POCKET WORLDS I: PROLEGOMENON TO VIDEO GAMES
I’m here to tell everyone why they’re wrong about what they believe… about video games.
I will take a lot of things for granted. This piece is a whole lot more agenda & speranda than credenda; I don’t really do much arguing. More explaining of a vision. You can take it or leave it.
Please realize that this was written in jest, most of it in a single sitting, by a young man who is unwise in the ways of the world. But, if I am wise in anything, I am wise regarding the culture of video games, in which I have perhaps spent too much time. This is my effort to justify some of that. After all, perhaps one of the many thoughts I have stumbled across is a good seed meant to bear good fruit.
Is it so bad to be sincere and self-mocking at the same time? Perhaps I’m just a coward who wants to cover his bases. If I say something dumb, I can say I was only joking! And if I say something very wise, I can say I truly meant it.
I call this a ‘prolegomenon’ because I like the word, but also because it is ridiculous for me to use it.
Such tricks would not be fitting for a gentleman, or a teacher, or a sage. But I am just a young man who respects games and thinks everyone else is dropping the ball, so to speak. I had a lot of fun with this; I would enjoy it if you had fun too. After all, what are games for?
The disquisition contains ten parts, of which this is the first. The following four parts will attempt to describe the role of video games within our current culture, and many of the problems that exist or will soon exist. A prophetic warning may or may not ensue. The four parts after that will describe a more ideal way for Christians to deal with video games in light of those cultural problems; the first two regarding participation, the latter two regarding creation. The final and tenth part will be the conclusion.
I. PROLEGOMENON TO VIDEO GAMES
[THE ‘PROBLEMS, BECAUSE PAGANS’ SECTION]
II. AWAITING THE KINGDOM
III. THE LOVE OF THE CULT & THE GLORY OF THE SPORT
IV. IDOL FACTORIES & AN INDUSTRY OF CORRUPTION
V. ULTRAVIOLENCE & THE NEW VIRTUAL HEDONISM
[THE ‘CHRISTIANS SAVE THE DAY’ SECTION]
VI. MANLY TEMPERANCE & PARTICIPATION IN THE EMPIRE
VII. PAIDEIA & CHILDLIKE IMAGINATION
VIII. IMAGE & ART
IX. GAME & LITURGY
— CONCLUSION —
X. ENDLESS FANTASY
Much of what I say, if it is useful at all, will doubtless be applicable to many other elements of youth life, entertainment, and digital media of all kinds.
I wish to focus specifically on video games because video games involve the creation of new, discrete worlds.