Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gaming after conversion.

I am sure many of our readers can recognise how, at some point in their life, they made a transition from a child apprehension of the Catholic Faith to an adult one. A good number of others will have approached the Faith from a nearly total neo-pagan upbringing but in both situations the 'converts' will come to see many of the things they used to do as incompatible with the Gospel of Christ.

It is interesting as to how deeper conversion effects catholic gamers. I was certainly someone who was playing video games long before I had any grasp or acceptance of the faith and 'converted', as it were, only around the age of 17. How then should the full Catholic faith alter my appreciation of gaming? I don't think I have come to a conclusion yet. On the one hand, if I reflect on the philosophies underlining a lot of the games I really love (Console RPGs mainly) I find really questionable stuff (I'll reflect on this later) on the other hand, I know that such games can be great for relaxation and can be a common point of dialogue with many guys my age.

I think there are two legitimate approaches then towards gaming (especially of the RPG and adventure variety which are essentially interactive novels), the first is to totally reject all games that are not explicitly and wholly in conformity with the Gospel (this was the approach of Tertullian on the subject of whether Christians should read pagan fiction or attend the theatre). A 'liberal' reading of Tertullian's approach would be to also allow the legitimate video game corpus to include morally ambivalent games like Duck Hunt, Driving Sims, Sports Sims, Puzzle games and a few cheesy 'bible based games'.

The second legitimate approach towards games, so far as they are not intrinsically evil, is to see the values, philosophies and ideas that are good and noble in them so as to enrich our appreciation of what Tolkien refers to as 'the true myth', the Christian Revelation. Vatican II, in the quotes on the side of the blog takes this positive approach and hopefully in my posts I will be able to look at some of the great video games and see what we can take from them that will enrich us as followers of Christ.

1 comment:

Andy Kirchoff said...

Tertullian was an apostate at one point, so I take everything he says with a grain of salt ;P Vatican II FTW on this one!