The importance of a good story cannot be overstated. Whole cultures are shaped around their common stories, and it’s not hard to think (at least in my own life) of the influence of various stories, least of which is the gospel “story.” This must explain why I have recently developed such a fascination with the Xbox 360.
I’ve never been much of a gamer. Beyond a few casual play sessions and a few random purchases of older systems I never did bother with video games much. But as I have read the game-related writings of my fellow CaPC writers, and others, and as I have seen the games played by others I must admit that I have grown fascinated with video games. The stories that surround many of the most popular and acclaimed games are compelling and powerful. Add to this the fact that video games allow me suddenly to participate in these stories in ways that I had never considered. With each game I am being forced to ask myself meaningful questions about ethical living and the moral response to various conflicts. I’ll grant, of course, that the worlds of BioShock and other games are fictional, yet these fictional stories (like all good stories) make me ask questions about real life. Owning an Xbox 360 has in many ways changed gaming for me.
As a Christian I must appreciate the stregnth of good storytelling and the importance of stories (especially true ones like those of the gospels). That’s why this pastor has found a little bit of time every now and again to enjoy a video game. Some of these stories do matter.