Book Plunge: The Legend of Zelda and Theology

Is this book worth the price of the rupees? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I grew up a gamer. I’ve always loved games. My wife and I still have several gaming systems here. One series that I grew attached to early on in my life was the Legend of Zelda. I got that and Super Mario Brothers 2 for Christmas one year and ended up playing Zelda first, even though Mario was the harder to find.

Before too long, I wanted everything of Link’s. I wanted to get a boomerang because, well, Link had one. I had a fascination with swords because that was the weapon Link used. I even went to a barber once with a Nintendo Power magazine saying I wanted my hair cut like that. Unfortunately, I didn’t have side burns yet, so no deal.

When I found out about this book, I was pleased to have a gift certificate from my sister for my birthday and promptly ordered it. We’ve seen several books in the pop culture and philosophy series, but this is the first one that I’d seen with pop culture and theology and frankly, I want to see more!

I found this to be an excellent work looking at the games in a way that I never had before and asking good questions. This isn’t just a passing glance at the games. The people who write these articles are both serious gamers and serious thinkers about theology. I happen to admire that. I try to be serious in whatever I do. When I write, I take my work seriously. When I play a game, I also take that seriously. I seek to give my best in every area.

They also make a defense of gaming in general, while of course pointing out that like many good things, it can be done to an extreme. I found it amusing to read about the creator of Zelda signing autographs and having a message telling children that on sunny days, they need to go outside.

Playing Zelda in many ways is like exploring in ways you don’t get to in real life. That is why gaming is seen as an extension of one’s own self. There does seem to be a bond between you and the character and you can feel the joy of adventure and the passion of good overcoming evil and doing something heroic. Hopefully, this would extend over into the real world and people will seek to make a difference there.

There will always be a gamer side to me and I’m happy to accept that. After a day of debating online and answering questions left and right, when it comes time to unwind, I’m glad that there are series like the Legend of Zelda there to give me that time. As I’ve said, I hope that there are others that come along in this series. I would especially be interested in seeing a work such as “Final Fantasy and Theology.” My thanks to the people who put together a work that helps me see some of my favorite games in a whole new light!

In Christ,
Nick Peters