Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted, life’s been a bit hectic lately – so once again we have a (possibly long) catch-up post. Here goes…..
I’ve gotten involved again this year with the online game Tribal Wars – something that forces beyond my control (such as my brother completely using the download limit in a day early in December) caused me to quit at the end of last year. It’s been great getting involved again, and ministry wise I’ve learnt a lot from the mistakes I had made the last time I played. So I’m not involved in running the tribe I am a part of, and I’m once again simply putting out an offer to talk to, and pray for the other people who are in the tribe. The response so far has been interesting – the first time I posted the offer there were over 200 replies to the forum post within a couple of days (an impressive feat – as people who are connected with forums of any sort would know). While most of these replies were people trying to bait me into saying something rash, there were some genuine questions about what I believed, and a few of the other Christians in the tribe joined in, and were encouraged to come to the defense of both me, and the faith that we share – which is encouraging in itself. I’ve also had several people – Christian and Non-Christian, take me up on the offer to just talk (about all sorts of things, from serious things, to a random swapping of jokes), and the offer to pray for specific issues that they are going through. From a gaming perspective, the world that I have joined this time around is a ‘trial’ world that removes one of the major strategies that players use (the ability to loot and take resources from other people’s villages) – which has caused the world to be much slower, and to be more politically focused (since wars are now harder to win). This has been perfect for my playing style, since I was never very good at ‘farming’ (as the looting of other villages is called), and (while I get sick of the sheer under-handedness of the politics sometimes) there is always a lot to catch up on when I log back in of a morning, and there are very few dull moments when the politics does get into full swing.
Another thing that’s happened recently is that I’ve picked up a new series of games – a series of role playing games (i.e. I take control of a character, chose what path they take – what weapons they use, what choices they make, etc) called the ‘Fable’ series. This series is famous (in the circles of those who like games like this) for offering the player a lot of choices – i.e. your character can buy up real estate (pretty much every house, shop, tavern and landmark is for sale), take jobs doing various things (hammering swords, chopping wood, bartending, etc), take on a variety of side quests (in addition to the main storyline), and marry Non-player Characters (starting a family, which offers some small benefits to the player – for example, they will randomly buy you gifts if you keep them happy) – and I have been having a ball playing through the series (so far – I’m partway through the second game cause my brother gets upset if I get further along the story than he is). However, I have noticed something that says quite a few things about myself while I’ve been playing through these games (particularly the second one). I’m starting to feel guilty – personally – when I direct my character to take an ‘evil’ action (not whenever I do something that the game considers evil – i.e. eating food that has had animals harmed during it’s production [still not sure why that’s evil] – but when my character accidently broke down someone’s door [cause I pressed the wrong button trying to knock], I felt bad). It’s even at the point where I’m having issues with the way my brothers play the game (as two of them are currently trying to be the evilest person the game will let them be – to the point where they gun down random NPC’s in the streets), cause they shouldn’t be thinking like that. I’ve got a feeling that this might be some sort of outward sign of the change that God’s working in my life – but I’m not sure. I’ll think about it some more and get back to you – and hopefully have a few more implications of this to share with you.
Finally, I found an interesting article that links back to some of the stuff that I’ve said earlier, and you have no idea how encouraging I found it. There’s not much else to say on the subject that I haven’t already said, or isn’t covered in the article (which I encourage you all to read), other than I hope to one day be able to attend (or help out at) CGDC (Christian Game Developers Conference – the conference in question).
So thanks for reading another long post – there’s been a bit of catching up to do – and hopefully I’ll be able to post more regularly for at least the near future, so this shouldn’t be necessary until at least the next time I have several assignments and exams due in a short period of time.