A nonfiction author hopes to explore video games for God’s glory. From Gospel Coalition book reviewer Richard Clark:
The debate about the nature and validity of video games has been, for the most part, bungled by both sides. Knee-jerk reactions depend on secondhand impressions and assumptions. Many Christians see video games as a waste of time with no payoff, a series of murder simulators, or an insipid means of escapism that distracts from real-life problems. Those who play them often respond to these sentiments defensively, countering with thoughtless insistence that violent video games are “just games” and that those crying “addictive” and “escapist” are merely voicing fear based in ignorance.
In his new book, Of Games and God, Kevin Schut, associate professor and chair of the department of media and communication at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, deals seriously with criticisms like these, addressing not so much the overreaching language but the assumptions behind them. And he does so with a large measure of grace, humility, and nuance.
The simple truth is that those not significantly invested in the world of video games often lack a point of reference to understand and interpret this artistic culture. Rather than condemning those who have genuine concerns about this new medium, however, Schut takes the time to work through what they may have missed—as well as the places where their impressions may be correct.
Clark also name-checks Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll for Driscoll’s markedly unthoughtful and, frankly, immature reactions to games.
(I only rarely enjoy games myself, but Driscoll’s “basement dwelling nerd” stereotypes are easily spied from my happily married, above-ground, independently financed home.)