In Defense of Adult Gamers

What about adults playing video games? Let’s plunge into the video games and find out.

Yesterday, I was watching a Matt Walsh video about a video game. I was curious since it was about Scooby-Doo and something happening with Velma. Anyway, Velma is a character in a game called Multiversus and 34 players filed a complaint about Velma calling a police car.

For the part about the politics, I thoroughly agree. However, I did notice when he said that the problem was really adults playing a video game about Scooby-Doo. At the end, he did make another short statement about adult gamers. I thought about some things I could say on Facebook, but my thoughts got so long I figured a blog post was better.

At the start, Walsh says he has been hard on the adult gaming community in the past. He does say it’s not a community just because you share an interest, but I disagree on that point at the start. Friendships often do start with common interests. Just today on campus I managed to start a Facebook group at our seminary for gaming. It can include board, card, video, tabletop, mobile, or collectible card games.

Walsh also does say in moderation it’s fine. He thinks a Scooby-Doo game is ridiculous, but in moderation, it’s fine. It’s worth pointing out for those who don’t know that Multiversus contains Scooby-Doo characters, but it is not a Scooby-Doo game. It contains other characters from the WB universe.

On moderation, I agree, and I think that applies to everything. As a conservative Christian, that even includes ministry work. If you are so involved in ministry that you neglect your family, for instance, you need to take a step back. People have to work to provide, but if you are married to your job more than your spouse, you have a problem. Even Ecclesiastes says too much study will make you tired and Aquinas argued that we need to play to refresh ourselves.

Walsh says the rejoinder he gets from gamers is “You watch football don’t you?” He does say it’s a little bit different, but doesn’t explain how it is. Now on my end, I could say watching 22 grown men go and tear each other up over a pointy-shaped object called a ball seems ridiculous to me. That’s also fine. We don’t have to have the same interests.

Yet some differences I want to point out on my end is that watching a sport is really a very passive activity. When you’re playing a game, you have to be engaged and you have to use your mind. Of course, you can be thinking in a football game, but there is nothing in the game that depends on your thinking. An Einstein and an idiot can both watch the game and think all they want about it and it won’t change the game a bit.

Also, many sporting events have some real-life consequences. I know a number of people who are intense pain later in life because they played football early on. The most danger you could be in from gaming would likely be some Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome. Also, I know that in many cases, when a team wins a major sporting event, like the Super Bowl, there’s a lot of rioting that happens in the town. Now I could be mistaken in this, but I have yet to hear of a town that was destroyed because someone or a team won the Pokemon World Championships or some other Esport event.

I would also agree that if you enjoy sports though, enjoy it in moderation. However, with sports, I notice that you can have a third of a nightly news broadcast dedicated to sports and news programs on the radio for hours dedicated to sports. I honestly wonder what can be said. That’s my ignorance speaking there. For games, we have an immense library of them we can talk about.

Walsh explains more that he doesn’t like the term community because it makes it a lifestyle that your world revolves around. I don’t know anyone who refers to the gaming community who thinks such a thing. I’m sure for the overwhelming majority of us that if we knew someone whose life did revolve around video games, we’d tell them to get help.

He also says our lives should not revolve around entertainment. Properly understood, I can agree, but I’m hesitant since one of my main emphases in understanding my Christian faith has been the joy of God and enjoying the world He has made. There are too many who have guilted Christians just because they enjoy something.

There is also something else about gaming. Gaming can be very intellectually engaging, especially in RPGs, since a story is told. You can base a philosophy course easily on video games. Right now for a class, I’m working on a paper on the themes of redemption and resurrection in Final Fantasy IV. As a kid playing this game just for fun, I never would have noticed this, but as an adult, I see it all over the game.

Gaming is also not an expensive hobby for the most part. The most expensive is probably buying a new console when it comes out. For us, you can buy several games at a cheap price and enjoy them thoroughly for hours. If you have hard copies, you can trade with friends.

For me also, as an Aspie, this allows me to connect with people. My mind works well with games and my former DivorceCare leader told my folks even that my gaming has an impact on my going to seminary. I have been playing games about fighting the battle of good vs evil all my life and I want to go out and have adventures where I am actually taking on evil. Peter Kreeft has said apologetics is the closest you come to saving the world.

In the evenings here, if the weather is nice, I go out walking and I have Pokemon Go at the same time. I get to see some of my fellow students and greet them and they greet me. It has been a joy to be on campus barely even a month and already students know me.

Also, many of our interests today come from things that resonated in our childhood. When the new Batman movie came out, who did I see it with? My nearly 70 year-old Dad. These movies aren’t just being made for kids. Adults love the superhero movies. For my Dad and I, it’s a connection as he grew up with these heroes and I can explain the new ones that I grew up watching in cartoons. I suspect if I get to have a kid someday, I will introduce him to the games I played as a kid.

In closing, I really keep thinking of something my therapist once told me. “An idol is always what someone else is doing.” I also think about how C.S. Lewis said that as an adult, he read fairy tales in the open. When he became an adult, he put away childish things, including the fear of being childish. I highly encourage people to lead multi-faceted lives and honor Christ with all they do, and that includes your hobbies and gaming. All that I do, I do seriously. When it’s time to study, I do, and when it’s time to play, I play seriously as well.

Overall, I agree with Walsh and much of what he says. None of this is meant to be antagonistic. It’s just explaining what myself and my fellow gamers do and how we enjoy our lives. I hope many of them would agree with what I said, at least about games as they might not agree on politics.

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

Deeper Waters Podcast: 6/8/2019

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I love games. I always have. I remember seeing something under the TV coming home from school as a small child and being told that that was our Colecovision and finding out how it works. I was hooked from that moment on. To this day, I still get excited with the prospect of playing a game of traditional Ladybug.

I am also an apologetics nerd now. While I love games, I never got into sports really, except perhaps for some Braves baseball. With that, it’s only if my father-in-law wants to take me to a game or if they go to the World Series. Sports never really interested me, including football. The only reason I watch the Super Bowl is because I want to see the commercials.

But I do know that there are some people who do enjoy sports and I am appreciative when some people come out and write for them and use their interest to get them into the truth of Christianity. Football is often thought to be our nation’s most popular sport and while I don’t understand why, I have to accept the reality. Yet what can I do to get some who are not Christians and like football to accept the truth of Christianity?

To do that, you need someone who understands both football and Christianity. With a ministry I work with, someone did tell about a book that did such a thing and they wanted to send it to me. I warned them that I don’t care for football at all and I might not be the best, but they assured me I’d be able to follow it. For the most part, they were right, and so I have invited them to come on to discuss football and Christianity. His name is Jason Jolin.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

Jason Jolin got an Master’s in business administration and a certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Accounting. He also has a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Computer Information and a minor in psychology. In 2012, he got a M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola.

We’ll be discussing how football and apologetics can interact. Jolin’s book is a story involving a game and what can be learned. It is a book that is easy to read and the average layman will be able to understand it. Even though I am someone who doesn’t understand or even like football, I did find myself enjoying the story to some extent. I suppose it could be that I can enjoy a movie like Rudy or Coach Carter even if I don’t care for the sport.

I hope you’ll be watching for the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. Please go and leave a review on iTunes and remember that everything that we do here is done by the support of people like you and we could certainly use your support. Please consider becoming a supporter of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Everyday Glory

What do I think of Gerald McDermott’s book published by Baker Academic? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

What does the world tell us about God? Quite a lot actually. In this book, Gerald McDermott seeks to open our eyes up to the realities that are all around us. We have lived in a world long enough where we take the world around us for granted and don’t really consider the revelation of God that is there.

As much as I am Protestant, this is also our problem. We, and I think rightly, say that Scripture is the final authority, but too often we make it the only authority. Thus, why do we need to look at the rest of the world to learn something about God? Why study natural theology at all?

McDermott urges us to avoid this way of thinking. The world is not an accident. God made it the way that He did for a reason. If we want to truly learn about God, we can learn about Him from the things He has made and ask why He has made things the way that He has.

To be fair, He does have a chapter on the Bible itself, but He encourages us to look for Christ everywhere in the Bible. Reading a chapter like this can help you to approach the Bible with new eyes.

From there, McDermott takes us to many other areas of the world around us. What can we learn from science? In this chapter, you’ll probably find many of the things you find in books that talk about scientific apologetics. Still, those who like that will be helped.

Animals are another aspect that are covered in the book. In this chapter, McDermott focuses on two specific animals. Those would be birds and dogs. Both of these are talked about in Scripture, and it’s interesting that dogs are talked about in a negative light.

Sexuality is another aspect that is discussed. What is it about sex that has captured our wonder so much? As I said on a recent podcast I did, we live in a world where we have all manner of new technologies and such to keep us entertained. What still holds our fascination? What God made back in the very beginning. Nothing can still compete with sex.

Sports are also included. Sports are a non-necessary part of reality and they are creations by us, but yet they also come with a number of rules and teach us a number of values. I found myself wondering in this chapter if the same could apply to video games, which I think it could, or even movies and things like that.

There’s also a section on other religions. It would be a mistake to think they get everything wrong. What can we learn from other religions? How are they similar? How are they different?

This isn’t every chapter, but it is some of them. There’s also an appendix dealing with the views of Barth and Luther on natural theology. McDermott makes a fine defense for his position.

I think this is a very helpful book to read. Reading this can help you look at Scripture and the rest of the world differently. It’s a way of analyzing reality to see the fingerprints of the creator in everything.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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