Can a Christian Play Video Games?

I’ve been making video games for about 25 years. I’ve been a gamer since long before that, and a Christian since before that.

Games have changed a lot over the years. Prior to about 2005, there were a very limited number of good games, certainly a very limited number of “big” games that would take hours and hours of play. They tended to cost a lot of money: you didn’t get a lot of good gameplay for free. To be a gamer then meant to binge on a game for 20 or 40 hours, then wait several months for the next big game to come out. Therefore to be a “gamer” meant spending a lot of time not playing games. You’d get addicted to a game for a week or maybe a month, but then your sources would dry up and you’d go back to real life.

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The Quality of an Hour

This article is about board games, how they are designed and played, but most importantly how they are talked about. My goal in writing it is to help people who give reviews of board games to give better ones. My thesis will be that games produce certain subjective qualities of experience, and that a good board game review should analyze and expose these subjective qualities in an objective way.

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In Praise of Modern Board Games

How would you like to discover an activity that will:

  • Board Gamesentertain you and your family for hours each week?
  • pull your kids off of the “screens”—TV, iPad, computer, and phones?
  • create “face time” in your family, with all of you looking across a table at each other, talking, discussing, and laughing?
  • build your kids’ brain power, their social skills, and even their ability to plan and make wise decisions?

Would you be surprised if I said that the lowly board game is the lost ticket to this kind of engagement and fun?

I am selling nothing in this post (truly!). But I believe so strongly in the modern board game, and am so convinced that playing more games will be of such benefit to modern families, that I can’t remain silently any longer. I have to tell you why you need to play a modern board game tonight.

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How to Get Your Game Idea Made into a Game

Joystick Schematic

NEWS FLASH: Check out House of Shadows, my latest game for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

I get dozens of emails each week from people wanting me to consider their game ideas. I hate to ignore any email, but I ignore this kind. If someone sends me an idea, it tells me that they got excited about the title of this page but didn’t read the post itself. If they had, they would know that there is really no point in sending me game ideas.

The only way you will ever see your game on a screen is if you make it yourself.

For a more complete explanation of why this is so, see my article on Why Won’t Developers Listen to Your Game Idea?

Now on to the main post….

You have a brilliant idea for a video game. It’s creative, original, intriguing, and fun. You can picture it vividly—the breathtaking visuals, the jaw-dropping action scenes. You can’t wait to play it, and when you tell your friends about it they can’t wait to play it either. Your only problem is, you don’t own a game development studio. How do you get your game idea made?

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