Your bible and the relationship with Grand Theft Auto IV

I was googling around earlier trying to remember the name of “Left Behind”, the game where people left on Earth following the Rapture have to band together to defeat the anti-Christ. Van Hemlock noted an unusual search string in his blog stats (“huge archway which only let people of good nature, game”), and I was guessing the searcher might be looking for “Left Behind”, or something like that.

A site named Gamepraise appeared in my search results. When I clicked on the site, I was amused to find this quote;

“Gamepraise is a video games portal that has reviews, news, screenshots, videos and tips of new, upcoming and classic Christian video games.”

located directly under a banner ad I didn’t expect on a Christian video game website.

Is it just me? Play your Bible, with Niko Bellic posed directly below? The Wikipedia page I linked to does indicate that Niko regrets his violent past, but I’m not sure Rockstar is ready to go all Kirk Cameron on us.

I don’t have a problem with a Christian video game site advertising GTA IV. The site never claims that non-Christian games are bad. They do want to review and support Christian-themed games, but I don’t think that means that gamers who appreciate a Christian message in their video games wouldn’t enjoy GTA IV. The juxtaposition was jarring, certainly, but when I thought about it, it’d be a little Jack Thompson of me to think that a self-identified Christian couldn’t separate gaming from reality, and enjoy some Liberty City madness.

If I expect other people to understand that violent video games don’t make me violent, I can’t claim that GTA IV makes a Christian less Christian. There are so many shades of grey in the world. I guess my initial reaction was amused by the juxtaposition, but it’s somehow reassuring to know that someone going to a Christian gaming website isn’t locked out of enjoying GTA IV too.

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6 Responses

  1. Good point on being like Jack Thompson — I too was rather amused by the ad, and then I realized I was going down a train of thought that would’ve made me a bit of a hypocrite, heh.

    By the way, Rick, might want to check your email / spam folders for one I sent you. Just sayin’.. 😉

  2. Truth be told… they could probably play GTA IV as Christian as they want. They wouldn’t finish the game, but hey… the option’s there!

  3. “Brother, have you stopped to consider the consequences of beating that hooker on your eternal soul?”

    I’m guessing Jim Baker might feel right at home in Liberty City, but I’d guess he’s not exactly representative of most Christians 🙂

  4. Where the heck were these guys when BioShock came out (especially around Neptune’s Bounty)?

  5. Agreed, not many Christian followers will want to play this game and tell their friends or church buddies… It commits all the sins known to man in this game… so why would strong Christians play it?

  6. I like Chris’s take on the game, though. The player does get to choose their course of action. Challenging for sure, and I think there are as many opinons on what’s appropriate for an individual as there are individuals.

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