The comment thread of a recent Kotaku article entitled Walmart Said to Broaden Christian Game Distribution Plans perfectly presents the uphill battle that any Christian game developer has in presenting any sort of Christian message in a videogame.
I found this comment to be particularly poignant:
For a society that seems to love tolerance, we sure seem to hate Christians a lot.
The Left Behind games obviously aren’t helping things. I’ve never played one, but based on my research, they seem to be poorly crafted and a little mixed-up theologically. This, of course, is based on the theology of the Left Behind books themselves, the first of which is dissected in incredible – though often over-the-top – detail at the Slacktivist blog.
If I were to unfairly distill Fred Clark’s analyses of the books down to a statement, it would be that the Left Behind series represents an anti-Anti-Christ perspective of the world which is not always pro-Christ.
I was having a recent conversation at my bible study lately involving the fire-and-brimstone preaching that you would hear on the street corner (or at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market). To be clear, we didn’t agree with that behavior and concluded that neither would Deitrick Bonhoeffer, author of Life Together, which we’re currently studying. I often wonder if this is what the Jewish authorities of Jesus’s day were like. You know, the ones he had the most trouble with. The ones that conspired to have him executed. Not that what’s being preached on the corner is never true. I think it can be, but so can swinging at a stranger’s head with a baseball bat in order to smash a fly that had landed there be technically “true.”
Nevertheless, I’m encouraged to see Walmart’s willingness to be open to more Christian games.
I still long for the day when I can play a game that is actually meaningful and says something about my faith. Something real that actually represents the message of Jesus; “the last will be first,” “whatever you do to the least of these,” “love you neighbor as yourself,” and so on. I guess that makes me just another game developer that is trying to make the kind of games I want to play.