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Friday, May 27, 2005

Joel Stein has an intriguing piece in the L.A. Times this week about his day at the Los Angeles video game convention held here recently. He basically hated it because the totality of the violence plus the objectification of women was too much for him. (ref., well, me: on the adherents of the Sexual Revolution finding their way around to exhaustion with its consequences...)

The article comes around to a Christian video game maker, Mr. Pardew, who has fled the secular side of the industry, and who is now making state of the art "Bible games." Stein plays the games, and while he finds the games technically good, he finds the idea of the games absurd. Here's a snip...

Even if I didn't love his game, I admired Pardew's decision to put his
morality above commerce and try to creatively marry his professional
passion with his personal one. But making a Christian video game is like
trying to teach monogamy through porn. The medium is designed for the
thrill of quick, random violence.

I am interested in this question because we have been getting pressure at Act One to train writers for the game industry. The question is, can it be done with excellence? If the highest level of art in a video game is in its perfection of the quick attack and high stakes (ie. die if you don't kill) competition, then, if we are going to get into it, would we have to be okay with creating a more mediocre product? We can't be "the best" in video game making, because "the best" is innately evil?


P.S. I confess to being someone who every few months or so goes through the ritual of deleting and discarding the video game that I have put on my computer. I always get to a point playing them of being filled with self-loathing because there is no good thing that comes to me or the world for the time I put into them. Unless somebody can convince me that knowing how to design and govern an ancient Egyptian Nile plain is a pastoral skill, I will stay in my current remission from it all, by God's grace...