Pokemon Go Avatars

What do I think about the recent Pokemon Go update? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Those of you not knowing about this might wonder how this is apologetics related. Trust me. It is. We are in a culture war with a cancerous movement trying to destroy everything it can and now, it has headed for the gaming industry with games trying to be more and more “Woke.” This is also part of the effects of a group known as Sweet Baby Inc.

Fortunately, a web site has been set up so gamers can know when games come out that are infected with DEI standards. Vote with your wallet. You can find that here.

And look what is on the list.

Pokemon Go.

I hate saying that because I loved Pokemon Go and I had been playing it since day one. I was out going to the park with others playing together and walking around my campus regularly. The game was highly beneficial for me.

But then this avatar update came out.

Now before, I didn’t really care about my avatar. Several people did. Some people spent money buying items so their avatar could look a certain way. I don’t really care for that spending, but if you have it and can do it and want to, who am I to say otherwise? I would only put free stuff on mine.

Then one morning recently, everyone woke up to find that their avatars had been changed. #1 group affected? Women.

If you look through the link, you can find pictures of women that have been changed to be more androgynous. Gone is anything that might look curvaceous on a woman. Hips are gone. Chests are flattened. Facial structure is destroyed.

That’s not even the worst of it. You also have avatars that clearly have a weight problem and are, well, revealing. Please do not look at this if you have small children present.

Checking the original file on Pokemon Go from DEI Detected, you might have noticed by now that part of the work they did was with a consulting group called Gaymer X.

No. That is not a typo.

By the way, a few years ago, the CEO had to step down due to reports of sexual misconduct. Who would have thought?

Well, after Matt Conn stepped down as CEO, he was quickly replaced by Toni Rocca and just a few days later, well wouldn’t you know it? The same thing happened again. What are the odds?

Keep in mind right now as DEI Detected says, this is just Niantic, the company behind Pokemon Go. This is not Pokemon or Nintendo, but now is the time to send a message to these groups. Pokemon’s last big games, Scarlet and Violet, were not received well and now they face competition from a game called PalWorld. They do not want to lose a company base right now.

So there are several options.

First, Pokemon can remove all rights to their property from Niantic and give the same game to another company that cares about the players and what they want. Pokemon needs to be a family-friendly game. Niantic has done incredible damage to the brand of Pokemon by doing this.

The second option is not likely, but that is for Niantic to undo the changes, sever all ties with Gaymer X permanently, and profusely apologize to the players. They sadly have a history of not listening to their players. We need to show them the consequences of not listening to us are greater than the consequences of working with a company like Gaymer X. I have since this deleted the game from my phone. Until the changes are made, I am not coming back.

That being said, we need to always hold out the opportunity of forgiveness and reward it. We need to let companies know that if you honor the customers, the customers will honor you back. If we say under no circumstances will we change our minds, we are not giving these companies any incentive to change.

All of this matters because this is an erasure of femininity. If you decided to start playing the game now and had to create a new character, you cannot choose male or female. That is gone. You can only choose a body type.

Women were meant to be beautiful and removing beauty from women is an attack on women. Men and women are not interchangeable. We need to recognize and celebrate the distinct differences between the two sexes and the positive contributions both make.

Players. Vote with your wallets. That is the only language that is understood. I really hope this changes because I got a lot of joy out of playing the game and interacting with others. Either the Pokemon Company needs to grant the rights of Pokemon to someone who will actually honor the customers, or Niantic needs to honor the customers themselves. We, the players, must refuse to compromise on this because our opponents are never interested in compromise. We give an inch and they take a mile and it will keep going.

For now, I’m going to be playing other games instead. I wish it could be otherwise, but I would rather have my standards than sell them out to play a game.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


What are our interests? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In a number of cases, like other people, one fast way to get into the world of an autistic person is to find out what they’re interested in and be genuinely interested in it. One fast way to get excluded is to discount what they are interested in. Usually, our interests are that we are totally obsessed with something or we just don’t care for it at all.

For instance, take the TV show Smallville. It is the longest-running Superman TV show ever. All the episodes had one-word titles. There were over 200 of them as the show lasted ten glorious seasons. There was also a time of my life when I knew every single episode title in order. To this day, I can say something to my Dad like “Yeah. That showed up in season 1, episode 11. Hug.” I had a subscription to the magazine and I would read an article that said “In season 5, this happened,” I would wish I was a fact-checker because I knew it was season 6.

The same could be said for video games like Final Fantasy or the Legend of Zelda series. Games have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. They still are.

Of course, there’s also my Christian faith. Come to me and start talking about apologetics and we’re there. I used to do chapel on the hill at my old Bible College. They wanted sermons to be 15-20 minutes. I did 45 and no one complained. We even stayed once an hour after the sermon as I walked students through the first chapter of Hebrews.

When you meet someone on the spectrum who is obsessed with a topic, expect them to know it exceptionally well. If you don’t know the topic, don’t act like you do, but do show interest. If we suspect your interest is not genuine, it will not cause us to warm up to you as that comes across as fake.

Now if you don’t have any interest, one of the best things you can do then is to just not say anything. If you think you need to say something, you can ask why the person likes it so much. When people have a hobby or an interest, they do tend to like to talk about it.

Too often in our world, we look at what someone is interested in as necessarily a problem. It could be, but it doesn’t have to be. When we find out what a person is most interested in, we are getting a clue to their personality. It is something that we can learn from to figure out who they are. If we’re being honest, most of us don’t understand why it is that we like the things that we do. We just do.

When you meet someone on the spectrum, keep that in mind. Definitely if you want to have a friendship with them don’t disparage what they’re interested in. If you have a genuine interest as well in their obsession, you could have a friend for life.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Gaming Doesn’t Need Sweet Babies

What happens when woke comes to gaming? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When I was out sick last week and recovering, I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos while resting. I am quite interested in politics and of course, in gaming. I have noticed that a lot of popular franchises have gone woke. I know it sounds heretical, but I never really got into Star Wars, and unfortunately now, the series is dead. Woke has destroyed it. What you grew up with is not what is being produced today.

All of this is done in the name of what the Critical Drinker calls


Now it has come to gaming with a company called Sweet Baby Inc. This is all about the whole sensitivity movement and equity and everything else. This is resulting in games where women are not allowed to look feminine lest they bring about “the male gaze” and men are turned into highly emotional creatures.

News flash. The male gaze as it is put is not going away. Men tend universally to like to look at beautiful women. That’s not a bug. It’s a feature. Not only that, but there are plenty of female gamers out there and they would prefer to play as an attractive woman.

The problem with the Woke movement is not that they want to have characters, movies, video games, TV shows, etc. that include characters that are LGBTQ. For me, that’s the thing with freedom. They are allowed to do things that I don’t delight in, but that’s the way the market works.

My problem is that generally, instead of doing the hard work of making their own characters and series and establishing them, they instead co-opt characters that have a history already and try to force them into the LGBTQ group. The woke crowd doesn’t just want to make material that they want made. They want others to not make material they deem offensive and they want to force others to make games according to their standards.

These people are not doing this also because they really care about making good games. Instead, they hate people like myself who are gamers. They want a purge from the community to remove all the people that they deem to be unfit for the community. Naturally, this will be all the people they deem to be homophobic, sexist, racist, transphobic, etc.

In reality, the gaming community is really one of the most open communities there is. We have had female heroes from the beginning, such a Samus Aran of Metroid. It was a major shock for many when at the end of the game, provided you played it well finishing it in x time, that you found out the character who you were playing all along was a woman.

Another video I saw made a claim about Barrett from Final Fantasy VII being a typical stereotypical black guy. Most people were saying “Thanks for telling us you never played the game.” Barrett is a rough and tough guy, but he’s also deeply sensitive taking care of his late friend’s daughter who he took in as his own and with a deep love for the planet in his missions.

Something amusing I like to point out with this is that group like Sweet Baby Inc, is that they want to go after a group of people that spend hours playing games where they took on hostile forces and evil empires and face impossible odds and think everything will work out fine.

It won’t.

Gamers are a dedicated group and we don’t just sit back and roll over when it comes to the games that we love. Gamers all over the world have teamed up to reach goals before. We’re prepared to do it again.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Reality of Beauty

Does it matter that we picture women as beautiful? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was glad Tifa wasn’t flattened.

I know many of you aren’t gamers, but the Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. What is happening here is happening everywhere else. When evil declares war, it leaves nothing untouched. Even if you never pick up a controller in your life, you should care about this because your friends and family do pick them up.

So Tifa Lockhart is a character in the game Final Fantasy VII. A bunch of guys (And girls) noticed when the game came out on the original Playstation 1 that Tifa was quite well-endowed. This could be because of the way the polygonal graphics looked on the system. Either way, it was something she got known for.

So a few years ago when the remake came out, I got concerned. Would they change this? Why was I concerned? Because I’m just a guy and I just care about women looking hot? No. I was concerned because if they did this, it would mean they were caving in to political pressure, a goal to masculinize women and make them less attractive. Why? To avoid the male gaze.

As I said yesterday, men like looking at beautiful women. Heck. Women like looking at beautiful women. The problem is our society treats this like it’s a problem.

You all do realize that if men weren’t interested in beautiful women the human race would have died out a long time ago. Right?

You can say that’s shallow, but in reality, beauty is the draw. Beauty is something that leads men to love. They see a beauty and they want to treasure that beauty and pursue it.

Women. You sell yourself short when you shortcut that pursuit of men. Men will often do enough to get the beauty, and then when they have the beauty, well that’s the peak. I am not saying all men do this, but many do.

So what happens if you go to dinner and a movie with a guy and you wind up sleeping with him? You have taught him that’s all it takes. You put your price on what your beauty is worth.

On the other hand also, if you say “You need to make a lifetime commitment to me” then if that man really wants you, he will make that commitment. If he doesn’t, then he told you what he thinks you’re worth and you dodged a bullet. By the way ladies, when he makes that commitment, honor it. Let him treasure your beauty and you will have a happy man indeed. A man who will keep wanting to please you as well.

For men, this also means that engagement with pornography doesn’t just speak lowly of women, but it speaks lowly of men. A man engaging in pornography is taking a coward’s way out that will keep him from having to engage with a real woman. The woman on the screen can’t say no after all. She requires nothing of him. He doesn’t have to do anything that is a risk. He just shows up.

Of course, she also doesn’t really care about him and doesn’t think he’s sexy. She doesn’t want to be the mother of his children. She won’t be there to grow old with him years down the road.

The man will not grow in love and also, when a real woman comes along, he very well could be unable to perform because he’s trained his mind to work on fake women. What man wants that when it’s time to perform? Why even risk it?

This is also why Christians should never say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is a reality. It is as real as truth and goodness. If beauty is relative, then there is nothing truly beautiful, but thinking makes it so. Do you think you live in a world where nothing is truly beautiful or even truly ugly?

One can say beautiful women can intimidate some women, but they can also be an inspiration. We know some portrayals, such as in anime, are unrealistic, but not all are. There is debate going on saying the main character of a game called Stellar Blade has an unrealistic image of a woman.

The image is based on a 3D model of an actual woman.

We should not try to remove beauty from women because women are meant to be beautiful. We should not try to remove masculinity from men because men are meant to be men. Our culture is in a war against reality. It is a new Gnosticism and it must be won.

Celebrate beauty today and honor beauty properly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Is Gaming a Waste of Time?

Do gamers waste their time? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was scrolling Facebook last night and just before bed, I see a well-known apologist saying to not play video games and not let your children play them. It’s just a waste of time. Naturally, I have to give a disagreement, but I would like to go into that more now.

I am 43 and I have been a gamer for as long as I can remember. My first experience is seeing something I think coming home from school under the TV and asking what it was. I was told it was my Dad’s Colecovision. That was my introduction to the world of video games. My Dad had thought he was hot stuff at the games, but we all know the rules about small children and video games. My favorite was Ladybug. If I saw that game on the Nintendo Eshop today, I would go and get a gift card from Amazon immediately to buy it. Shut up and take my money!

In Elementary school, I was the main legend at the school. No one was as good at games as I was. As a boy on the spectrum, this is something that helped me interact with people. We didn’t know I was on the spectrum then until I was in fifth grade, but my friends had the same hobby I did.

This continued throughout my life as my friends have regularly had a shared interest with me in gaming. RIght now, I am living on a seminary campus and I still love it when I get to get together with people and play games. I have a good friend on campus who is a professor and a gamer and we regularly chat about such matters.

Getting back to childhood though, all the while, I was still doing other things. I regularly won the summer reading competition at the library reading hundreds of books. I was introduced to the Hardy Boys and read through all the books there and winded up then reading Nancy Drew as well. I would also regularly check out Peanuts and Garfield books I didn’t have.

Also, my sister and I loved watching games. Gameshows were a favorite pastime of mine and if it was summer vacation, you could bet that every day at 11 AM, we would be downstairs on the couch watching The Price is Right. Today, I still turn on gameshows on Roku while I’m reading.

My schoolwork wasn’t a problem. That’s something that needs to be changed as I spent a lot of time gaming because frankly, I wasn’t challenged at school. Gaming gave me more of a challenge. Little tip about men. We tend to like challenges and go where they are.

When I first went to seminary, I went with my friend who lived in Missouri at the time. We had met on TheologyWeb.com and what got us introduced to each other? You’ll never guess. Gaming. He was impressed with how I did in a post answering someone and sent me an avatar of a character he made for me saying “I’m not sure if you’re into Final Fantasy games or not.”

Lifelong friendship born right there.

Something that amazed my ex-wife about me? She had been told years ago that Pokemon was childish, and here I was nearly ten years her senior and I knew about the series very well. It was a connection and we did enjoy gaming together.

Of course, we did get divorced and I am thankful that at times when I was alone, I had games there so I could get caught in a story that would engage me and have goals I wanted to reach. I also used my gamer mentality in the divorce saying “I will not be defeated by her. This is my one round at life and I am playing to win.” Play to win has become a motto of mine.

My mother was concerned about me, her son on the spectrum, going to New Orleans and my DivorceCare leader and his wife came over for a get together and he told her “He has been playing these games all his life. Now he wants to live them.” She’s still not crazy about her son being 600 miles away, but I do speak to her every day on our Echo device. Oh yes, while I’m playing a game too.

As someone researching this material now for a PhD, something that comes across to me often when I read (Or hear in the case of Audible) about how a game came to be is the idea of “I wanted to tell a story”. We are people of stories. The oldest book we have is The Epic of Gilgamesh. Then we have plays which are stories. We have movies and TV which are used to tell stories. We have radio and what is something we did with that? Stories. Video games are no different.

Now can some people be addicted? Yes, but saying some people have a problem does not mean everyone needs to abstain. You need to control your behavior, not everyone else’s. If there is a problem with self-control, that is the big issue to work on. I find when I am gaming now, I also have my Echo nearby and I’m watching YouTube videos to educate myself or watching some TV just for personal entertainment, such as right now I am going through Young Sheldon.

Video games are a medium that’s here to stay and isolating ourselves is not the solution. Through the advent of smartphones, more and more people are gamers now. They also help us connect, something I notice when I go to the park from time to time for a special Pokemon Go community day. I am also working on learning how to make videos on YouTube for my Gaming Theologian channel. (If you are interested in helping, please let me know.)

All things in moderation. I still get in all my reading as on my Kindle I am going through probably about a dozen books right now and I read some of them every day. Still, I am thankful to kick back and relax after a day of work or school.

What is a waste of time? Inevitably, it will always be what the other guy is interested in. I don’t understand sports. I don’t understand why people get so excited over the Super Bowl or why there are TV stations dedicated to sports and radio shows that spend hours talking about sports.

That’s okay. If you like it and it doesn’t control you, that’s fine. Any good thing can become an addiction to some extent, even religion. For some people, outright avoidance could be needed. For most of us, it’s learning self-discipline.

I have an aim to reach gamers and explore our need for stories.

Hardly a waste of time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

What Christians Can Learn from the Woke

Can we learn anything from them? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I posted on Facebook recently about watching a WhatCultureGaming video recently about video games ruined at the last minute. It was about the damage done to a game called Mask of Eternity and how some Christians had taken charge of the material of King’s Quest and have everything thoroughly sanitized. The end result was intense damage to the series.

What’s really sad as I said is that we as Christians tend to do this often. We make media that for the most part is just awful. No one wants to do anything with it. I’m not at all saying we should never make material that is for us, but if we are making material that is meant to be evangelistic, we are failing at it.

I am not at all saying to forego biblical orthodoxy to make sales, but I am saying that it doesn’t matter how orthodox or accurate your material is if no one wants to engage with it. You could have the best material in the world, but it requires for it to be effective for someone to interact with it. If they’re not doing it, then you are not reaching anyone then.

One of my friends commented saying that this reminded them of what we see from Woke material nowadays. Disney has recently experienced a large number of bombs in their material. Why? Well, they want to say it’s because the audience is bigoted and any number of reasons, but the real reason is people don’t want Woke.

The reason is the audience knows that they are being preached to. They know that that character that is same-sex attracted is being included just for service to the ideology. The fans know that Aragorn in the novels is not black, but what does Rings of Power care about that? (Never mind how Netflix goes with that.) Having a Latino family was not a major seller for Blue Beetle.

Why? Because these people are bigots? No. It’s because the message is being forced to us. We don’t care about how diverse the cast is if we don’t care about the content and when you focus on the diversity instead of producing good content, people don’t want to see it.

We are doing the exact same thing. We are making content that people do not want to see because we are so focused on getting that Christian message out there and it has to be spelled out explicitly. There has to be a moment with a cross and a message on how Jesus died for you. The Christians have to be wonderful holy saints who never struggle. The non-Christians have to be bent on evil at every single step.

Nothing will reach that Chrisitan audience like telling them they are lower in every way to their Christian counterparts, even though many of them don’t experience that in real life.

Look instead at franchises that do it right. How many non-Christians do you know of who have read the Narnia books and enjoyed them? I’m going through Young Sheldon now and I recently saw an episode where Sheldon, who is an atheist, gets introduced to the Lord of the Rings series. Did Sheldon realize he was getting a Christian worldview secretly taught to him? Doubtful. There are plenty of fandoms still built up around Tolkien’s work and without him, those of us like myself who enjoy RPGs might have never had the chance.

Some of you might not think Harry Potter is a Christian series, but even if you don’t, look at the way she did it. She got her message out by producing content children wanted to read. Children wanted to read books that had hundreds of pages.

Star Wars is built largely on the concept of Eastern Religions. Star Trek is built on humanism. You have devout Christians who enjoy both. I’m not at all saying they shouldn’t, but I am saying that the content was a cover to get the message out there. Many Christians are wise enough to enjoy the story without agreeing with the content, but we can still learn from them.

I commented on the original video and got told that Christian music could be an exception as it can be good. Sometimes, but consider this. Too many of our songs today are really more therapy than anything else. I don’t say this to knock therapy, but the songs are meant to help us more than to teach about God. Another point is how many non-Christians do you know who regularly turn on Christian music and listen to it? Meanwhile, how many Christians do you know who enjoy listening to non-Christian music?

Another video that got me thinking about this approach to media more was this one. If you don’t want to go to the video, which is about a history of Christian video games, let me show you some of the comments. (Names excluded)

I’m not Religious but if they actually made a bible game that was like Bayonetta, God of war or hell even something like skyrim or Breath of the wild, I’d play it

I mean, although the binding of isaac does contain Cristian aspects I find it hard to classify it as a Cristian game, since it is essentially more critical of religion rather than promoting the belief. Even if it’s not necessary outright stated that religion is bad or anything. Gotta say though, I did learn quite a bit about christianity through playing the game, both through its references and by the fact that it made me interested and there by had me look up what these characters and references was all about.

OK bur a Christian bayonetta would be ok with me. I might actually play it

And looking through, one problem said in the comments is Christians behind much of this material don’t care about the art. They only care about the message.

There you go.

I personally would like to see something like an Assassin’s Creed counterpart that is Christian. Do you know how many people have started learning about historical events because of an Assassin’s Creed game? There are plenty of ways to make Chrisitan games. Just don’t treat your audience like idiots. Trust them to figure it out. (Keep in mind, Jesus didn’t spell out His parables to the audience either.)

Then do this with movies. Do this with literature. Do this with music. Do this with TV shows.

The best content in the world won’t matter if it doesn’t reach the audience.

Learn from the Woke. Learn what not to do.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Satanic Panic and Pokemon: A Case Study

Should we beware of pocket monsters? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A friend of Deeper Waters was deeply surprised when in my last newsletter I mentioned going out walking at Christmas which also helped me with Pokemon Go. But isn’t that a satanic game? Isn’t that connected with that other demonic game, Dungeons and Dragons? I was given a link to this article.

The problem I have with this is so much of it was based on personal experience. Okay. This lady has an experience with her son concerning Pokemon. Now let’s suppose there are far more other people who have positive experiences with their son about Pokemon. Do those people overrule the negative experience here? Does the truth change based on experience?

Now this isn’t the first time I have come across such things. I wrote years ago on the writings of Phil Arms on this topic. I found it lacking then and I still find it lacking now.

So let’s go back and see how things started off. We can say that Role-playing actually began with J.R.R. Tolkien and creating the world of Middle-Earth. We got introduced to many races and creatures and that book has had a lasting impact. Today, there are immense fandoms about this. People eventually would want to play games about this.

So then comes Dungeons and Dragons. Unfortunately, that got a bad rap early on with incidents like the Pulling Report and the book Mazes and Monsters. The problem is this was highly unrelated to anyone playing the game. If anything, these incidents would have been highly isolated incidents in response to the far far far more people playing a game with any adverse responses.

Question. Why do we listen to very rare isolated incidents ignoring the numerous people who don’t have this happen and make a national panic out of it?

And now, let’s prepare ourselves for a shock. One of the co-creators of Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax, was a Christian. What about the Pulling Report? Nonsense. So why did it get so popular? Because fear sells and sensationalism sells. Look at what happened in our recent history with Covid. So many people went into a panic and now we look back in retrospect and say “Yeah. It shouldn’t have happened.” Similar happened with Y2K and back then, I was even scared about things, not being well-equipped yet. The same happened before 2012. There were Christians who were making a major deal about a Rosh Hoshanah eclipse.

D&D is just a game like any other game and it is what you make of it. I happen to play with some others around here. We get together and it’s one of my favorite times of the month because we all come together and laugh and form friendships and it is about the relationships. I also recommend you see this video on the topic.

So what about Pokemon?

Okay. One criticism I remember seeing is about having creatures fight one another. Is this not promoting violence? People. If you have boys, you know they way they are. I remember going to the house of some friends of mine who played army on their birthdays. Kids will happily bring out toy guns and shoot at one another.

Yet they all know it’s fantasy. It’s not real. Right after playing army where they were trying to “destroy” one another, they were the best of friends. If anything, in Pokemon, the characters never die really.

In looking at the article, I find it amazing that the author wants to avoid pagan influences, but her kids play with Star Wars sabers, They just don’t use the force.

Okay. I don’t know Star Wars well. I went and looked this up and I’m sure some Star Wars fans can verify. This is from ScreenRant:

The most crucial part of a lightsaber (as well as the rarest and most expensive) is the kyber crystal. Kyber crystals are naturally attuned and imbued with the Force itself, making them immensely powerful objects. In other words, each kyber crystal is a small, physical manifestation of the Force. Jedi younglings didn’t simply choose any crystal they found in the Ilum caves. Instead, they often searched or endured a small trial before feeling a specific kyber crystal calling to them. The crystal would then bond with the user for life through the Force.

In other words, someone playing with a lightsaber is automatically using the Force.

Do I have a problem with that?

No, because if someone says “This is fantasy” and they know it, then this is not a problem. Was Star Wars made to share Eastern thought like Buddhism? Yes. Is Star Trek based on humanism and an atheistic worldview? Yes. Does that mean they’re all wicked and evil? No.

Christians need to engage with the imagination. If Christianity is true, even in non-Christian works, we will see shades of the gospel. We will see stories of redemption. We will see good vs evil. It is unavoidable. If Christianity is true, the gospel is unavoidable in great stories, even non-Christian stories.

For me personally, as a person on the spectrum, these games have been extremely helpful to me. I have got to have a community with people and laugh and share with them. I have gone to the community park around here with people and been accepted immediately because we all have that common bond.

The opposite, the satanic panic, leads to the opposite effect. If anything, this drives people away and makes them want nothing to do with Christianity and usually is based on highly false premises. Now by all means parents, you are the authority. You determine what is and isn’t allowed in your household, but you cannot shelter them forever. They will be on their own some time and if they think they were misled by you, they will likely blame that on Christianity also.

Instead, really discuss issues together and really let your child come to their decisions based on informed research. Talk to people of opposite perspectives on this. Do you find a Christian who enjoys something you think is evil and you don’t understand why? Ask them.

As a gamer, for instance, there are some games I wouldn’t play as a Christian. Suppose I met someone who did. Suppose I met someone I knew to be a devout Christian who played the Grand Theft Auto games for example. I would be intrigued and ask “Okay. I have some concerns with them. What do you think about XYZ?” Maybe I agree. Maybe I don’t Maybe I just need more time. The point is, at least I better understand my neighbor and if they are convinced they are fine in their own mind, then it’s a Romans 14 matter.

Also along the lines of the issue of concern about Pokemon and other games, I found this blog quite helpful. I recommend looking through and following the links.

If you disagree, let’s chat.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)




Book Plunge: Boss Fight Games Earthbound

What did I think of Ken Baumann’s book from Boss Fight Games? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Boss Fight Games is a series of books that I am working on going through and even writing my own entry for (Looking at Final Fantasy IV) where in each book, one game is discussed in-depth. This one which was the first in the series was Earthbound by Ken Baumann. (When I am speaking of the game itself rather than the book, Earthbound will not be in italics.) Some people might recognize that name as he was a star in the series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I have never watched this and was not aware until I read it in the book.

I remember I was in high school when Earthbound came out. The box it came in was much bigger than any other box for video games at the time, I think because it had a strategy guide with it. Apparently, not too many people were into RPGs at the time, but I was. I had played Final Fantasy for years.

What I saw in Nintendo Power about Earthbound intrigued me as it seemed to be about these delightful kids in a modern-day world fighting an alien invasion. This is a game so humorous that even the names of the enemies can make you laugh. In what other game do you fight new age retro hippies, an annoying old party man, a mad taxi, a scalding coffee cup, and a crazed sign?

That’s just scratching the surface.

So I started reading this book and it starts with Ken talking about calling his brother and their reminiscing over Earthbound together. (Even as I type this I can hear some of the music from the game running through my head.) The book really starts out in-depth as it looks at each section of the game and those of us who are veterans could still get something new out of it. However, throughout, Baumann also relates stories of his own life. Sometimes they are in relation to the game, but sometimes they seem a useless tangent.

That got to be somewhat discouraging as the first three parts of the game, Onett, Twoson, and Threed (What if I told you the next town was Fourside? It is. What if I told you the next town was Fiveway? Nope. Sorry. It’s Summers.). After this point, it looked like Baumann was quickly going through various parts of the game and skipping others entirely. It’s as if he had a word limit or some other limit and wanted to just get it all done.

Most surprising was getting to the final boss. Many of us who have played the game know that the scene of the final boss comes from when the creator walked into the wrong movie theater and saw something quite disturbing as a child and used that as the basis for the boss. That’s definitely worth mentioning, but no. It wasn’t. It was mentioned that it looked like you were fighting a prenatal version of the ultimate evil in the game, but nothing more was said beyond that. It’s really a highly philosophical boss fight.

There are some points that really show the way that gamers really take their interest seriously, something of interest to me as this is my planned PhD research. Baumann quotes John Gray at one point saying:

If the hope of progress is an illusion, how – it will be asked – are we to live? The question assumes that humans can live well only if they believe they have the power to remake the world. Yet most humans who have ever lived have not believed this – and a great many have had happy lives. The question assumes the aim of life is action; but this is a modern heresy. For Plato contemplation was the highest form of human activity. A similar view existed in ancient India. The aim of life was not to change the world. It was to see it rightly.

Baumann, Ken. EarthBound (Boss Fight Books Book 1) . Boss Fight Books. Kindle Edition.

Or how about this?

In the case of EarthBound and other games, we are given a fixed set of circumstances and qualities to live with. While we can choose our hero’s name and sometimes choose the shading of his or her final hours, we cannot radically alter the journey. Are games, then, the most accurate simulation of our unchosen lot in life?

Baumann, Ken. EarthBound (Boss Fight Books Book 1) . Boss Fight Books. Kindle Edition.

Are they? Perhaps. Could those of us who are gamers be gamers because we are tapping into a deeper meaning of life? We are wanting to experience a journey? Could this be why many of us enjoy fiction of any sort whether it’s reading Lord of the Rings, watching Smallville, as I am prone to do, reading the latest Spider-Man comic, going to see the latest James Bond movie, or playing Earthbound?

Ideas to ponder.

In conclusion, I really think every gamer should play Earthbound. Right now, it’s available for free on Nintendo Switch online if you have that. As for the book, it is enjoyable, but I wish it had been longer and revealed more of the story of the game and the making of it. Some stories about Baumann could be interesting, but only if they were connected to the game somehow.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Producing Christian Media

Can we make good material? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I recently started going through one of the Assassin’s Creed games because I have heard there is a lot of religious symbolism in there, and indeed there is. I was told to start with the Ezio Collection. Turns out it looks like the game is the second one, but that’s okay. I’m still getting what’s going on.

To explain what is making this appealing, it is set in 1474-1499. When you come across a character, you are allowed to push a button and get a brief synopsis about them and their life. Some of these are people I have never heard of, but I am learning that historians have been studying them.

I also understand the layouts of the towns are made to be remarkably just like the towns that they are in. I was looking up some information on that just now and what do I see but places like Ireland are using Assassin’s Creed to attract tourists. Gamers are wanting to go and see these places that they have played games in so much. Yes. We don’t just want to sit on a couch playing games. We want to do things.

Of course, in this game, there’s some physical activity. You encounter townspeople that want to kill you and you get involved in fisticuffs. Your character is incredibly athletic and can run and jump across roofs and climb buildings practically like Spider-Man. That’s cool, but really, for a game, it’s not really the main draw.

What is fascinating is realizing I’m actually getting to interact with historical figures. I’m playing last night and come across Leonardo Da Vinci and I’m thinking, “Wow. I’m going on a mission for Da Vinci.” Not only that, I read in the game that he was born out of wedlock and he was a horrible procrastinator. I look it up online after and lo and behold, that’s right. That is fascinating and that knowledge is very unlikely to leave me any time soon.

That left me wondering, “What if we could do the same thing for the Bible?” Imagine playing a game where you get to be a soldier in the time of David and Saul. Imagine being a peasant in Judah at the time of Jesus. Imagine being a traveler in the Roman Empire at the time of Paul. There are so many scenarios you could do.

Now I have been told there is a company that is working on making Christian video games. I hope it’s an enjoyable one because I have seen non-Christians on videos about Christians video games saying they would play a Christian game if it met one standard. It’s a really simple one.

The game needs to be fun.

Too often when we make media, we make media that we enjoy and don’t consider if anyone else will. Who goes to see many secular movies, hear secular songs, watch secular shows, and play secular games? Christians and non-Christians. Who goes to see Christian movies, hear Christian songs, watch Christian shows, and play Christian games? Christians. Do you know a non-Christian who has a subscription to Pureflix? I’m not saying Christians can’t make things for Christians, but we also need to make materials that non-Christians will want to interact with that can get them interested in Christianity.

If people are playing an Assassin’s Creed game and wanting to visit Ireland as a result, what if they play a similar game and want to study the Bible as a result? What if they get introduced to historical aspects that they never would have known of? The account doesn’t just become words on a page, but something they see and interact with and they get to see what the world of the Bible is like.

Not only this, but I think this is one of the best ways we learn. We learn by doing, and that includes playing. One benefit I have had in apologetics is I have been on the internet and debating these issues so much so where you have to know them immediately and be ready to share them. We could see a parallel in the Karate Kid with behaviors like painting the fence. Daniel didn’t realize he was learning the motions of karate the whole time.

We live in an age of multimedia and we need to use it. Now I do not know enough about programming to do such. I am still looking for a YouTube expert to help me with my videos! I would be glad to provide historical and theological information for a game though as I’m sure many others would.

I look forward to a day when the best material out there is not made by secularists, but made by Christians. Make it real.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


Book Plunge: Pilgrim in the Microworld

What do I think of David Sudnow’s book from Boss Fight Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This could be the first game ever published about what it’s like playing a video game. In this case, the game is called Breakout.

At this, some younger gamers and readers could be thinking “I haven’t heard of that one. Is that about having to rescue someone trapped in an enemy prison and going behind enemy lines to break them out?”

Well, not exactly.

“Okay. So is it a fighting game where you fight one-on-one with an opponent like Street Fighter and have to break out your best moves?”

No. Not really.

Okay. So what is this game I’ve never heard of?

It’s this:

Yep. That’s Breakout.

Seriously? A guy wrote a book on this?

Yes. Yes, he did.

Sudnow’s experience starts at this place in ancient history known as an arcade. There was a time even when people had home consoles when people would meet at arcades and put quarters or tokens that cost a quarter apiece into a machine and used it to play a game. Many people would come and watch and take turns playing these games. Sometimes, people could play games alongside each other or against each other. You could sit inside models of cars for racing games or hold a gun for a shooting game.

Yours truly actually worked at one of these places once.

So Sudnow sees his son playing a game called Missile Command. He finds himself intrigued by the simplicity of it all and yet also by the dedication his son has to this. He thinks that normally we think of war as something awful, and we should, but Missile Command has a rather simple thesis to it that is much more innocent. You have a number of towns and you have to intercept missiles that are being fired at them to preserve those towns.

Sudnow gets this ancient machine that is even pre-Nintendo, (Which is even pre-such systems as the 64 or the Wii) called an Atari. He is told there is another game fans of Missile Command might like called Breakout. Sudnow starts playing this game and while his forte is playing the piano, before long, he finds himself intrigued by this game.

Sudnow wants to beat this game and studies it intensely. At what angle does the ball shoot out? How fast does it go? What changes from shot to shot? He looks at his TV from different angles and puts tape on the bottom in an effort to measure where the paddle goes to hit the ball. I hope Atari was near where he lived at the time because he even goes to Atari to ask them questions about how to play the game well. (Keep in mind kinds, we didn’t have the internet back then and even growing up, many of us had to read Nintendo Power or actually on some rare days, call the hotline for help and sometimes, we could even do this really archaic practice called writing a letter and putting it in the mail and waiting for a response.)

What this shows really is from the beginning, people have an amazing dedication to games. Think it’s just video games. Think again. Exhibit A? Sports. Even if we go back to Greek and Roman times, the Olympic games were a major deal. Cities could even get tax-exemptions for victorious contenders in the games. Today, we have multiple channels dedicated to games on cable as well as I’m sure many streaming services. How much is spent on sporting events every year and how much do we pay athletes for what they do?

Games matter.

Games seem to pull out in people a drive to succeed like nothing else does. Have people game and they want to be the best that they can. People invest so much work in something that often times won’t even benefit them financially.

We as Christians I fear have been too quick to condemn such. This is part of our reality. This is part of who we are as people. Why? What can we learn about ourselves from this? Can we take this drive and use it for the kingdom?

While the reading is fascinating, there is something absent. We don’t really see much of David’s social interactions while he is gaming. Where was his wife? Where was his son? I would have liked to have read about that. Did Paul think it was cool having a Dad who played video games? Did his friends think the same? Was his wife getting annoyed at her husband so intently studying Breakout and just saying “Could you instead clean the dishes sometime?!”

This is reading I did for my planned PhD research and the best walkaway I get from it is a reminder that this is something that really taps into who we are as people. We are a playing people. We don’t just play out of instinct. We purposely play.

Now it’s up to us to figure out why that is.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)