Christian gamers, pay attention! I’ve recently been reading some posts from a blog I’ve just discovered: Cross Platform, run by John Hanan. The blog has a casual, easy-to-read feel about it, and is primarily a platform for John’s thoughts. He frequently talks about faith and games and even dives into larger topics surrounding the game industry, such as piracy and the idea of game-designer celebrity. Recently, John has undertaken the ambitious project of running a series on the “Fruit of the Spirit;” examining each individual fruit and sharing his thoughts on how each one can correspond to the gaming experience.
For example, here are the closing paragraphs of his most recent post, on “Peace“:
“The application of knowledge thus far has largely been about how we relate to others when we’re playing games. And while we can still strive for the worldly definition of peace with our fellow gamers – meaning, the absence of conflict with them – this new understanding of peace as a closeness with God is something that we can only apply to our relationship with Him.
“This means getting our priorities straight, first off. We need to make sure that God is first in our lives, not the game. This means spending time in the Word and in prayer, talking to God as much and more than you might talk to guildies in an MMO or friends over voice chat on Xbox Live. You have to get to know God and build a relationship with Him if you’re ever going to have a hope of the kind of peace that we want to display.
“That’s not to say that you can’t encourage your fellow gamers to this same kind of peace. While it may be uncommon, there are groups who hold Bible studies in-game in lots of different ways. Some gaming communities will meet outside of a game on a forum or chat room in order to build one another up in Christ. This is a good thing, but remember that your relationship with God needs to be your first priority. You can’t lead others into closer relationship with Christ if you don’t know Him yourself, right? ”
What I appreciate about John is his clear commitment to God before anything else in his life. I know that for anyone who wants to follow Christ, there is a need to constantly put our flesh in check and devote ourselves to disciplines like prayer and meditating on scripture. Gamers are not an exception. So for John to take lessons from the Bible that we’ve heard many times and then show how those lessons can apply specifically to games is a very interesting project, and one that I encourage you to check out.
This series especially is best read thoughtfully, and I would encourage you to ask yourself whether or not the Holy Spirit might actually be speaking to you as you read John’s thoughts. Through it all keep in mind the way the New Living Translation phrases the passage, as it says ” The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives…” This fruit is not something we need to create by trying harder, it’s something that happens naturally as we acknowledge God working in our lives. You may not find these posts revolutionary, but sometimes it’s just nice to be reminded.
The series isn’t over yet, but here are links to what he’s completed so far.
image credit: Michael Basu