Is There Such Thing As A Christian Geek?

IMG_0669I’m a geek. I have been since the age of 6. In 1985, my grandmother bought me my first video game system, the Nintendo Entertainment System. From that day on, and through my early teenage years, I began to love comics, fantasy, boardgames, movies, action figures, and conventions. I cannot remember a time without having a princess to save or a treasure to find. Now as a grown adult, I would say my love for all things geek has grown even more that it was when I was a kid.

And I’m not alone. The following is from a report in 2015 from the Entertainment Software Association:
 
Game Statistics
  • 155 million Americans regularly play video games.
  • 42 percent of Americans play for at least three hours per week.
  • Four out of five American households contain a device used to play video games.
  • The average game player is 35 years old.
  • 26 percent of players are under 18 years old. 27 percent are over 50.
  • 56 percent of players are male. 44 percent are female.
  • The most frequent female game player is on average 43 years old and the average male game player is 35 years old.
Online Games
  • One in three of the most active game players pay to play online games.
  • The most popular genres among frequent players are social games, action and puzzles / card / trivia.
  • 39 percent of the most frequent gamers play social games.
  • 54 percent of gamers use a game console to stream movies.
  • Frequent players say they spend 6.5 hours per week playing with others online and five hours playing with others in person.
  • Of those frequent gamers who play with others, 15 percent play with their spouse or partner.
And this is just video games. This doesn’t include people who read comics, collect action figures, watch superhero movies or TV shows, play board games or read fantasy books. Granted, many of those who play video games probably participate in one or all of these, but you see my point.

This leads to the reason why I started this blog. Not only am I geek, but I’m a Christian. I love Jesus and His church, and I have surrendered my life to tell others about Him. But in light of that profession, I have often hid my life of being a geek. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Any given morning at church, if you asked 100 people what video game they are currently playing or which fantasy movie franchise they like the most, you may get a blank stare or a look of shock and stuttering as they try to find a more “righteous” thing to talk about. Based on statistics, it is highly probable those people sitting next to you in church love the Avengers and probably play Disney Infinity on the Wii U.

I started this blog to have a more theologically based conversation regarding gaming and fantasy in general, and what that looks like for the Christian. I want to have deep conversations about the role of fantasy in our lives, and how it’s a healthy thing to desire to be in another world ruled by a righteous King (heaven anyone?) I will write about balance and how God “richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim 6:17) but also that we have to be disciplined in our walk to honor Christ. (1 Cor 9:27)

I also desire this blog to be a resource for Christians to find helpful information on movies, TV shows, comics, board games and video games. A few topics I will cover in the coming months include:

  • Which gateway board games should my family play to increase our quality time together?
  • What is Twitch and why does it matter?
  • Is it a sin to watch a TV show where the main hero is a murderer?
  • How far is too far with nudity and movies?
  • Does playing Dungeons and Dragons or Magic the Gathering constitute practicing witchcraft?
  • My son wants to play a massively online multiplayer game, what is that and is it harmful?
  • How can I protect my family online when sometimes I don’t feel I can protect myself?
  • Are virtual experiences the same as real life experiences?
  • If a husband and wife play in a virtual world together is that healthy for your marriage?
  • Should I spend time reading fantasy books or comics rather than Christian living books?

As I flesh out these ideas and concepts from the Christian world view, I hope to help others who may personally be looking for these answers, or are looking for help with shepherding their families. I’m a husband and father who wrestles daily with protecting my children while allowing them to love games and fantasy. While I’m not a movie or game critic, I will write about and reference the work of others when it comes to all things geekdom. As this blog evolves, I hope to be able to interview and publish conversations with fellow Christians to gain their insight and knowledge on these subjects as well.

As with any great journey, this blog starts with a Hero who sets out to save the Kingdom from the Villain. Jesus is our hero who came to save His people from their sin, while defeating death, hell and the grave. He rose again on the third day and now rules and reigns at the right hand of God. It’s because of our Righteous King we are able to think freely and enjoy the imagination which God has given us.

I hope and pray this blog helps you along your journey of being faithful to Jesus through the life of a Christian geek.
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