Since I was a young lad, I have played video games that varied from cartridges, Gameboys, XBox, and PC gaming. From pong with my cousins on Atari, to stealing my brother’s turn with Super Mario, to learning healthy boundaries in college with World of Warcraft, it’s been a part of my life. But much of the time, I have been met with some kind of opposition that it’s not very Christian to play video games. Further, being a father of boys, finding family-friendly content that I feel comfortable watching or playing with my 4 year old is not easy. So, is there such a thing as Christian, family-friendly gaming?
You might say to me, there are a lot of family-friendly or Christian gaming channels. Here is what mean by Christian, family-friendly gaming.
Lets Define Christian, Family-Friendly Gaming
To me, family-friendly content is absolutely needed. This coming from a father who will not allow his child to watch videos on the normal YouTube application. If you didn’t know, there is a Google created YouTube for Kids where all content creators is pre-approved.
Not only does this mean not swearing as well as no sexually explicit content, but the violence has to be minimal. Think about how many Christian Let’s Play YouTubers and Streamers makes sure to moderate chat, but then go and play Call of Duty, Resident Evil, or any number of gore, horror, or violence shooter games. My son does not need to be exposed to that.
I won’t play Halo games because of the assassinations, I won’t do Smite because of the outfits. Really, as violent as I will get is Minecraft with getting zombies. If I won’t expose my child to the content, I do not need to be creating it either.
As for Christian based content, first it should be noted I’m coming at this with the heart of a youth pastor. It will be a Christian based environment as people who watch my streams and videos will know that there is something different about me. In fact, spiritual conversations may come up. (Actually, we at ChurchMag are starting season two of Minecraft Theology which will have a Christian message every video. Look for that to start this week.)
We Are An Inviting Platform
All that being said, I’m not looking to do what Veggie Tales did for video entertainment. As any good youth pastor should, you create a welcoming environment where people are encouraged to attend, even if they have never seen a Bible, let alone know all of the Christian rituals and verbiage. I would that water anything down, but I see this as much an opportunity for discipleship as for evangelism.
In fact, that’s the crux of all of this. I want to witness to whomever comes across my stream. I understand that I may get 7 year olds cruising for another Minecraft let’s play while at school or a 35 year old who is struggling with life at 4 AM. That’s a wide net to cast, but everyone has one thing in common, gaming.
Join With Me
I always end my blog articles with an action step, usually in the form of a question. This one seems a little more serious. I want to to join the ministry. But how?
For some, I want to invite you to actually come on the Minecraft server and play. Obviously, I know most people in my life and audience of this blog don’t play video games, but for the few that do, lets create a positive community. Interested? Sign up here.
For those that don’t game, I have two options for you. First, would you consider supporting me? Don’t see this as a guy playing video games, instead see this with the idea of being a ministry that wants to reach the gaming audience. If you are up for it, go over to my Patreon page and give some financial support.
I could also use your prayers, encouragement, and of you know someone who loves playing video games, young or old, point them my way.
I realize financial support is just one part. I could also use your prayers, encouragement, and of you know someone who loves playing video games, young or old, point them my way. And if you do pray or share this account, let me know because I would love to talk with you more about it.
Will you take the challenge to bring the light of Jesus to gamers?
[Images via Unsplash]