After 3 years of owning an Xbox 360, I am finally, yes, FINALLY on Xbox LIVE! Gamertag is Ando Commando 4; don't hesitate to add me if you're a frequent reader of the blog! I'd love to meet up with the readership, especially those of you who share an interest in "Catholic" gaming. Anyone up for some Rock Band 2? I'm not bad on guitar...
Now if only I could avert my eyes from Blazblue: Calamity Trigger enough to actually play some games I'm actually good at. I'm not letting the free month of Gold membership go to waste, and truth be told, Blazblue has such a steep learning curve (note to ARC System Works: please put in a tutorial next time! Never has a fighting game needed one more than Blazblue!) that I'm nearly convinced to put it away until I finish off some of the older games (say, Culdcept Saga and Tales of Vesperia) that have been left untouched for quite awhile now. There IS a bonus DVD that includes fighting strategies for the uninitiated...perhaps I'll give that a whirl tonight. Still, with only a month of online gaming until I need to fork over the big bucks, wasting any time on single-player games seems a bit silly. It's like anything else in this world: What's the point in having it if you're not going to use it? The classic biblical parable of the men and the talents holds true for video games too. Go figure!
The flip side of the coin, of course, is ensuring that my love of video games doesn't become an addiction. Too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing, and ANYTHING, video games included, can become a barrier to our relationship with Christ if we become too attached to them. Oftentimes during this summer, I've deliberately avoided video games if I hadn't done some spiritual reading or praying yet that day...and if work was around, well, that Xbox was staying unplugged until that work was finished (too bad I can't say the same for my computer! Alas, Microsoft Word and my favorite gaming websites and blogs are separated by merely a few clicks, and the temptation is too muc to bear most of the time).
But I still believe in the mission of this blog. If for everything there is a season, and a time and a place under heaven, as scripture says, why can't there be time for video games? And why can't it be more than mere recreation (as worthy as that moral end may be)? Some have ridiculed this blog's "motto" ("Gaming for the Greater Glory of God"), but I sincerely believe in that little slogan, hokey and tepid as it may sound.
Then again, I COULD just be trying to redeem the unredeemable. I can march around all day claiming that my discernment led me to starting this blog, but as many a serious Christian will tell you (Catholic or not), it's all too easy to claim that something is "God's will" when it is really just what Andy Kirchoff's wishes God's will was. Others (both commenters on this blog and some friends of mine that I know outside of cyberspace) think that I'm trying to artificially "Catholicize" something, ham-fisting my religion into something that really has no place for it. Antonin Scalia once said that there's no particularly "Catholic" way of making judicial decisions anymore than there is a "Catholic" way of making a hamburger; as much as I disagree, I'm sure many readers probably share similar sentiments.
Still, at the end of the day, it is as the Benedictines say (hattip to the homily I heard this past weekend!): "Ut in omnibus glorificetur deus." Translation? "In all things, may God be glorified." If Popes and Bishops have no problem with using media for this end (and the Decree Inter Mirifica should be enough to demonstrate this to anyone beyond a shadow of a doubt), then I see no reason that games should be unincluded. St. Benedict, ora pro nobis!