the resources to aid the persecuted, tend to the ill, educate children, and work together to better the lives of the poorest of the poor. 

And so, I engage as whole heartedly as I can in the costly discipline of thankfulness.  I make the willful choice to see the many gifts I enjoy as an invitation live as a good and global neighbor.  With the hope that as I grow in thankfulness I will not consume as I once did; my eyes will be opened; and my heart will be moved.  God help me to notice, to be thankful, and to be a good neighbor.

What could a deep and enduring sense thanksgiving lead to? 

peace, dwight

sermon on the mount & buy nothing

Just thought I’d post a reminder that there is a collective effort to make a stand in the face of “mindless consumerism.”  For a number of years Adbusters has been promoting “Buy Nothing Day” as means of raising awareness and providing a first step to consumer-consciousness.  In America “Buy nothing day” is the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 26.  Here is a link to 101 things to do instead of consuming. 

I would encourage an intertextual reading of the Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” while reading some of the content on the Adbusters site. 

peace, dwight