Three video game stations are at my chur…

Three video game stations are at my church, ready to be installed into the walls of our youth hall. An internal debate rages inside my head. What do you think?

13 thoughts on “Three video game stations are at my chur…

  1. Chad

    I think Video Games are as valid a form of media as any other. If you’re gonna teetotal, that’s cool, but I think to single out music / video and other forms of consumption as ok, and video games as not… is inconsistent. Just my $.02

  2. sharolyn

    Question: Would you be okay if you sent Josiah and Zion to youth group and they came home and told you about Rated M games? (I am asking honestly, not trying to corner you.)

  3. sharolyn

    Follow-up… and does the boy’s age matter? “Youth group” implies grades 6-12, a large range.

  4. michael

    I would expect the leaders to use the same discretion with video games that they would use with videos and music. No, “M” games wouldn’t be appropriate for youth group, no matter the age, just like playing a CD with sexual innuendo or foul language wouldn’t be appropriate.

    “Video Games” includes many titles, many genres. Should kids be blowing each other up in Half-Life before hearing about Paul’s letter to the Romans? No, probably not. Could they be playing ModNation Racers? I think so.

  5. JLord

    First off, Half Life hasn’t been multiplayer since, like, 1998. Now you only blow up aliens.

    In all seriousness, this reminds me of a lecture I heard at a summer camp about a Christian reaction to media. They used two criteria for classifying media, Quality and Content, which leaves us with 4 categories of media & 4 different reactions:

    1. Good Quality, Good Content: A message that lines up with a Christian worldview in the form of well-executed art, i.e. A church service from, oh, say, Willow Creek in Chicago. Reaction: Love it, learn it, learn from it.

    2. Bad Quality, Good Content: A good message, well-intentioned but poorly executed. i.e. a Christian garage band. Reaction: Be edified by its message, but know what could be done better & don’t settle in your own work.

    3. Good Quality, Bad Content: A less-than-holy message, but done superbly. i.e. oh…most pop and R&B. Reaction: Learn from its form so you can make more category 1 art, but guard your heart from its message.

    4. Bad Quality, Bad Content: Bad message, poorly made media. i.e….I think you get the idea. Reaction. Stay away. There’s nothing to learn. Except for what not to be.

    How this applies to video games: Basically what Michael said. Games with questionable content shouldn’t be a part of the game selection. However, games that are good quality will attract kids, just like any other good quality media will. And good quality helps them take the content (i.e. everything else that goes on at youth group) more seriously. So, maybe scratch Half-Life despite its merits as a game. But consider Portal: equally award winning but consisting solely of puzzle rooms and a hand held teleportation device.

  6. sharolyn

    Further thought. You have convinced me that there is nothing wrong with the video games. I still have this bee in my bonnet, though, that there is nothing right with them at church. Is that why we go to church?

    The older I get, the more attractive “church” sounds when there are fewer people, less systems and structure, less technology, more Bible, more fellowship, maybe a song or two sometimes.

    I read an article this morning that stirred my brain’s pot.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/opinion/07brooks.html?_r=1&ref=davidbrooks

  7. sharolyn

    Isn’t there someplace in between missionary work in third-world countries and consumer Christianity? Although I would benefit from the former, that is currently what I am trying to find. The in-between place.

  8. michael

    I think there’s a place for spectacle in the work of the church. The feeding of the 5,000 isn’t the same thing as Jesus taking his disciples to the garden to pray, but there was a place for both of them.

  9. Cerise

    Hmmm. My first reaction is ‘why not?’ My second reaction is ‘I hope they ban Left Behind: Eternal Forces. Seriously.’ But that’s for PC, isn’t it?

    My third reaction is probably typical of a person raised by missionaries in the Dark Continent – I remember my first visit to Willow Creek, for instance – so I’ll spare you the gories on that one.

  10. Steve

    But the feeding of 5,000 was what John 6:14 called a “sign” (not merely a “spectacle”), and signs are meant to point to something. If it was only for the sake of spectacle, the Jesus seriously blew the PR opportunity that presented itself (John 6: 26 ff).
    Let’s not overspiritualize this – - the video games are there for amusement. Multiplyer games have some minor element of social interaction, so I would put them – at most – on the same level of ellowshipf as the church coffee.
    If you want to see how much churches are spending on youth entertainment, check out this “theming” company and their video stations: http://wackyworldstudios.com/portfolio-gamestations.html
    Next, check out their client list and see what % are churches.

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