Linear Gameplay

posted by Jeffrey on Thursday, June 23, 2005 at 8:09 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

I am sad. Tomorrow morning I take my wife to the airport where she'll get on a plane--without me! *sniff sniff* (Maybe if it's foggy I'll do a little Humphrey Bogart re-enactment for her, lol) She'll be flying to D.C. to be a part of a dear friend's wedding where she'll get to see some friends she hasn't seen in a long time. In her absence, I decided that I would spend some time this weekend practicing the disciplines of silence and solitude.

The incredibly spiritual things I have planned in order to do so are as follows:
  • Rent a few bloody, sci-fi, guy movies
  • Rent (and master) a PS2 game--which I've narrowed down to either "Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith" or "Medal of Honor: European Assault"
  • Eat an entire pizza
  • And smoke my pipe (which I ONLY do 2 or 3 times a month, so don't freak out)
I know what you're thinking. "Wow, what a spiritual sage!" Ha ha, yeah right. As I read some recent PS2 game reviews in my attempt to narrow the field of games from which I would choose to master this weekend, I happened across a VERY interesting discovery. A game could be rated very highly (9 or 10 out of 10) on graphics, sound, and playability (the ease of learning how to play), which happen to be 3 out of the 5 categories that contribute to the whole rating, but could receive an overall score of merely 6 or 7. How? Because the gameplay and storyline are linear! Gamers today do NOT want to be locked into to a predictable and structured story, they want to create their own story. (By the way, contrary to popular belief, this is why the Grand Theft Auto games are SOOO incredibly popular--not because little boys are all twisted and demented freaks who enjoy car jacking and killing at random.)

Not to overspiritualize the scenario, but in the moment of this discovery, I realized something. *Note: the following is NOT a bash, it's an observation* The seeker sensitive form of "doing" church offers an experience which can often be rated VERY highly in graphics, video, sound, and "playability" (or shall we say convenience). But still people under the age of 35 do not darken the doorsteps because it fails to address the broader issue--the differences in how we think (not to mention the still broader journey of spiritual formation, thanks for calling my attention to that dog--you know who you are). All the slick presentation in the world can't hide the fact that many of these churches are still modern and linear at their core, and thus, in their thought--and hear me when I say, that is ok! That is how the majority of their members think, so that is what they need to be.

My hope and dream is that we communities of faith that happen to be more fluid, relational, and "postmodern" (for lack of a better term) in thought will TRULY be able to cooperate and partner seamlessly with more linear, seeker-sensitive, modern churches to further the Kingdom of God--and finally say together, "Screw building up our own individual kingdoms." (which is how we unfortunately tend to view our congregations)


Blogger gavin richardson said...

glancing thoughts.. real tough doing the solitude when no one is at home.. i guess i do that every night. haha

interesting observation on the gaming. nothing terribly new, but it's a good object lesson. i had a similar revelation once at cici's pizza. the gist was you can feed people crap, but as long as you have the little amenities (game room, bubble gum machine, free refills) they'll keep coming back. those that don't are the ones that understand what good pizza tastes like. i go cause i can afford it and it has wifi.

June 23, 2005 12:45 PM

Anonymous lacey said...

who knew spiritual principles could be taken from video games... ha. just kidding- very good insights. i am sure you are happy to have shaunna back home :)

June 26, 2005 8:47 PM

Blogger Jeffrey said...

Gavin, nice to have ya...nice blog(s)

Ha ha...yes Lace I am SURE glad to have her home! I told Maris and Gina I didn't understand how they were away from their spouses so much!

Yesterday when I was fixing my lunch I got down two bowls instead of one--out of habit. It was sad :-(.

June 27, 2005 10:29 AM

Anonymous lace said...

you are pathetic. hehe. war of the worlds this weekend, okay?

June 28, 2005 12:23 AM

Blogger Jeffrey said...

ha ha, I know.

Sounds great! Shaunna and I have already talked about wanting to see that. Give her a call and yall set it up!

June 28, 2005 8:07 AM


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