A Bloody Torso, Video Game Violence and Responsibility

People who really love videogames are no strangers to shame. In fact, they've probably dealt with it in some capacity throughout the entirety of their lives, and hide their hobby in the closet. They know what's said about the activity, i.e., it's a childish waste of time. But those who look earnestly to videogames for deeper meaning and artistry sometimes deal with shame on a whole other level.[See bottom of the page for relevant image - just be warned that it is horrific and grotesque and … [Read more...]

Our Favorite Games of 2012

The Christ and Pop Culture writers got together and hashed out our list of the best games we have played this year. Here’s what we came up with.1) Papo & YoGiven the most popular AAA videogames' penchant for jingoism and violence, it is easy to write them off as juvenile power fantasies. Papo & Yo, however is a fantasy of an entirely different fold, one that aptly demonstrates how controlling an avatar can be an exercise in empathy. Vander Caballero, creative director of Papo … [Read more...]

Do We Really Need Christian Video Games?

I just read a lovely piece that I thought I would share my thoughts on about Christians making video games. Our own Richard Clark and Drew Dixon got interviewed for that article, and I think they made some salient observations. Indeed, I enjoyed the entire thing. I hope you'll take a moment to read it.I'm going to start this by being a little bit pedantic. Technically, we cannot have a Christian video game because video games cannot be Christians. It's kind of a "I'm joking but I'm kind of … [Read more...]

Christianity in Civilization V?

Have you ever wondered what Christianity might look like if it could rise above political maneuvering and military power plays and corruptible influences?One way to explore that is through gaming that allows players to develop their own worlds and test out the weight and impact of decisions and actions across multiple nations and lands. CaPC’s very own Richard Clark writes about this for a ChristianityToday.com article titled “Gods of Power and Might: What Civilization V Gets Right (And Wro … [Read more...]

On Religious Videogames and “El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron”

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, while far from 2011's most popular game, was one of last year's most important games. I say this because it was one of the first games that took seriously the idea of a holy God (a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing). Consequently, I was encouraged to see our very own Richard Clark starting a series of articles on the game.In the first of four articles, Richard begins by discussing the lack of spiritual games from Western developers: Religious … [Read more...]

Selfishness and Selflessness in Videogames

Our editor-in-chief here at Christ and Pop Culture, Richard Clark, has written an interesting article for Nightmare Mode on how games feed our natural self-centeredness and present us with player-centric worlds: Because of how deceptively attractive a world created for our personal pleasure can be, when we stumble upon one that works for us, we are markedly protective of them. They begin to take a holistic role in our lives, living in our thoughts as we work and interact with others. The open w … [Read more...]

Video Games Embrace the Permanence of Death

"Just remember that death is not the end," or so goes the Bob Dylan song. This has been the sentiment for video games as well. You can be mowed down by a horde of alien invaders, send your race car flying off the tracks in a mass of flaming metal, or even get your spine ripped out, and with the press of a button, it's like nothing ever happened. However, if you know that your character can be reborn after even the nastiest and most gruesome of demises -- if there's no sense of danger or loss -- … [Read more...]

Play in Process: Why ‘Curiosity’ is the iPhone’s New False Religion

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it matters.Last week, the free-to-download Curiosity debuted on the Apple app store, instantly becoming so popular that it starting falling apart. So many people were attempting to log in and play the game that it became nearly impossible to access the game at all, and if one did, the game wasn't working correctly. It took Peter Molyneux and his team a few days to catch up with demand, and even now there is … [Read more...]

Video Games, Mementos, and Material Reminders of What’s Important

Richard Clark and I are really different dudes, and after reading his article on possessions, I wish I were a little more like Rich. You should go read "The Problem with Finding Feathers", even if you do not care about video games, because Rich's larger point is far more important than his collection of 25 video games. It's about hanging on to what's important, and the greatness of having mementos in life.I have probably owned hundreds of video games. My collection could have began with the A … [Read more...]

Dads: The New Video Game Heroes

Up until now, heroes in video games have largely been gruff, hardened, muscle-bound dudes whose lack of personality is made up for by their ability to carry an unreal amount of weapons. However, a recent Wired piece titled "Dawn of the Dad: Fathers Are the New Videogame Superhero" notes that a number of recent games -- Lost Planet 3, The Walking Dead, The Last of Us -- feature a new kind of hero: fathers (or father-like figures). Author Andrew Groen writes: That these games are arriving p … [Read more...]