Monday, October 15, 2007

Playing Halo at Church?

Here's an interesting story, sent to me by David Weakliem, about a church that uses the video game Halo to attract young people to church.

The church using it identifies the need to reach teenage boys with its message, and from what I know of my teenage boy, Halo is the way to do it.

Critics suggest that its too violent--violating the "do not kill" thing in the Bible.

I actually think that I'm okay with this. I let my boys play Halo at home because it's sufficiently caricatured that I don't think that it's teaching them .

At church? What do you think?


Anonymous said...

You might want to take a look at this by a missionary living in the Congo.

Scott Grandi

Brad Wright said...

Interesting article. I suppose that it comes down to whether or not violent video games foster violence. Clearly from the Congo example, we know that kids can be very violent without video games (obviously), so what's the effect of them?

Frankly, my bigger worry is a sedentary lifestyle. When the kids are playing them, they aren't committing violence, just sitting on a couch. That's why we limit the time they can play.

Knumb said...

Oh Lord,

We beseech thee, pwn mine enemies and frag not mine friends....

I suppose it's pretty much the modern day foosball, eh?

Ben said...

I'm not a big fan of gun games of any kind (football-type violence is another story. I love it.) I have to remind myself that when I was a boy,I was obsessed with toy guns, army men, forts, etc. Somehow, I seem to have managed to become a responsible adult.

The boys here (in Kenya) make guns out of mud and play rebel war. I draw the line, when they imprison girls or smaller kids and act abusive to them. I tell them that if I see them treating girls or other smaller kids like that, I'm going to whop their . . . (Hey in our kind of community you can do that kind of thing.) I'm the biggest, scariest, redheadedest bully around [Nothing wrong with my kind of violence, right? ;-0].

Seriously, I am curious how you can explain the big attraction to guns or violence games psychologically or sociologically.

We beseech your great learning Brad.

S.S.STONE said...

"It is crucial, they say, to reach the elusive audience of boys and young men."
"fishers of men". Interesting article.
Since the media has hyped "HALO" into the forefront, young guys are going to naturally want to play it. I'm not a "video" person and I have even heard about the excitement when this game was young male minds?? I don't have a problem with it.. I think the key is having wonderful "youth ministers" facilitating the conversations at break time and afterwards...better to have open discussion than try to ignore something they're going to be involved with.
When I'm asked my opinion on an issue such as this I always try ask myself, "what would Jesus do?" For some strange reason I don't think He would sweep it under the carpet but rather use it as a tool for His teachings.

Knumb said...

(copy and paste those two together, into one url)

DerekMc said...

Ben Witherington, a professor at Asbury Seminary has blogged several times on the Halo in Church issue.
Scroll down a bit to get to the conversation. Interesting points mad on both side of the issue.


Brad Wright said...

Ben, we need someone like you on the international scene policing countries! I like your approach.

Derek, thank you for the reference... looks interesting.