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Rated 'A' for 'Assault': Video Games and Your Kids

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VIDEO GAMES

God and Gaming: The Invasion of Christian Video Games

Courtesy of BattleCry.com

CBN.comChristian video games... a conflict of interest? In today’s age of guts, gore, and explicit graphics, many are clambering for a more wholesome approach to video games, and Christian developers are answering the call.

The controversy behind the uncovered sex scenes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is only one example of immoral game content making headlines. Rather than complaining about what’s out there, many Christian developers have risen to the challenge and are producing Christian games to counter the secular market.

Thomas Bean, CEO of Digital Praise, states, “It is difficult to find games that are appropriate. And even those that are rated E for everyone may not really be appropriate for children.”

In contrast to their counterparts, Christian games promote Christian values, leaving parents worry-free about questionable content. Ralph Bagley, another Christian developer and CEO of N-Lightning Software, states, “The secular industry is trying to be more shocking... and we want to show that games can be inspired by more than just violence and lust.”

What motivates these soldiers in their quest? Reminiscent of Matthew 5:14-16, Bagley declares, “We’re going to hold the word of God up and illuminate the place. We’re taking the land back from Satan.”

Current Games Available Include

Eternal War: Shadows of Light – XrucifiX

Action packed but without all the guts and gore of other first-person action shooters, this game engages players in the spiritual warfare of Michael the angel as he ventures into the mind of John Coronado to battle the inner demons plaguing him. On the verge of suicide, you must help free him from his torment and bring him back to the One who can save him.

Dance Praise – Digital Praise, Inc.

Simply put, Dance Praise fuses the fun of high energy dancing games with the positive lyrics of Christian music. It offers four different modes of game play and over 50 Christians songs from rock, rap, hip-hop, techno, and other genres. If players had fun playing Dance Dance Revolution, Dance Praise is sure to set their feet on fire.

The Challenge

Christian developers face a number of challenges, the main one being: Will their games be fun? Gamers do not want to be preached at; quite the opposite, they only want to have fun. Mackenzie Ponech, developer and co founder of XruciX, hit it dead on when he said, “It’s not about taking a Bible, rolling it up, and shoving it down the person’s throat who’s playing the game.”

The current market for Christian video games is small. A lack of money, investors, and retailer exposure remains an obstacle for Christian developers while mainstream game developers have all the resources they need. So far, Christian games have mostly been on PC. However, developers are eyeing a shot at the big time: making games for a console such as Xbox, Playstation, or GameCube.

Some wonder of the place violence has in Christian games. Scott Wong of Brethren Entertainment puts it this way: “The actual act of pulling a trigger and hunting something-–somebody might have a problem with that. I always tell people that if you want good drama, you have to have conflict--without that, you can’t make your point.”

Despite being called “Christian” games, some may question whether they reflect Biblical values. In reality, the division among developers is not whether they are Biblical, but just how much of “the message” should be presented in their games. Mike Salmond, teacher of digital media at Elon University, believes that if games are not entertaining and if the message becomes the point, it will be a tough sell.

The market for Christian video games is growing similar to the Christian music genre several years ago. What was once a small niche genre is now a powerhouse in the music industry. Could the same thing happen with Christian video games? Only time will tell.

Other Christian Video Games Currently Available
- Ominous Horizons: A Paladin’s Calling, Catechumen – N’Lightning Software
- Victory at Hebron – Brethren Entertainment
- Isles of Derek, Nacah – Virtue Games
- The Quest, President for a Day – Ethos Games
- Xibala, Rev 7 – Rev 7 Christian Games

Christian Games Coming Soon
- Eternal War: Nightmares – XruciX
- Titus and Timothy – White Knight Games
- Left Behind: Eternal Forces – Left Behind Games
- Heaven the Game – Genesis Works
- Casting the Shadows – Brethren Entertainment
- The Axys ChroniclesRebel Planet Creations
- The Rebel Planet: Orion (for Xbox), Rebel Planet Creations

Additional resources and articles:
-Not Just Fun and Games
-For Parents: Video Games - An Overview

***

Read more on this topic on CBN.com:
-Rated 'A' for 'Assault': Video Games and Your Kids
-Christian Video Game Alternatives
-Have a favorite Christian Game? It could win the CBNCyberSeal Award.
-Virtual Reality: The Brave New World of Christian Video Games
-Read more parenting articles on CBN.com.


Sources:
The New York Times, ABC News, The Washington Times, ChristianToday, Christian Post, CCGR.com, MSNBC, N-Lightning Software, DigitalPraise, X-Crucifix, Brethren Entertainment, Christiangaming.com, Zinkle.com, Christiananswers.net, Web-evangelism.com

 

Read youth culture news, youth ministry articles, and join the fight for America’s young people at http://www.battlecry.com. Article reprinted with permission.

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