Playing the Gospel of Video Games
Author(s):
Abstract:
Even before modern technological era, there was a close relationship between religious education and technology. Religion has helped many people to understand new technologies and technologies have led to new understandings of religion, and even new forms of religion. Religious education can focus on a variety of sacred concerns including myth, ritual, symbol, scripture, doctrine and experience, and furthermore as Jeff Astley (Astley, 1994) says in a context can and does ecompass indoctrination, personal formation, reasons and emotions. However these concerns tend to fall into two general categories the ethical one (or relational) and transcendental one. Nowadays a variety of video games explicitly aim toward religion. Video games researchers note that within video games, religion tends to suffer from a narrative and procedural incongruity. For example Michael Walthemathe suggests that video games provide a narrative and procedural platform for playful identity formation and ethical reflection, Ian Bogost (Bogost, 2007, p. 288) observes that religious video games are undermining their religious aims by adopting the conventions of mainstream video games genres without regard for their implicit procedural rhetoric. Also Harry J. Brown (Brown, 2008, pp. 104 – 107) notes that along with the promotion of an ethical concern for the weak, video games promote a reactive ethic of vigilantism and violence against all members of a given social class or oppositional alignement. So if video games once struggled for legitimacy as a cultural product, today the business of video games is booming, and increasingly the art of video games is turning to religious themes as not just inspiration but as central plot elements. We find moral decisions, invented religions, the power to create and experience virtual religious spaces and much more outcomes like these. Through a consideration of a list of popular video games this article proposes to show how video games teach their players the new gospel of cyberspace, where they can be what they want without effort and major consequences for the real life
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Language:
English
Published:
Pages:
85 - 119
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