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Digital Praise Takes Up Christian Gaming Cause

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the rod-and-todd dept.

United States 180

Thanks to GameSpot for its article discussing the formation of a new Christian videogame developer, Digital Praise, formed to create a "planned line of non-offensive games." CEO Tom Bean notes: "Digital Praise is founded on the principle that fun, exciting computer games don't need to be flooded with violence, sex, hate or images of horror", and the company's official press release discusses "development on two games based on the Adventures in Odyssey radio theater series", arguing: "As long as new game titles are top quality - offering exciting game play and high production value - we believe that interactive Christian games will skyrocket in popularity much like Christian music did 15 years ago."

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Bad Analogy Time? (5, Funny)

Eros (6631) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541145)

"As long as new game titles are top quality - offering exciting game play and high production value - we believe that interactive Christian games will skyrocket in popularity much like Christian music did 15 years ago."

Well, if that is their baseline for success -- we can only hope.

-- The Great Satan, Dark Lord Of The Underworld

Re:Bad Analogy Time? (5, Insightful)

Landaras (159892) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541218)

I know you are (sucessfully) making a joke, but I'll go ahead and respond.

I do agree that the quoted individual did mispeak a bit. I believe Christian music has significantly gained credibility in recent years, but I wouldn't describe it as "skyrocketing" and I disagree with his history.

Christian music was HORRENDOUS for a very long period of time. The musicians had a heart for God, but not an aptitude for writing lyrics or music.

Originally the genre was nothing more than the equivalent of hymns or thinly-veiled theology set to not always competently played music. Obviously this brought a lot of deserved ridicule.

I put 1995 as the year that Christian music started to not suck.

That year the self-titled Jars of Clay disc debuted (along with it the song Flood), as well as dcTalk's Jesusfreak. Both displayed expert musical skill along with lyrics that actually MEANT SOMETHING to listeners.

Fast forward to today, and it's not unusual to hear about overtly Christian artists having secular success. Switchfoot (and their Meant to Live) is the current poster child for this.

But I think the biggest impact is in the bands that you aren't aware are Christian, which I (and others) call "Christian-influenced."

2001's most played radio song (as determined by Broadcast Data Services) was Lifehouse's Hanging by a Moment [lifehousemusic.com] .

Lifehouse is comprised of Christians, write on Christian ideas and themes (many of their songs can be properly interpreted as worship), but also intentionally allow their music to be correctly interpreted secularly.

They don't compromise their Christian roots and beliefs, while not beating non-Christians over the heads with the Jesus Stick.

Bringing this back to gaming (since this is the games section of Slashdot), I believe Digital Praise will be successful if and only if they are able to produce games that are as technically credible and enjoyable to the player as that which is currently on the market.

It's great to focus on God and attempt to glorify Him. But in order to have impact in the world at large, you have to have relevance as well.

Christian music (eventually) learned this lesson. We'll see if Christian gaming does.

- Neil Wehneman

Re:Bad Analogy Time? (1)

kaellinn18 (707759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541912)

The one day I don't have mod points... That was very well written, sir, and I'm glad that there is at least one other Christian (I'm inferring based on what you wrote) on here who can take a joke without going ballistic and damning everyone to hell (blatant exaggeration).

Re:Bad Analogy Time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9544175)

Christian Music sales have skyrocketed; I think that's what they're going for...

Re:Bad Analogy Time? (0, Flamebait)

seann (307009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9544546)

honestly

I thought that lifehouse song was about anal sex for the first time.

Re:Bad Analogy Time? (4, Interesting)

dasunt (249686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541232)

Article: "As long as new game titles are top quality - offering exciting game play and high production value - we believe that interactive Christian games will skyrocket in popularity much like Christian music did 15 years ago."

Well, if that is their baseline for success -- we can only hope.

You may not be familiar with it, but the amount of Christian music being sold isn't small -- 47 million albums/year [tennessean.com] according to one source.

Or how about "$800 million in [Christian music] sales [that] topped sales of classical music and jazz combined..." [nwsource.com] (from a story talking about, oddly enough, the piracy of Xian music).

Christian music is big business, with its own famous bands, concerts, and record lables. And don't think that its all old time gospel music either -- it runs the gauntlet from folk music to pop to Christian metal.

Re:Bad Analogy Time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9542301)

$800 million in [Christian music] sales [that] topped sales of classical music and jazz combined..."

Not to mention Polka and The Lone Ranger old-time radio albums

First Game: Pearl Harbor? (4, Funny)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541156)

"Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"

Re:First Game: Pearl Harbor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541256)

Hilarious!! Let's kill a few Hindoos and Buddhists!! What fun!!!

Re:First Game: Pearl Harbor? (2, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 10 years ago | (#9545008)

Historically accurate Crusades perhaps.

How can this be Christian? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541186)

I am not a Christian ( I am a Human).

Somebody tell me planned line of non-offensive games." CEO Tom Bean notes How the hell is this Christian?

This is not the Christianity that the rest of non-christian world knows off. We know of a Christianity that demands absolute conformity. We know of a Christianity that beleives in conversions and in the process is ruining states of North-east India. We know of a Christianity that is just as intolerant as Islam.

The only room Christianity gives is for different "levels" of belief in the system itself. Everyone else and everything else is a "fool" who has to be shown the way.

Re:How can this be Christian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541207)

I see your points but please don't compare Christianity to Islam.

Yes, Christianity has been rammed down the throat of a lot of people thanks to moneypower but Islam is worse. Just how much money do the Arabs spend worldwide to promote ISlam?

Between Christianity and Islam, I'll always choose Christianity.

Re:How can this be Christian? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541217)

THere exactly is the problem.

Between Christianity and Islam, I'll always choose Christianity.

It's always assumed that there are two poles to choose from. Two colors. Black or White. Yes or No. With us or Against us.

Just what the hell is the non-Christian, non-Muslim world to do?
BTW, honestly, there are too many similarities between Christianity and Islam. The difference is that Christianity is more moderated and "elaborate" in social justice, and allows room for individualism. As long as that individual is Christian, that is.....

So.Australia: Bookkeeper job req's church-goer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541422)

Not only that, it's LEGAL to discriminate (in South Australia) on the basis of religion!

Ref: An Adelaide-suburban Christian school
advertised a job for a Bookkeeper, stating
that th successful applicant will be a prac-
ticing Christian & regular church-goer. The
employment application had a place for one's
pastor's comments. Clearly discriminatory!

Note: This was a NON-teaching office job.

Somebody made a complaint to the Equal Oppor-
tunities Commission, and they won't touch it!

I haven't checked any So Aussie IT firms, but
maybe this explains the number of Adelaide IT
folks that seem to sing in choirs... ;-)

PS The Adelaide Club was known to bar females
from membership, even while a female doctor
was Mayor of that City (not that any female
in town would want to join... ;-)

Re:How can this be Christian? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541229)

Sucks to be a NON- Christian does it? That's exactly how it is supposed to be, you Hindu/Buddhist pieces of turds.

I think you mean "Humanist" (1, Insightful)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541302)

We know of a Christianity that demands absolute conformity.
To...? If it's not Christ, then the person you're facing is not Christian, whatever they claim to the contrary. That's built right into the etiology of the word. The largest "Christian" denomination in the world demands first loyalty to the head of a small European state. Another large one demands loyalty to an office just off the same coast (not quite correct: they're split into two major faction groups, and one of those seems to have their basic priorities right).
We know of a Christianity that beleives in conversions and in the process is ruining states of North-east India.
It takes two to tango. Until you know about the individual Christians and what exactly it is that they're ruining, generalisations like that are at best pointless and in practice usually dangerous. Forex, if they're "ruining" a society which frowns on charity for fear of damaging the recipient's karma, then I'm all for "ruining" that. But I'd need more data than you've supplied in order to make a call there.

More-or-less genuine Christianity is also "ruining" (depending on your PoV) hundreds of Orthodox rabbis every year and hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of Mohammedans. In return, many Mohammedans have demonstrated that they would rather murder their own than see them convert, including their own children (that's a pretty clear demonstration of the inferiority of their argument). How do you feel about that? Your answers might teach you a lot about your own anxiety.

OT (but so is parent): Sensitivity (2, Informative)

OldMiner (589872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541813)

FYI, 'Mohammedan [everything2.com] ' is a potentially offensive term. It implies that the followers of Islam worship Mohammed, just as Christians worship Christ. Moslems worship Allah; Mohammed is His prophet.

Granted, there are those who would argue your callous word choice was the least offensive portion of your post.

Re:I think you mean "Humanist" (2, Informative)

Lady Jazzica (689768) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541948)

The largest "Christian" denomination in the world demands first loyalty to the head of a small European state.

Catholics are Christians; in fact, they're the authentic Christians. Christ said that He'd found His Church on the rock of Peter (it was Jesus who gave Simon the name Peter/Kepha, or "rock", in the first place). See Matthew 16:18-19. Note that Jesus says this in response to the Father communicating to Peter the truth concerning the identity of Jesus.

The above passage also mentions the keys given to Peter, which express Peter's role as Christ's steward on earth (compare Isaiah 22:22). John 21:15-17 also refers to this role: the Good Shepherd places the care of His sheep in the hands of His steward Peter, in preparation for His departure from the world.

Also, Jesus prayed that the faith of the Apostles would be preserved by Peter. (Luke 22:31-32) Why didn't He pray for all the Apostles instead of just Peter? Because it was part of the role Jesus intended for Peter.

So if you want to conform to Christ, then you should accept the steward He has given you: the Pope, successor of Peter.

Re:I think you mean "Humanist" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9542801)

And what says that the role would continue with "successors" rather than ending with the death of Peter?

Here we go again... (4, Insightful)

Elledan (582730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541190)

From the press release:
"Digital Praise is committed to releasing fun, exciting game titles that promote virtues and family values like forgiveness, tolerance and kindness, rather than the violent and sexual behavior that is the mainstay of most popular computer games today."

This single sentence implies two things:

- most games today actively promote violent and/or sexual behaviour;
- any kind of violent and sexual behaviour is a bad thing.

Starting with the second point, I think that we can all agree that this is utter nonsense. Violence and sexual behaviour are facts of life, and are two of the things which most actively define ourselves and our surroundings. Apparently it refers to the 'turning the other cheek', and the 'no sex before marriage/sex is solely for reproductive purposes' parts of fundamentalistic Christian beliefs.

Moving on, I'm guessing that even a game like the Sims is considered to be offensive by certain people. FPSs are violent by nature, but it would be ridiculous to state that the violence in this type of games promotes more violence (looking at the crime statistics for the US, the number of crimes committed since the introduction of Doom in the early '90s has sharply decreased, and never can a criminal act be directly attributed to a game).

Besides, there are already plenty of games which are totally PC and 'lots of fun'. They're called children's games :p

Anyway, those smug, fundamentalistic Christian types never seem to change, so this press release isn't exactly news, or even mildly shocking. With a couple of minor adaptations you could turn it into a press release regarding Christian music.

Re:Here we go again... (3, Insightful)

zhiwenchong (155773) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541230)

Violence and sexual behavior are facts of life, true, but that doesn't mean everyone has to condone it. And no, I do not agree that they define us as people. People should be able to choose what kinds of values they want to have without being subject to derision. And that doesn't necessarily have to mean that they're necessarily divorced from reality. They just have different values.

I think we're all sick of holier-than-thou attitudes, but let's not stoop to that level ourselves.

Your post confirms something: smugness isn't limited to fundamentalist Christian groups.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Elledan (582730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541282)

Violence and sexual behavior are facts of life, true, but that doesn't mean everyone has to condone it.

I agree. Any kind of behaviour which is aimed at causing harm to anyone is not a good thing.

And no, I do not agree that they define us as people.

I never said they do.

I only said that those types of behaviour have made us what we are today. Unless you disagree that those last two world wars and the sexual revolution during the '60s were just hype.

People should be able to choose what kinds of values they want to have without being subject to derision. And that doesn't necessarily have to mean that they're necessarily divorced from reality. They just have different values.

You'll never find me actively trying to 'convert' people. I'll state my view(s), and if they don't agree with it, fine.

However, don't forget that there are people who believe in creationism and similar things which are completely unfounded. Recommending not to use condoms because they would promote the spread of HIV/AIDS is another one of those views which are detached from reality.

I think we're all sick of holier-than-thou attitudes, but let's not stoop to that level ourselves. Your post confirms something: smugness isn't limited to fundamentalist Christian groups.

I wouldn't describe it as smugness. It's closer to confusion and puzzlement. How in the world does one deal with people who often refuse to acknowledge even the most basic facts without offering any kind of credible defense?

Re:Here we go again... (1)

cryptor3 (572787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542847)

Regarding this:

>> And no, I do not agree they define us as people.
> I never said they do.

Explain this, please?
>>> Violence and sexual behaviour are facts of life, and are two of the things which most actively define ourselves and our surroundings.

I think it's logical to conclude that "ourselves" means "us [as people]."

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Elledan (582730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543032)

"define us as people" might be interpreted as meaning "is an essential part of being human".

I merely meant to say that all actions taken in the past, including those of a violent and/or sexual nature, shape the present, of which we are a part.

FP!S (2, Insightful)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541258)

any kind of violent and sexual behaviour is a bad thing

Strawman detected.

In an average TV crime show, the hero of the plot kills one person per episode. An average New York police officer draws their gun about twice in their working lifetime. An average FPS player kills several opponents per minute.

What they're looking for is a game which is closer to Real Life, both less traumatising/anaesthetising for the player (however small the doses of trauma are) and better training for Real Life.

Children's games don't fulfil that aim because they are too simple.

I notice that you don't directly address your first point. Meanwhile...

FPSs are violent by nature
Not. To be precise (AFAIK) all that you can make a valid claim for is "existing FPS implementations are all violent", and this represents a poverty of imagination, not a natural feature of the genre.

Does a paintball FPS exist - where the objective is to tag opponents rather than killing them, or perhaps paint them with enough of your team's colour to initiate them into your side? If not, maybe it should. How about an FPS where the objective is to stick radio tags to wildlife? How about an "orbital debris hunter" FPS? How about a waldo FPS, where you're working on mechanical stuff in high orbit (or maybe you're in a ship orbiting a planet that needs terraforming), and there's a couple of seconds of lag in the feedback loop, maybe even a slowly-varying few seconds? Much harder to master than Quake, and much easier to set up for a meaningful ranking system.

Any of these can be intricate and exhilarating, and there's absolutely no need for them to be nasty or gory. How about a baseball FP[BatterPitcherFieldsman]? How about a first-person run in a fibreglass suit to emplace sensors in and/or collect samples from an actively erupting volcano?

The problem is your viewpoint. It's not an honest one, it's only an excuse to run people down from faux philosophical high ground. If your aim is to convert Christians to your own (short-sighted) way of thinking, you should be pushing this for all it's worth, as a foot-in-the-door way of weaning Christians onto more violent games. But no, you're too busy looking for immediate peer-group approval instead, so you're not. News flash! There is more to life!

Re:FP!S (1)

mutewinter (688449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541901)

There are paintball mods for games such as ghost recon. One game I used to really enjoy is Nerf Arena. I believe it used the Unreal Tournament engine and was released shortly before Unreal Tournament. So, the graphics might be slightly dated but it is still a very fun game to play. A wide assortment of nerf guns combined with bright and very original levels adds up to a great first person shooter. Its great for kids and adults. Believe me on this one, I enjoyed Soldier of Fortune 1 and 2, and I still loved this game.

Thanks for that! (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543224)

The server runs under WINE, I'll snaffle a secondhand client and see how well it goes.

Re:FP!S (2, Funny)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541945)

Does a paintball FPS exist [...] ?
Yes [ign.com] , but ...
If not, maybe it should.
if only you knew [mobygames.com] the horror [ign.com] .

There are worse things than violent FPSs.

Much, much worse.

Re:Here we go again... (2, Interesting)

superyooser (100462) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541429)

This single sentence implies two things:

- most games today actively promote violent and/or sexual behaviour;
- any kind of violent and sexual behaviour is a bad thing.

Starting with the second point, I think that we can all agree that this is utter nonsense.

The only sexual behavior that is not bad behavior is that which occurs privately within the exclusive bounds of a faithful, marital relationship between one man and one woman. Even if a game were to depict this good sexual behavior, that very depiction of it would be wrong. No sexual activity, good or bad, real-life or fictional, is to be put on display for the world. Marital sex is a private matter between the participants sharing their bodies and souls, one with another, as one flesh [gospelcom.net] .

You might argue that it should be okay to watch "marital" sex between artificial "people." But this is laughably a moot point when it comes to computer games (except possibly for the Sims). When we have a game with a Mr. and Mrs. Anderson [tvtome.com] getting frisky in the master bedroom, then we can address this issue further.

What makes good sex good is its exclusive and secret nature. The husband is the only one (ideally) who has ever seen or ever will see his wife's nakedness. The wife is the only one (ideally) who has ever seen or ever will see her husband's nakedness. Their bodies are a special secret they guard for themselves. Anybody else can have a sexual experience, but not with the individuals who are committed to each other in matrimony. Each side feels special and unique that with over 6,000,000,000 people in the world, they have chosen and continue to chose each other - and no other - to share their sexuality.

The man can say, "She wants to have sex with me and no one else!" The woman can say, "He wants to have sex with me and no one else!" Man: "My body is ALL for YOU!" Woman: "My body is ALL for YOU!" You can imagine what that does to the hormones! And the mutual love. A third person, whether a participant or spectator, contaminates the marital purity and spoils the "one flesh" sexual intimacy.

From the Christian standpoint, the only sexual behavior (whether a real act or a fictional depiction) that you should ever see is your own sexual behavior with your spouse.

Qualification: The above applies mainly to gratuitous depictions of sexual behavior. Pictures, diagrams, and other media presentations that are created for medical or academic purposes that benefit humanity are acceptable as long as the media are used only for their intended, noble purposes.

Re:Here we go again... (4, Insightful)

Elledan (582730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541601)

Such a way of thinking about sex was typical before the sexual revolution. It was accompanied by strict rules for how a woman should behave herself, before and after marriage.

A woman should never take the initiative, leave all important decisions to men, including who to marry (which was decided upon by the potential groom and both families). Once married, a woman should only concern herself with keeping the house tidy, taking care of the children, and ensure the continuing comfort of her husband, regardless of her own condition.

It took a world war (when women had to work in the factories, because most men were away, fighting) to shake up these widely held convictions and a revolution (from the '60s and onwards) to get things to change.

Sexual behaviour (e.g. flirting) has been accepted for a while now, and sex itself is becoming less of a taboo as well. The reason why sex was treated like something 'special' for such a long time was because it was a taboo, thanks to good old-fashioned Christian values (re virgin birth), not because not talking about it made it somehow 'better'.

The man can say, "She wants to have sex with me and no one else!" The woman can say, "He wants to have sex with me and no one else!" Man: "My body is ALL for YOU!" Woman: "My body is ALL for YOU!" You can imagine what that does to the hormones! And the mutual love. A third person, whether a participant or spectator, contaminates the marital purity and spoils the "one flesh" sexual intimacy.

...which is why all men absolutely can't stand the thought of a trisome.

Thank you, please come again :)

Re:Here we go again... (0, Troll)

superyooser (100462) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541632)

The sexual revolution, over all, has been a horrible tragedy. It's been a series of horrible tragedies, afflicting family after family. Too much to even describe here. The '60s nearly destroyed this nation, and we're still greatly hurting from it, socially, spiritually, financially, etc.

Thank you, please come again :)

Appropriate signoff for your fast food philosophy. You know nothing about life. You choose flings over marriage? You will die a bitter death. You will never know love.

Re:Here we go again... (5, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541645)

Appropriate signoff for your fast food philosophy. You know nothing about life. You choose flings over marriage? You will die a bitter death. You will never know love.

Spot the loving and caring Christian.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9545136)

Heh, I'm just amazed to see on of them in the wild still. I can't believe actual christians exist at all in this day and age and it is a real treat to see one in person. I wish I had my camera.

Re:Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9542454)

There are certain places in the world you can live where they still oppress women and abhor sexuality. I'd recommend comparing notes with the people that live there, but I think we're bombing them at the moment.

Re:Here we go again... (2, Interesting)

Derkec (463377) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542426)

Nice little logical twist you put in there. Because traditional Judeo-Christian views on sex were more common prior to the sexual revolution and because women had a lower standing prior to the world war II, you associate the idea that sex should be between man and wife with oppression of women. That's bull and I'm calling you on it.

Yes, attitudes on both subjects changed at roughly the same period of history. So did attitudes and laws regarding race in this country. Your argument has only slightly more merit than saying a Christian views on love and marriage are to blame for Jim Crow.

Now, I think sex is 'special' and not because of historical matters. It's just the closest you can be to someone. It's intimate and great.

I do find it amusing that you take the poster's most sensuous point (ALL YOU YOU!) and can only respond with a trite remark about threesomes. Every piece of relationship advice I've ever seen, be it at church, in the newspaper, online, in Cosmo... has said that if you value the relationship, don't do a threesome. More often than not, someone is going to be jealous and the relationship will be strained.

I think that if you ask people who believe in the sacredness of the marriage bed, few will say that women should only concern herself with family and home duties. The "rules" are as strict for men as women and are geared for the joy of each.

Re:Here we go again... (2, Interesting)

Elledan (582730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542989)

Nice little logical twist you put in there. Because traditional Judeo-Christian views on sex were more common prior to the sexual revolution and because women had a lower standing prior to the world war II, you associate the idea that sex should be between man and wife with oppression of women.

Did I? I'm sorry if that's how it appeared to you. I merely tried to describe some of the, now outdated, views held by many before the sexual revolution and feminism.

Now, I think sex is 'special' and not because of historical matters. It's just the closest you can be to someone. It's intimate and great.

If that's how you experience it, that's fine. Just realize that not everyone thinks about this subject in the same manner.

I do find it amusing that you take the poster's most sensuous point (ALL YOU YOU!) and can only respond with a trite remark about threesomes. Every piece of relationship advice I've ever seen, be it at church, in the newspaper, online, in Cosmo... has said that if you value the relationship, don't do a threesome. More often than not, someone is going to be jealous and the relationship will be strained.

Then you missed the point of the remark I made. The parent made it sound like to a man, having sex with a single woman is what any man instinctively craves, whereas it's a commonly known fact that monogamy is definitely not natural behaviour for humans, and might possibly contribute to the sharp rise in genetic defects we're witnessing.

Perhaps I should have elaborated on this point, but I refrained from doing so, lest I might inadvertently 'feed a troll', so to speak.

I think that if you ask people who believe in the sacredness of the marriage bed, few will say that women should only concern herself with family and home duties. The "rules" are as strict for men as women and are geared for the joy of each.

Again, I apologize if I made it sound like monogamy and the suppression of women's rights are directly related.

On a sidenote, according to the statistics, individuals who believe in the 'sacredness of the marriage bed', let alone marriage, are a dying breed. Apparently the views held by those individuals are not that convincing to younger generations. One might consider this to be the continuing 'sexual revolution'.

Re:Here we go again... (2, Interesting)

jareds (100340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9545157)

The parent made it sound like to a man, having sex with a single woman is what any man instinctively craves, whereas it's a commonly known fact that monogamy is definitely not natural behaviour for humans, and might possibly contribute to the sharp rise in genetic defects we're witnessing.

How might monogamy contribute to the rise in genetic defects? I can see that in excessively small and isolated populations, it would be best for women to have children by different partners to maximize genetic diversity, but I wouldn't think it would have any significant effect in the large modern gene pool, given that actually having children with close relatives is rare.

MOD PARENT TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9542968)

fundie asswipe!

Re:Here we go again... (2, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543673)

There are people out there that could say that their belief structure says that promiscuity is "right" and that monogamy is "wrong". So what, exactly, makes the Christian standpoint the right one? You can't define what's right and wrong for everyone based on your personal beliefs, since so many different belief structures exist in this world.

Obviously, since there are so many people playing these games, many people don't view them as "wrong". Why should your opinion matter to them?

Re:Here we go again... (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9544453)

I'm living in the Philippines at present, a fairly religious country. (Christian)

From experience, the filipino's I have met cannot mentally seem to comprehend that another religion beyond their own might even exist in the world. Let alone that an individual might choose to actually believe that there is no god at all.

They will talk of ghosts and other nasty evil things like its all common scientific fact that such things are real. It's not at all unusual to find fourth hand accounts of half fish/man beasts that are believed as though seen through ones very own eyes... Sigh... Stupid. (Nobody ever seems to get a photograph, and dna samples are too far beyond the scope)

Re:Here we go again... (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9545098)

Wow, nice piece of dogma there, even with a link to some christian bible stuff.

The only sexual behavior that is not bad behavior is that which occurs privately within the exclusive bounds of a faithful, marital relationship between one man and one woman.

This is your belief, you should state as such. As it is you are attempting to make a claim as being true just because you believe it to be.

In fact i really dont have to quote anymore then to say this is an opinion piece touted as fact or 'rules' or whatever. In the future you would do well to learn the difference between opinion and fact. Otherwise you are just FUDding yourself.

Unless of course your whole post is meant to be well crafted subtle sarcasm, In that case you've done a stellar job.

Yeah, here we go again. (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9544319)

Compare a previous rather similar Slashdot story:
Recruit More Women Developers, Attract Women Gamers? [slashdot.org]

Quotes: "Half of the population isn't having input into what's being created... And the one thing that I learned is that people make games they like to play. Having a diverse opinion helps games"

Contrast with: "Digital Praise Takes Up Christian Gaming Cause" (that's this story)
Quotes: "those smug, fundamentalistic Christian types never seem to change"

Read the various comments on both articles.

Sure they're not about the same thing. But it sure is enlightening if you really think about it.

DAMN STRAIGHT (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541205)

Digital Praise is founded on the principle that fun, exciting computer games don't need to be flooded with violence, sex, hate or images of horror

I totally agree. Hangman, anyone?

Hangman? (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541275)

Obviously, you don't get the point [liquidgeneration.com] . (-:

Note to moderators: please don't mod stuff down because you disagree with it. Moderate it up or down based on the quality or otherwise of the points made. The parent AC deserves the occasional positive mod for polite, constructive sarcasm.

Re:DAMN STRAIGHT (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9545166)

actually this poses a question, what kind of games are they going to make?

Racing games? Well if someone crashes the car that's implied violence. And you cant hit another car as that is violent. If you race by yourself you might hit a wall and that again implies a car crash.. ok thats out.

ok well i suppose you can do puzzle games.. *shrug* ok. However i cant think of any successful pure puzzle games other than tetris. Even the venerable Myst series had a rather complex plot that with element that some may consider 'impure'. For instance if you look at that always amusing to read standby capalert.com anymore involving drama at all that isnt pushing christian dogma in it is reviewed badly.

So what would fall under these restrictions? A grocery shopping Sim? The dog walking challenge? or perhaps (waiting to be modded troll) a game where you can pray sim prayers and wait for your non-answer :)

Niche Market (4, Insightful)

SiO2 (124860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541264)

The words "niche market" come to mind. They are obviously targeting a very specific audience: people who want to play games, but who want to feel safe and moral while doing so.

I would posit that the vast majority of us who play games with violent or sexual content do so for the following reasons:

1. They're fun.

2. Normal, being a relative term, people can't do the things in meat space that they can do in computer games. They like that. They feel free. They get to step outside the boundaries for a bit.

3. Fragging helps to release tension. Sure, you would really like to go after Phil at the office with a rail gun, because he fucked up again and really made you angry. Go splatter some bots instead. You won't end up in either the electric chair or strapped to a gurney with a needle in your arm that is about to deliver to your bloodstream some chemicals of a very dubious and harmful nature.

4. A lot of geeks, nerds, dweebs, dorks, and whatever term you choose were kicked around a lot when they were younger. Violent games are a way for them to kick back in a manner that, while cathartic, is not harmful to others.

I suppose most of these points are intertwined.

There are already a great deal of fun games available that are non-violent, non-sexual, and non-Christian. I submit, for example, games like Enigmo, Text Twist, the wiley veteran Tetris, UpLink, etc. These are but a few examples.

I think that this company is merely using the tired argument that violent games lead to violent behavior. If anything, I would argue the opposite. I, for one, have become so jaded by violence in the news that I really don't care anymore. Some more soldiers exploded in Iraq again today. Some more Jews killed some more Palestinians. Some more Palestinians killed some more Jews. I've heard and read it so many times that I don't even care anymore.

This company just wants to offer alternatives that disseminate Christian values, which, I think, is not necessarily wrong. More power to them. However, I do believe that their market share will be rather slim and limited to Christian fundamentalists.

SiO2

Re:Niche Market (1)

cryptor3 (572787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543024)

The words "niche market" come to mind. They are obviously targeting a very specific audience: people who want to play games, but who want to feel safe and moral while doing so.

I disagree. All kinds of people play all kinds of nonviolent games. As you pointed out, Online games sites such as Yahoo Games is quite popular and if I had to guess, NOT a niche market by any means.

The point is that this audience probably does not play these [nonviolent, etc.] games because it wants to feel safe and moral, but because there IS a broad market for [nonviolent, etc.] games.

We've seen that (at least mostly) nonviolent games reach even the "hardcore" market and become very popular. Here's a list of a few of my favorites:

the Simcity series

Super Mario Brothers

Any racing games

There's also this other game called "Dance Dance Revolution" which I hear is becoming popular. ;-)

Oh, and for the record, I was also once an avid FPS player. UT, Tribes 2 and CS were my favorites back when I had time.

Umm... (3, Insightful)

King_of_Prussia (741355) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541308)

Whereabouts in the bible does it say "and ye faithful shall not gaze upon or take part in scenes of horror"?

Calling horror and violence something foreign to the church seems a little off kilter- anyone remember the crusades?

Here. (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541638)

Whereabouts in the bible does it say "and ye faithful shall not gaze upon or take part in scenes of horror"?
This [gospelcom.net] is fairly straightforward.
anyone remember the crusades?
In which one political entity (the Roman Catholic Church) taught another (Islam) how to be brutal on a large scale, yes? And what does that have to do with religion?

How about the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, in which subjects of the same political entity suddenly rose up and murdered over 70,000 of their competitors in one day, not to mention slicing the breasts off others with shears, and other such pleasantries?

Or the invasion of Beziers, in which about 30,000 people - roughly half of them being at least nominal adherents to the aforementioned political entity - were wiped out in one go by mercenaries at the direction of said political entity, and the famous quotation "Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens" (or, in English, "Kill them all; for the Lord knoweth them that are His") was born?

Yes, politics is murder. And often the reverse is true as well.

Lest you fall to believing that all lethal political entities have paternalistic religious connections, consider that (Atheist) Mao managed to kill more than 80 million of his own people, (Atheist) Stalin got another 20 million or so, and the Manchu got another few tens of millions suppressing the Ti Ping. To say nothing of strictly commercial murder and mass inhumanity like King Leopold's Congo (chalk up another ten million for that one, give or take).

Re:Here. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541701)

In which one political entity (the Roman Catholic Church) taught another (Islam) how to be brutal on a large scale, yes?

I know this what the schools and media are telling everyone these days but it's absolute nonsense. The Crusades were a response to centuries of conquest by Islam of half of Eurasia and much of Africa. Not the Crusaders didn't behave in an utterly loathsome way, but the notion that the Saracens were pacifists who were suddenly attacked out of the blue is absurd.

They weren't pacifists... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541800)

...but they were a lot more inclined to negotiate than the Crusaders were, and did a lot less damage to the locals in their ever so righteous paths.

Re:Here. (1)

Lady Jazzica (689768) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542043)

In which one political entity (the Roman Catholic Church) taught another (Islam) how to be brutal on a large scale, yes? And what does that have to do with religion?

First, as someone has already pointed out, the Muslims were already brutal and warlike. That's how Islam became so "popular" in the first place. Second, the Church did not authorize the brutality often seen in the Crusades. In fact, many Crusaders were excommunicated for participating in massacres. Third, the Church is a spiritual entity founded by Christ, not a political entity.

How about the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, in which subjects of the same political entity suddenly rose up and murdered over 70,000 of their competitors in one day, not to mention slicing the breasts off others with shears, and other such pleasantries?

Actually, it was the French court that was responsible for this. The Church had nothing to do with it.

Or the invasion of Beziers, in which about 30,000 people - roughly half of them being at least nominal adherents to the aforementioned political entity - were wiped out in one go by mercenaries at the direction of said political entity, and the famous quotation "Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens" (or, in English, "Kill them all; for the Lord knoweth them that are His") was born?

First, once again, the Church was not responsible for this, the knights did that on their own. People actually do things without being given orders from above, you know. Second, there's no proof the "Kill them all" quote is authentic.

Re:Here. (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9544567)

Dude, you need to open your eyes if you think the church holds no political sway in this world.

Yup, individuals make up a religion, church is populated by humans, I'm not even sure any two of them side by side could interpret their own 'texts' in the same light.

Take a look at the current US administration and the religious undertones that ebb and flow... I don't know or care if it's right or wrong, but it does exist.

Re:Umm... (1)

superyooser (100462) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541652)

I remember that the Crusades were carried out by authoritarian theocracies that forced religion upon their people. The leaders lined people up, had them walk through the water of large baptistries, and - abracadabra - they were "Christians." Utter foolishness! These were the people that also thought they could make their enemies convert to Christianity by the threat of the sword. That's not agreeing to converting; that's saving your skin.

No, becoming a Christian must be a personal decision. One must confess and repent of his sins, and he must put his personal trust in the Son of God as his Lord and Savior. Becoming a Christian means having a profound change of heart that reorients your inclination from evil to good.

In a theocracy, there is no room for choice. You become a "Christian" because you're born where people expect and demand you to be a Christian. So, there is no change of heart, no active following of Christ's teachings, and no rebirth - birth of the spirit.

I do not believe the Crusaders were Christian. Allow me to present one of many contrasts. Jesus Christ taught [gospelcom.net] in the synagogues. He said that He had been sent to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). The resurrected Christ told His disciples to be witnesses for Him in Jerusalem (Acts 1:8) So what did the ever-so-devout Crusaders do when they went to Jerusalem? They burned down the synagogue with thousands of "the lost sheep" inside. The Jews all burned to death. It was a huge inferno; a 9/11 on steroids (comparing body counts). Yeah, great "witnessing" there, Christians. And there's no case for self-defense either (although there can be in the beginning of the Crusades, but that's only pertaining to the Muslim invaders).

The evidence says they weren't Christians. A ricer can put a Jaguar hood ornament on his 1984 Honda Accord, but it's still a crappy Accord. He can slap a V-Tec or a TYPE-R sticker on it, too. That doesn't change anything inside. Same thing for religious dunking. They can plaster emblems of the Cross on everything they own. Don't mean a thing if they don't really know the King (Rev. 17:13).

Splish, splash, I was takin' a... (2, Informative)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541864)

...new religion.
The leaders lined people up, had them walk through the water of large baptistries, and - abracadabra - they were "Christians."
It's a time-honoured practice, if time can be said to honour anything. Constantine did this with his troops around 300AD, which was a very long time before the Crusades, also a very long time before the Crusaders' enemy faction even existed.

Abracadabra, Aramaic for "I create as I speak" is heavily paralleled in the Bible. The term you're probably looking for is "hocus pocus", a corruption of "Hoc est corpus meum", the Latin uttered at the climax of a Mass when the priest purports to compress God (presumably a copy) into a wafer.

In another interesting pierce of irony, the cross is actually a symbol of Tammuz, the sun god. The cross-with-halo is an exact replica of the rising sun with atmospheric "lens effects". Christ was crucified on the symbol of His arch enemy. Mutating the solar disk into a crown of thorns in order to get away from the pagan implications is spectacularly ironic.

Re:Splish, splash, I was takin' a... (1, Informative)

Lady Jazzica (689768) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542136)

The term you're probably looking for is "hocus pocus", a corruption of "Hoc est corpus meum", the Latin uttered at the climax of a Mass when the priest purports to compress God (presumably a copy) into a wafer.

It was Jesus who said the bread was His Body and the wine was His Blood:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)

In another interesting pierce of irony, the cross is actually a symbol of Tammuz, the sun god.

It also happened to be a Roman method of execution...

Mutating the solar disk into a crown of thorns in order to get away from the pagan implications is spectacularly ironic.

Jesus was actually crowned with thorns, mocking Him and the claims that He was the king of the Jews. It had nothing to do with getting away from "pagan implications".

A bit crusty... (2, Informative)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543053)

It was Jesus who said the bread was His Body and the wine was His Blood
Finish the quote, from Luke 22:19 -
this do in remembrance of me
Not to recreate Him, not to call Him down, but to remember Him.
It also happened to be a Roman method of execution
Nothing accidental about it. The political masters of the sun cult (Mithras to most Romans) seem to have deliberately chosen the crucifix shape and proportions to make their point.
It had nothing to do with getting away from "pagan implications".
If the ring of thorns were other than universally portrayed hung about the intersection of the crucifix, that might be believable. As things stand, the crucifix and notably the ringed crucifix as messianic symbols predate Christianity by at least several hundred years - including preChristian examples found in South America.

Re:Umm... (1)

Lady Jazzica (689768) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542169)

I do not believe the Crusaders were Christian.

Yes, they were Christians. Some of them were bad Christians, but they were Christians. It's the sick who need a doctor, after all. (Luke 5:31)

I think this is a positive thing (4, Insightful)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541315)

Here are a bunch of people who are saying we don't like the current crop of games for a number of reasons. So instead of protesting and trying to make it so that others can't play they are going to make their own games. In a free country this is exactly what people should do. One of the points of free software is that people can take it and make it better, for whatever value of better they happen to want. Even if its something that is totally un insteresting to you and me.

If these folks want to make their games power to them. Remember in the USA fundemtalist christains are a very large number of people.

we're supposed to be grateful? (1)

IshanCaspian (625325) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542865)

Jeez, just because some group of religious fundamentalists isn't trying to oppress us, we should be happy? The fact that these people are leaving our freedoms alone is definitely not enough to make me want to be beaten over the head with the jesus stick while I'm trying to play a video game.

I agree with your basic point, that if people don't like the way video games are they should make their own, but the prospect of having to watch out for evangelist games doesn't exactly appeal to me either.

Re:we're supposed to be grateful? (1)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 10 years ago | (#9545024)

Trust me I don't want to be hit over the head with the jesus stick any more than you do. As I think I said I'm not a christian, and don't want to be one. I am very much a religous person, (I moved 6000 miles to a country where I don't speek the language for relgious reasons). I will say that I don't really care what a bunch of christians in the US do or don't do with computer games. But I support the idea of reacting to things you don't like by building something you do.

The question in my mind is are these games that are specificly Xtian games (and what version of that) or are they games like say a tux racer where there is little or now sex/violence etc. There have been many games over the years that have been quite enjoyable without sex and violence, tetris and sim city jump to mind.

I don't play computer games for other reasons (mostly I have other things I would rather spend my time on) but thats just my taste.

All I am saying is that a group of people found some games to not be acceptable for their own reasons, so are writting their own. Thats fine, will I let my girls play these games, probably not. But I'm not threatend by the fact that they exist.

Shame on non religious people. (4, Insightful)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541337)

It is a shame that it takes a group as descredited as any religious organization (don't start me on this one, just my opinion OK?) to tackle excesive violence and demeaning or exploitatve sex stereotypes.

I, being a non religious person, am sick and tired of games whose only aim is to brutalize as many characters as possible in the worst possible way.

I think game designers have a moral responsibility towards society, specially having in mind that many of their "customers" are impressionable young persons, I am not saying that there should not be ultraviolent, sexually explicit or politically incorrect games, the point I am trying to make is that game developpers seem to think that without at least one of the above they can't sell.

It is a testament to how wrong they are how Tetris, Pac Man, Myst, SimCity and other games like thes are perhaps the most successful in all time,

Re:Shame on non religious people. (1)

Knos (30446) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541482)

You know what? It's because non-religious people are typically free to do what they want to do. (Likewise for dogmatic people, but i don't think i've ever seen a game claiming to bring a certain economical ideology for example)

You want to blame them for not being organized and self-censor themselves. Well, all it requires is a little wait until the industry becomes much smaller (in terms of number of publishing houses) than it is today. It is the concentration of power that can enable self-censorship.

A given morality cannot be imposed without a government.

Re:Shame on non religious people. (1)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541590)

I too am not remotely religious.

I have a number of games that would be classified as very violent. GTAIII springs to mind, more recently I have been playing Mafia. What I enjoy about them is the escapism, and I really like the virtual world to interact with, more of that please! Not so bothered about the violent aspects although they can be fun if handled well as they were in GTA.

However, the game I have been spending most time playing lately, one might say that I am addicted to it, is Super Monkey Ball 2 on the GameCube. No killing (although they never show you what happens to the monkey when he falls off the course) but it is still great fun. I especially like Monkey Billiards (one of the party games) too. SMB2 is a completely non-offensive but very good game. But would Christians like it? There is no message as such, its just a puzzle game really, my feeling is that rather like Christian music (which is really quote horrible most of the time) these Christian games will be designed to push a Christian message and the gameplay will be secondary and for that reason I think they should fail.

Can you imagine some of the games these people could come up with? Guide Moses down the mountain while he carries the 20 (*crunch) no 15 commandments......

Personally, I'll keep playing Super Monkey Ball until San Andreas is out, then some Mother F***** is going to get it :-)

Re:Shame on non religious people. (2, Insightful)

identity0 (77976) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541650)

Well, I don't disagree that there are a lot of violence in games, but perhaps you could tell me what the difference between a "christian" videogame and a "secular" game is?

I remember a while back, a "Christian game company" came out with an "Christian first-person shooter" based on the Quake engine which featured the player slaying demons and such with holy relics and swords. Someone pointed out that this was similar in concept to Doom, you go around killing demons. But Doom is considered a "bad" or "evil" game by many fundamentalist types, whereas the christian game was okay for some reason. Is there really a difference between killing demons with a sword in an "christian" game and killing them with shotguns in secular one? The point of both is to entertain through violence, is it not?

I'm not anti-religious, I just feel that sometimes people are more lenient towards something if it's presented as an overtly religious than as secular.

Re:Shame on non religious people. (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543110)

And the shotty is a hell (excuse the pun) lot more effective than a lame sword or cross could do ! ;)

Re:Shame on non religious people. (3, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543506)

Someone pointed out that this was similar in concept to Doom, you go around killing demons. But Doom is considered a "bad" or "evil" game by many fundamentalist types, whereas the christian game was okay for some reason. Is there really a difference between killing demons with a sword in an "christian" game and killing them with shotguns in secular one?

Speaking as a Christian who frequently finds myself critical of same, I tend to agree.

A more contemporary example: Explain to me why Harry Potter is evil, but the Chronicles of Narnia are not.

Actually, I can draw a meaningful line between the two (this not being a theology site its probably not worth posting it as laying the necessary groundwork would take too long); my point isn't that it is impossible, but that the way that most Christians have condemned it also condemns significant amounts of other classic literature.

(Also, for the record, I believe there is a huge difference between this is a story and claiming this is true. Until such time as JK Rowling starts claiming it is true, I'm not inclined to worry about it in older children. I do believe younger children (4 or 5) should not see the movies, but more from a developmental psychology approach them a religious one; it is important to develop a sense of reality vs. fantasy, and that is getting increasingly hard in our world as multi-sensory entertainment gets more and more realistic. Expect to see this as an issue sometime in the next decade or two in the developmental psychology discipline.)

Re:Shame on non religious people. (3, Insightful)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541808)

Yeah, because all religous people so abhore violence, they'd never make something as excessively gruesome as Passion of the Christ.

Yes, shame on all of us non-religous types.

Re:Shame on non religious people. (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543092)

I'm also not religious myself, and I can see where you are coming from : I don't -need- games that have explicit violence scenes : yet, when it's all brought into good context (Resident Evil, for instance) , i think it does not matter , and i compare playing such a game as watching a good horror movie.

The point you adress of 'customers being young persons' : this totally depends on the rating of the game, and the responsibilities the parents care to take, in making sure their lil' Bobbie isn't playing GTA3.

I agree on you that most developers that put in sex or violence as a gimmick, don't think of other options to make their game better ; Knowing they will sell a few copies with that content in : But don't resort to 'gamedevelopers' in general, as you are totally missing out on , to bring in an oldy, Nintendo ; And their core of games of the last few decennia.

With Nintendo's current non-violent game-lines (quality games i might add too) : I think any new 'good morals' developer will strand.

A Couple of Issues (5, Interesting)

Hungus (585181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541345)

Label me what you will, Mac Freak, BSD Zealot, Rolemaster 2nd Apologist, Grey Hat, Young Earth Creationist, Bad Typist Speller, and Poor Grammarian. (I just figured I would get it out of the way). On top of all that (or rather underlying it) I am an Evangelical Christian of the Reformed Tradition with Jewish roots. Oh, and I love radio dramas, and as a subset Adventures in Odyssey [oneplace.com] .

All of that being said, I don't really like they way this company seems to be headed. Christian music has become to popular, to the point it is often difficult to tell the difference between sacred and secular. It is my entrenched belief that once you cannot see the line anymore, it isn't there. Christian games should strive be the best out there, not the most popular. Christians these days often lose sight of it not being about money. You do what you are called to do, not because it is easy or popular but because you were called. You needs will be met, and by that I don't mean your need to drive a Lexus and live in a 3000+ sq. ft home. (unless of course it is a generational home or something similar).

Christian games can be fun, exciting challenging etc. All to often, however, they are cheesy, shoddily made, or quite droll. The Christian life isn't some go stick your head in the sand way of living (though again some have made it that). People forget that it is a Christian world view that shaped Tolkien's works and yet I would argue that there are a fair number of /.'rs who enjoy the works yet do not have a similar belief. In my mind it should be the same with Christian games. In the end, games for me are about story telling and use such to challenge the mind and soul.

In any case I will leave you with the following quote ascribed to CS Lewis regarding one of the many conversations he and JRR Tolkien had on issues of myth, storytelling and its effects"
"Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it Really happened: and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God's myth where the others are men's myths; i.e. the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of the poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call 'real things' ... namely, the actual incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection."

Re:A Couple of Issues (1, Insightful)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541363)

Young Earth Creationist

Thank you. If just all of you could state that up front so that the intelligent ones could stop reading right then.

Yo, kettle! You're black! (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541736)

Tagline:
Oil is not a fossil fuel
To many people, this same idea is as acceptable as a Creationist at a Humanism convention.

Re:Yo, kettle! You're black! (1)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541850)

At least, the "Oil is not a fossil fuel" theory is plausible.

It's a hell of a lot more plausible than the creationism theory, anyway.

Re:Yo, kettle! You're black! (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543596)

There's sound (and tested) science behind it. There's no sound science behind young earth theories.

misrepresentation (1)

IshanCaspian (625325) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543014)

Tolkien explicitly stated in the introduction to LOTR that his story was NOT allegory in any sense of the word; in fact he claims to despise allegory in all of its manifestations.

CS Lewis, on the other hand, made no secret that his Narnia books were a Christian allegory. To the uninformed reader, because you attributed that quote to "CS Lewis regarding one of the many conversations he and JRR Tolkien," it might seem that Tolkien shared this viewpoint, which he absolutely did not.

Re:misrepresentation (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543279)

You are misrepresenting my post. I never stated his works were allegorical, nor did i purport that Tolkien claimed his works were allegorical. I said they came from a Christian world-view. In fact Tolkien was the one who impressed the idea upon CS Lewis so not only is my quote valid it is accurate in its intent. You are simply misreading world-view as allegory.

Rather I would suggest that you, dear poster, are the one who is either uninformed or attempting to misinform.

To quote Tolkien himself this time: from his collected Letters #142 of that collection includes the statement:
'The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like 'religion', to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.'

Stories? (5, Insightful)

LittleBigLui (304739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541359)


"Digital Praise is founded on the principle that fun, exciting computer games don't need to be flooded with violence, sex, hate or images of horror"


So the games won't be based on bible stories then?

Probably not, 'coz I can't see how... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541759)

...the story of Naaman's cure or Zaccheus' conversion can be turned into an interesting game. Mind you, some people can make toilet paper or styro-burgers seem exciting, so I won't say outright that it can't be done.

will what??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541505)

"will skyrocket in popularity much like Christian music did 15 years ago."

Hm, guess i'll just walk around the company a little and ask if anyone can tell me something about this skyrocking christian music which everybody seems to buy :)

Christian Label Counterproductive (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541508)

It seems to me that labeling a game as "christian" is setting it up for failure. While "Christian" themed things may be getting more popular, I highly doubt there is a large intersection between gamers and people who enjoy christian themed things.
Of course the problem is, if you are not going to label it Christian, then what? One could argue that religion should be left out of it, and that there should merely be some effort put into creating games which teach morailty. Of course morality even among christian denominations is highly variable.
I think alot of the problem is that people generally associate christian themed things with being preachy and uptight.
Giving these people the benefit of the doubt, I think that they have good intentions, wanting fun games that do not promote violence or gratuitous sex (though I don't personally see sexual themes as being very common in many games, other than the exaggerated portrail of many female characters). The problem is that by labeling it christian it will be passed up by people who might not otherwise pass it up.
I think a lot of times in america people forget that there are really religions beyond christianity, many of whom would likely be also interested in less violent games.

"Please do not throw Baby Moses in the water!" (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541612)

Someone had to do it. ;)

Anti-christian games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541617)

A friend and I made a computer game, sort of nethack-style kill lots of monsters game, based on 3rd ed AD&D.

I later found out that it was being linked to from one of those crappy heres some freeware links webpages. It had a brief review of it, and gave it 4/5 (all games linked were either 4/5 or 5/5, so 4/5 isnt really that good) and the reason it marked it down was because you have to worship gods to gain power, which is anti-christian.

Now, all other things aside, picking on that seemed so incredibly anal it baffled me. It seems like these christians cant tell the difference between a game and real life. I dont shoot people in real life, and i dont worship false idols either.

To me, ive know far too many christians that say "oh, i do the right thing because im christian" or "thats not very christian, its evil". Christianity has nothing to do with right and wrong, as a previous poster mentioned, its about subjucation and obediance.

I consider myself a very moral person (dont we all), and im about as aetheist as you get. As soon as these people stop making correlations between christian-good heathen-bad, they'll grow up a lot sooner. Its painting the world in black and white, and as well all know thats a bad thing(tm).

The Reality (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9541640)

Allow me to interject with a few sobering facts from reality, taken from a book that a lot of people know of, but rarely actually read with their brains turned on:

Sex and Violence - Lot (A just and righteous man) invites a mob to rape his two daughters:

"Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof."

Hatred, Violence and Sex - Moses, after he and his army kill the adult Midianite males:

"Have you saved all the women alive? Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

Hatred and Sex - Homosexuals must be put to death:

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

Images of Horror - God kills everyone (men, women, children, infants, newborns) in Sodom and Gomorrah by raining "fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven."

So, which cosy little world of make-believe is Digital Praise living in? Have they actually read the bible, or are they "buffet christians", content to pic-n-mix tidbits from their holy tome?

For more delightful treats from the bible, visit www.skepticsannotatedbible.com

Suggestion (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541742)

It would be really interesting if someone made a game accurately based on the bible (Which version? Ed.) where we could have the crusades for example, or perhaps a Populous type game where you have to invade an alternative culture and "persuade" the natives to convert to your religion. It could have the inquisition and various methods of torturing people who didnt agree with the church, and various violent killings and so forth. It would make a great multiplayer where you could choose to be the Romans, the Christians or the Muslims and so on.

The best part would be when the various happy clappy groups tried to ban it for blasphemy. After all - it would be based on "actual biblical events" and to disagree with this would surely be a sin? I think it would make an interesting statement about violence while showing that all dominant cultures are essentially the same.

I suppose it might end up like a low-tech version of C&C Generals but with the super weapons replaced by deity smiting etc.

Quality Christian games? (0, Troll)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541815)

Unreal Roman Amphitheatre: The odds favor the lions, so keep your Christian butt movin'!

Quake, the Crusades: Kill people who don't believe like you.

Battlezone - Dark Ages: Kill more people who don't believe like you.

DungeonMaster, Salem: Kill even more people who don't believe like you.

Counter Strike - Inquisition!: Etc., etc., ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

Only those completely ignorant of history will by into that whole "God is love" line of bs pushed by these belief-based religions, whether it's Christianity or Islam or whatever: History shows these types of religions are really, truely Nazi-types who have hatred and complete intolerance for others.

Belief-based is another way of saying willful ignorance.

If you're going to make "Christian" games, you'll have to make some extremely ugly products.

Re:Quality Christian games? (1)

AkaXakA (695610) | more than 10 years ago | (#9541913)

Shouldn't that be:

Counter Strike - Because Islamic Fundamentalists are worse then Christian Fundamentalists.

P.S. Yes I'm Christian (but far from fundamental) and yes I'm being sarcastic. (but not in that order)

Jesux (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542012)

I am waiting for Jesux [geocities.com] : The Game!

Here's hoping . . . (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542234)

I know movie licensed games usually suck, but maybe they could score a Thief in the Night [imdb.com] deal?

Cha-chingian Games (1)

putamare (726028) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542362)

The point here is to sell to a demographic that doesn't buy the games to play them, but rather give them to their children, paperboys, or whatever. It doesn't matter how hard they suck, the sap paying for it wouldn't begin to know the first thing from good or bad in the first place. They're not paying for a gaming experience, but fulfilling some sort of gift obligation and managing to do it in a pious way (and getting two steps closer to heaven in the process). While the title may languish on the shelf at home, it is because little Johnny/Jill has an evil mind, which just goes to show how strong the need is to buy even more christian games...

but but .... (1)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542429)

But god uses an aimbot... its so unfair!

everyone knows the best game developers are (1)

DrunkClam (555170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542716)

afiliated with Satan

Obligatory links (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542851)

Christian games will have to do better than this to skyrocket:

Super 3D Noah's Ark [encyclopedia-obscura.com]
Other Wisdom Tree games [ign.com]

Yes, this is what we have to benefit from Christian gaming community. The Wolfenstein engine can be used for good!

Christian games (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542890)

In order for Christian games to skyrocket, they're going to have to do better than this:

Super 3D Noah's Ark [encyclopedia-obscura.com]

The Wolfenstein 3D engine can be used for good!

(Sorry if this turns out to be a double post, the first one hasn't seemed to appear within five minutes)

Some games we won't be seeing from them ... (2, Interesting)

Gryphn (513900) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543532)

Based on this quote from the article --
"Digital Praise is founded on the principle that fun, exciting computer games don't need to be flooded with violence, sex, hate or images of horror," said Bean."
We won't have the following titles show up any time soon.

The Adventures of Jephthah [bibleexplained.com]

Punish the Midianites [bibleexplained.com]

The trial and execution of Jesus [bibleexplained.com]

Inquisition - Heretics [rice.edu]

Inquisition II - Torquemada's Rack [ronaldbrucemeyer.com]

So... (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543569)

...we're getting a new version of Tetris?

/pastor's son

Does it really matter that they're Christian? (3, Interesting)

bluemeep (669505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9544275)

All that really matters to me is if they make a good game. While it may be true that developers like Wisdom Tree have paved a grand history of mediocrity, that doesn't necessarily mean that all future religious titles are destined to be bombs. I could easily see an RPG system akin to Ultima IV being put to good use. Possibly a comical adventure game about some guy trying to join a church, but is delayed by Wacky Hijinx.

It'd be nice to see people try and keep an open mind about games like these instead of just immediately writing them off with "Oh, a God game. It'll suck."

Christian games or games for Christians? (1)

Tojosan (641739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9544318)

Do these folks have it backward?
Though I see nothing wrong in making a game geared to Christians as the target audiance, perhaps they are working this from the wrong angle. There objective seems to be a games espousing Christian values and perhaps based on scripture.
Perhaps their efforts would be better spent making games that Christians can play. The difference is just like difference between making music just for Christians or making music that is Christian friendly.
Of course this implies that there are no games Christians can play currently. This is obviously not true. We merely have to look to the numerous console games that are successes that aren't focused on sex, violence, hate or horror. One only has to look at the huge number of sports games out today. Follow those up by the number of games with heros who's major skills are running and jumping.

Maybe these folks should just go work for companies already making those types of games?

WTF dude? (0, Troll)

TheAdventurer (779556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9544338)

I thought DOOM was a christian game? I really thought I was helping Jesus by murdering Satan's minions. I was the archangel of righteous shotgun punishment! BOO YA! In other news, this reader prefers his heavy metal, rock and roll, pornography, junk food, and brutally violent video games. [/me renews his subscription of playboy] I was raised in a fundamentalist christian home and didn't manage to throw off that oppressive intellectual yoke until I was 21 years old. My 21 years as a "born again" christian have taught me that Christianity is wrong, it is backwards, it is founded on the worst kinds of mysticism and collectivism, and is no better than Islam or any other religion in any way shape or form. My intimate experience with religion has caused me to now believe that, while people may practice whatever backwards mysticism they want on their own time, religious people should be banned from all forms of government service, religion should be stricken from public influence, and all laws based on a religious principle should be, at the very least, re-examined. I love my parents, but one I took control of my own brain, I realized they were crazy. I predict that very few gamers will buy into these games, and that the general christian public does not like games enough in the first place to financially support the genre.

Obligatory Simpsons quote (2, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9544555)

Taken from here [x-entertainment.com] .

Bart: When I'm feeling low, you know what cheers me up?
Rod: Kindness?
Bart: Oooh, tough room. Video games! Whaddyagot?
(He reaches to the bookshelf and picks up a copy of "Billy Graham's Bible Blasters," and they begin to play.)
Rod: Keep firing! Convert the heathens!
(A series of "heathens" crosses the video screen as a "Bible gun" fires Bibles at them. When a "heathen" is hit, he turns into a conservatively dressed man with a halo.)
Bart: Got him!
Rod: No, you just winged him and made him a Unitarian.
Todd: Look out, Bart! A gentle Baha'i!
(Bart zaps the Baha'i, turning him into another suit with a halo).
Bart: All right! Full conversion!

You want quality games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9545331)

Well what about all of the cool puzzle type games out there? Some are quite successful, because they're fun. Or stuff like roller coaster tycoon and sim city. They all fit in with the idea of a non violent game that encourages productivity rather than destruction.
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