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Video Games: Are they of Any Value?

A Feature Review of

Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games

Kevin Schut

Paperback: Brazos, 2013
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Reviewed by Adam P. Newton.

 

Before we get into the meat of this review, I must confess to you that I love a good video game. Granted, I would never call myself a “gamer,” mostly because I like a specific subset of video games (Japanese-style fantasy role-playing games), and I’ve never voraciously engaged the wider community of gamers (mostly because I’m acutely aware that my “appreciator” status makes me an outsider). Nevertheless, I’ve received my fair share of odd looks and occasional rebuffs from church leaders and pastors whenever I mentioned that I play video games, especially the older I’ve become. Thus, it’s important that I’m upfront with my intrinsic bias towards the idea that the playing of video games is quite the OK practice for a Christian.

 

Kevin Schut makes this same confession in order to provide context and clarity to the discussion in which he engages throughout Of Games and God (though he’s a much more diverse and experienced gamer than I could claim to be). The book serves as an excellent examination of the intersection of gamer culture and Christianity, especially since a book of this nature hasn’t been attempted in the past. Schut confesses to his frustrations regarding the substance of the Church’s traditional critiques of video games – namely, they’re either a waste of time or they’re filled with content antithetical to the Christianity.

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