January 22nd, 2006

Demand Grows for Christian-oriented Video Games

An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Christians are increasingly seeking video game options consistent with their values.

Ben Turner, who owns a Christian book store in St. Louis, told Post-Dispatch reporter D. Paul Harris, "There is an extremely strong need for Christian video games that have more positive role modeling and morality wrapped around it to teach our younger generation. But the quality has to be at a level that competes with the current gaming systems that are out there."

"As Christians, we believe we are in a spiritual war," said Al Menconi (left), who runs a ministry devoted to educating parents about the entertainment industry from a Biblical perspective. "I'm afraid that the majority of Christians have allowed much of today's entertainment to undermine our Christianity. We accept certain forms of entertainment, compromising our morals and our values."

Menconi, 60, told the newspaper he supports any video game that is both challenging and has strong moral values even if it is not specifically a Christian video game.
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A Christian Gamer Writes in on the Kuja105 Tragedy

A story which GamePolitics ran on Friday concerning the tragic suicide of gamer Mitchell Lee "Mitch" Steukerjuergen, aka Kuja105 provoked a massive response. While many who posted comments were saddened by Kuja's untimely death and touched by the grief felt by his online gaming friends, others were outraged by some unbelievably insensitive comments posted here at GP (and since deleted).

As a rule, GamePolitics does not print letters from readers on the front page. We reserve the comment space as an area where those with an opinion can express themselves. However this e-mail from GP reader David Savage struck a chord with us, given the raw emotion surrounding Mitch's story. We present it here, slightly edited:

"I am a Christian (non-denominational), yet I am also the first person to admit that enforcing religious opinion as a way of censorship in video games is asinine. Let's face facts; video games are fiction, just like books, movies, and television. However, it seems as if pundits, lawyers, and media mongers have been using my religion as a meat shield for their ignorant attacks on video games.
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Christianity and Violent Games: A Marriage Made in Heaven?

Is it okay for Christians to play violent games?

Matt Peckham examines that question in the February edition of Computer Gaming World. His report is titled, appropriately enough, God Mode. Citing statistics which show 75% of Americans are Christians and 50% play video games, the logical conclusion is that a great multitude of Christians are playing video games.

But how does "Thou Shalt Not Kill" fit into the picture?

CGW spoke to several Christian gaming clans, including Christian Gamers Online (CGO) and Men of God International (MOG).

CGO founder Kendrick Kenerly told the magazine, "(violent games) all boil down to a few things: they have a goal, they have a reward for the goal, and they have a set of rules that need to be followed to reach the goal. The violence in most games isn't something we get worked up about. It's merely 'presentation'..."

CGO uses their Battlefield 2 and Ghost Recon servers to proselytize. Admin messages scroll every few minutes, telling players things like, "We want you to know that... Jesus loves you!"
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