Of Games and God

A Christian Exploration of Video Games

Author: Kevin Schut

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 1441240519

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 7622

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Video games are big business, generating billions of dollars annually. The long-held stereotype of the gamer as a solitary teen hunched in front of his computer screen for hours is inconsistent with the current makeup of a diverse and vibrant gaming community. The rise of this cultural phenomenon raises a host of questions: Are some games too violent? Do they hurt or help our learning? Do they encourage escapism? How do games portray gender? Such questions have generated lots of talk, but missing from much of the discussion has been a Christian perspective. Kevin Schut, a communications expert and an enthusiastic gamer himself, offers a lively, balanced, and informed Christian evaluation of video games and video game culture. He expertly engages a variety of issues, encouraging readers to consider both the perils and the promise of this major cultural phenomenon. The book includes a foreword by Quentin J. Schultze.

Evolution, Games, and God

Author: Martin A. Nowak

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674075536

Category: Science

Page: 414

View: 9906

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Evolution, Games, and God explores how cooperation and altruism, alongside mutation and natural selection, play a critical role in evolution, from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate and self-sacrifice on behalf of others may be as beneficial to a population’s survival as the self-preserving instincts of individuals.

Toying with God

The World of Religious Games and Dolls

Author: Nikki Bado-Fralick,Rebecca Sachs Norris

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Antiques & Collectibles

Page: 232

View: 7830

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"Written with verve and a healthy dollop of humor, Toying with God examines the sometimes zany world of religious games and dolls, from pre-history to today. Packed with examples that add immeasurably to readers' knowledge of religious trivia, this entertaining romp is an insightful reflection upon one of the more curious intersections of popular culture and spirituality. Have we humans blended fun with spirituality for good or for ill? And what does all of this say about our insatiable need for entertainment?" --Book Jacket.

Halos and Avatars

Playing Video Games with God

Author: Craig Detweiler

Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press

ISBN: 9781611640045

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 9174

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Craig Detweiler's collection of up-to-the-minute essays on video games' theological themes (and yes, they do exist!) is an engaging and provocative book for gamers, parents, pastors, media scholars, and theologians--virtually anyone who has dared to consider the ramifications of modern society's obsession with video games and online media. Together, these essays take on an exploding genre in popular culture and interpret it through a refreshing and enlightening philosophical lens.

Philosophy Through Video Games

Author: Jon Cogburn,Mark Silcox

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113585968X

Category: Games

Page: 216

View: 6356

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How can Wii Sports teach us about metaphysics? Can playing World of Warcraft lead to greater self-consciousness? How can we learn about aesthetics, ethics and divine attributes from Zork, Grand Theft Auto, and Civilization? A variety of increasingly sophisticated video games are rapidly overtaking books, films, and television as America's most popular form of media entertainment. It is estimated that by 2011 over 30 percent of US households will own a Wii console - about the same percentage that owned a television in 1953. In Philosophy Through Video Games, Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox - philosophers with game industry experience - investigate the aesthetic appeal of video games, their effect on our morals, the insights they give us into our understanding of perceptual knowledge, personal identity, artificial intelligence, and the very meaning of life itself, arguing that video games are popular precisely because they engage with longstanding philosophical problems. Topics covered include: * The Problem of the External World * Dualism and Personal Identity * Artificial and Human Intelligence in the Philosophy of Mind * The Idea of Interactive Art * The Moral Effects of Video Games * Games and God's Goodness Games discussed include: Madden Football, Wii Sports, Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft, Sims Online, Second Life, Baldur's Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, Elder Scrolls, Zork, EverQuest Doom, Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto, Civilization, Mortal Kombat, Rome: Total War, Black and White, Aidyn Chronicles

God in the Machine

Video Games as Spiritual Pursuit

Author: Liel Leibovitz

Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press

ISBN: 1599474506

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 669

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If he were alive today, what might Heidegger say about Halo, the popular video game franchise? What would Augustine think about Assassin’s Creed ? What could Maimonides teach us about Nintendo’s eponymous hero, Mario? While some critics might dismiss such inquiries outright, protesting that these great thinkers would never concern themselves with a medium so crude and mindless as video games, it is important to recognize that games like these are, in fact, becoming the defining medium of our time. We spend more time and money on video games than on books, television, or film, and any serious thinker of our age should be concerned with these games, what they are saying about us, and what we are learning from them. Yet video games still remain relatively unexplored by both scholars and pundits alike. Few have advanced beyond outmoded and futile attempts to tie gameplay to violent behavior. With this canard now thoroughly and repeatedly disproven, it is time to delve deeper. Just as the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan recently acquired fourteen games as part of its permanent collection, so too must we seek to add a serious consideration of virtual worlds to the pantheon of philoso-phical inquiry. In God in the Machine, author Liel Leibovitz leads a fascinating tour of the emerging virtual landscape and its many dazzling vistas from which we are offered new vantage points on age-old theological and philosophical questions. Free will vs. determinism, the importance of ritual, transcendence through mastery, notions of the self, justice and sin, life, death, and resurrection—these all come into play in the video games that some critics so easily write off as mind-numbing wastes of time. When one looks closely at how these games are designed, at their inherent logic, and at the cognitive effects they have on players, it becomes clear that playing these games creates a state of awareness vastly different from that which occurs when we watch television or read a book. Indeed, gameplay is a far more engaged process—one that draws on various faculties of mind and body to evoke sensations that might more commonly be associated with religious experience. Getting swept away in an engrossing game can be a profoundly spiritual activity. It is not to think, but rather simply to be, a logic that sustained our ancestors for millennia as they looked heavenward for answers. Today, as more and more of us look screenward, it is important to investigate these games for their vast potential as fine instruments of moral training. Anyone seeking a concise and well-reasoned introduction to the subject would do well to start with God in the Machine. By illuminating both where video game storytelling is now and where it currently butts up against certain inherent limitations, Liebovitz intriguingly implies how the field and, in turn, our experiences might continue to evolve and advance in the coming years.

Playing with Religion in Digital Games

Author: Heidi A. Campbell,Gregory P. Grieve

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253012635

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 314

View: 7658

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Shaman, paragon, God-mode: modern video games are heavily coded with religious undertones. From the Shinto-inspired Japanese video game Okami to the internationally popular The Legend of Zelda and Halo, many video games rely on religious themes and symbols to drive the narrative and frame the storyline. Playing with Religion in Digital Games explores the increasingly complex relationship between gaming and global religious practices. For example, how does religion help organize the communities in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft? What role has censorship played in localizing games like Actraiser in the western world? How do evangelical Christians react to violence, gore, and sexuality in some of the most popular games such as Mass Effect or Grand Theft Auto? With contributions by scholars and gamers from all over the world, this collection offers a unique perspective to the intersections of religion and the virtual world.

Hooked on Games

The Lure and Cost of Video Game and Internet Addiction

Author: Andrew P. Doan,Brooke Strickland,Douglas Gentile

Publisher: Fep International

ISBN: 9781935576020

Category: Psychology

Page: 199

View: 9131

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"As is true with many addictions, overuse of video games steals our valuable and limited time and minds." - Christie Morse, MD (Pediatric Ophthalmologist) "Shocking insights into the minds of hardcore gamers." - Daniel Hunt (Former Competitive Gamer) About the Book The multi-billion dollar video game industry is in the business of creating fun and enticing games that can be addictive. As addicted gamers feast on digital indulgences, real life is neglected and their reality crumbles around them. Headlines related to video games "New Mexico mom gets 25 years for starving daughter." - Fox News "China used prisoners in lucrative Internet gaming work." - Guardian News "Online gamer killed for selling virtual weapon." - Sydney Morning Herald "South Korean dies after games sessions." - BBC News Hooked on Games is written by Brooke Strickland and Andrew Doan, MD, PhD, a physician with a research background in neuroscience, who battled his own addictions with video games. Dr. Doan was an addicted gamer, who at his peak, invested over 20,000 hours of playing games over a period of nine years. Dr. Doan's reckless compulsion to play games transformed him into a monster that almost destroyed his family, marriage, and career. He shares his expertise to educate others on the dangers of video game addiction and to provide hope for video game addicts and their families. Dr. Doan shares steps for gaming addicts to achieve recovery and steps for families and loved ones to intervene. Without attention to this quickest growing addiction, our society will suffer from the creation of Generation Vidiot, millions of people devoid of innovation and skills to live in the physical world.

Visual Faith

Art, Theology, and Worship in Dialogue

Author: William A. Dyrness

Publisher: Baker Academic

ISBN: 0801022975

Category: Religion

Page: 188

View: 3414

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An intriguing, substantive look into the relationship between the church and the world of art.

It's Not Just a Game

How Parents and Gamers Can Apply God's Word to Video Games

Author: Drew Thorwall,Carl Kerby, Jr.

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780991550906

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 1628

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Can a game carry a spiritual message? What do video games have to say about God? The Bible? The Devil? And even Jesus? Isn't it just a game? It's NOT just a game! From cell phones to systems, video games have become a part of our daily lives, but many of us do not realize the messages that may be packaged with one of our favorite pastimes. Lifelong gamers Carl Kerby Jr. and Drew Thorwall take a unique approach to more than 70 video games and systems by breaking down the messages within from a biblical perspective. They want to teach parents and gamers how to think, not what to think. Get equipped to answer the challenges to God's Word and to turn them into opportunities for spiritual conversations with other gamers! Dig deeper into some of the most popular video games to answer challenges like: - Does the Bible contradict itself? - Can the Bible be trusted? - Is every religion the same? - Does God make mistakes? - Are we really made from monkeys? - Does God hear our prayers? - And many more! - Also includes tips for parents for safe online play! While there are a lot of ways to find information about potentially offensive content in videogames, this book will show you the spiritual content and give you the tools to stand up and say it's NOT just a game!

Divine Games

Game Theory and the Undecidability of a Superior Being

Author: Steven J. Brams

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262347806

Category: Mathematics

Page: 224

View: 8957

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A game-theoretical analysis of interactions between a human being and an omnipotent and omniscient godlike being highlights the inherent unknowability of the latter's superiority. In Divine Games, Steven Brams analyzes games that a human being might play with an omnipotent and omniscient godlike being. Drawing on game theory and his own theory of moves, Brams combines the analysis of thorny theological questions, suggested by Pascal's wager (which considers the rewards and penalties associated with belief or nonbelief in God) and Newcomb's problem (in which a godlike being has near omniscience) with the analysis of several stories from the Hebrew Bible. Almost all of these stories involve conflict between God or a surrogate and a human player; their representation as games raises fundamental questions about God's superiority. In some games God appears vulnerable (after Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit in defiance of His command), in other games his actions seem morally dubious (when He subjects Abraham and Job to extreme tests of their faith), and in still other games He has a propensity to hold grudges (in preventing Moses from entering the Promised Land and in undermining the kingship of Saul). If the behavior of a superior being is indistinguishable from that of an ordinary human being, his existence would appear undecidable, or inherently unknowable. Consequently, Brams argues that keeping an open mind about the existence of a superior being is an appropriate theological stance.

Extra Lives

Why Video Games Matter

Author: Tom Bissell

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307379280

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 969

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Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know. Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment. Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading. From the Hardcover edition.

A Composer's Guide to Game Music

Author: Winifred Phillips

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262026643

Category: Games

Page: 275

View: 9603

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A comprehensive, practical guide to composing video game music, from acquiring the necessary skills to finding work in the field.

Finite and Infinite Games

Author: James Carse

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451657293

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 5749

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“There are at least two kinds of games,” states James Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything from how an actress portrays a role, to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil, to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory. But infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

Reality Is Broken

Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Author: Jane McGonigal

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101475492

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 6391

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A visionary game designer reveals how we can harness the power of games to boost global happiness. With 174 million gamers in the United States alone, we now live in a world where every generation will be a gamer generation. But why, Jane McGonigal asks, should games be used for escapist entertainment alone? In this groundbreaking book, she shows how we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world-from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change-and introduces us to cutting-edge games that are already changing the business, education, and nonprofit worlds. Written for gamers and non-gamers alike, Reality Is Broken shows that the future will belong to those who can understand, design, and play games. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Video Game Spaces

Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Worlds

Author: Michael Nitsche

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262293013

Category: Games

Page: 320

View: 8134

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The move to 3D graphics represents a dramatic artistic and technical development in the history of video games that suggests an overall transformation of games as media. The experience of space has become a key element of how we understand games and how we play them. In Video Game Spaces, Michael Nitsche investigates what this shift means for video game design and analysis. Navigable 3D spaces allow us to crawl, jump, fly, or even teleport through fictional worlds that come to life in our imagination. We encounter these spaces through a combination of perception and interaction. Drawing on concepts from literary studies, architecture, and cinema, Nitsche argues that game spaces can evoke narratives because the player is interpreting them in order to engage with them. Consequently, Nitsche approaches game spaces not as pure visual spectacles but as meaningful virtual locations. His argument investigates what structures are at work in these locations, proceeds to an in-depth analysis of the audiovisual presentation of gameworlds, and ultimately explores how we use and comprehend their functionality. Nitsche introduces five analytical layers -- rule-based space, mediated space, fictional space, play space, and social space -- and uses them in the analyses of games that range from early classics to recent titles. He revisits current topics in game research, including narrative, rules, and play, from this new perspective. Video Game Spaces provides a range of necessary arguments and tools for media scholars, designers, and game researchers with an interest in 3D game worlds and the new challenges they pose.

Game Art

Art from 40 Video Games and Interviews with Their Creators

Author: Matt Sainsbury

Publisher: No Starch Press

ISBN: 1593276656

Category: Art

Page: 272

View: 2207

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"I came for the art but stayed for the writing...an insightful window into the mind's of the creators to help supplement the games the reader plays." —Japanator "Put simply, I’m rather taken by this book...useful and interesting reading for the video game critic." —PopMatters "These interviews are the proof game lovers needed that yes, there is as deep a meaning behind our games as we always suspected." —Lauren Orsini on Forbes.com Game Art is a collection of breathtaking concept art and behind-the-scenes interviews from videogame developers, including major players like Square Enix, Bioware, and Ubisoft as well as independent but influential studios like Tale of Tales and Compulsion Games. Immerse yourself in fantastic artwork and explore the creative thinking behind over 40 console, mobile, and PC games. A lone independent developer on a tiny budget can create an experience as powerful and compelling as a triple-A blockbuster built by a team of 1,000. But like all works of art, every game begins with a spark of inspiration and a passion to create. Let Game Art take you on a visual journey through these beautiful worlds, as told by the minds that brought them to life. Art from: Akaneiro: Demon Hunters • Alice: Madness Returns • American McGee’s Alice • Atelier Escha & Logy • Atelier Meruru • Atelier Rorona • Atelier Shallie • Atelier Totori • Bientôt l’été • Bladestorm: Nightmare • Child of Light • Contrast • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die • Dead or Alive 5 • Deception IV • Dragon Age: Inquisition • Dynasty Warriors • escapeVektor • Fairy Fencer F • Fatal Frame II • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn • flowmo • Gamebook Adventures • The Graveyard • Hyperdimension Neptunia • KILLER IS DEAD • LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW • Luxuria Superbia • Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox • Monster Monpiece • NaissanceE • Never Alone • Ninja Gaiden 3 • The Path • Samurai Warriors • Shadows of the DAMNED • Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God • Spirit Hunters Inc • Sunset • Tengami Interviews with: Peter Budziszewski and Tamara Schembri • Amy Fredeen and Alan Gershenfeld • Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn • Yosuke Hayashi • Keisuke Kikuchi • Makoto Kitano • Mike Laidlaw • American McGee • Naoko Mizuno and Tsunako • Alex Norton • Yoshito Okamura • Jean-François Poirier • Guillaume Provost • Neil Rennison • Jennifer Schneidereit • Mavros Sedeño • SUDA51 • Hidetaka Suehiro • Akihiro Suzuki and Hisashi Koinuma • Nic Watt • Naoki Yoshida

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Author: Judy Blume

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1481409948

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 192

View: 7591

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Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a 12-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God. Reissued with a fresh new look and cover art. Simultaneous.

Esther

Author: Lewis Bayles Paton

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9780567050090

Category: Religion

Page: 360

View: 8278

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Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?

An MIT Professor Answers Questions on God and Science

Author: Ian Hutchinson

Publisher: IVP Books

ISBN: 9780830845477

Category: Religion

Page: 288

View: 4527

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Plasma physicist Ian Hutchinson has been asked hundreds of questions about faith and science. Are there realities science cannot explain? Is the Bible consistent with the modern scientific understanding of the universe? How could a good God permit so much suffering in the world? In this comprehensive volume, Hutchinson answers a full range of inquiries with sound scientific insights and measured Christian perspective.