Articles: Holy Week, Game-Parenting, and Rogue Babies with Spears

What videogames help you enter into Holy Week? Can videogames be a huge part of God’s calling in your life? What videogames connect parents and their children? And what games are worth checking out? We examine these questions in the following articles.

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  1. Theology Gaming Podcast #71: Holy Week Gaming & Videogame Vocation
    Josh, Zach, Ted, and Elijah talk about games that prepare for Jesus’ resurrection and how it’s important to listen to God’s calling for your life — even if it includes a calling to videogames.
  2. Paperbound Review: Smash on Crack
    Bryan and his 6 year old son connected through this crazy multiplayer brawler. And so did M. Joshua and the gamecell crew. Both of these things combine into a short positive review.
  3. Friendship Club Early Access Preview: Bounce Giggle Bullets Into your Frenemies
    Jump into the imagination of a little boy and smack each other around in this hilarious kid-friendly party game. It’s another game that makes M. Joshua wish he had kids.
  4. Oblitus Review: Baby Souls With Spears & Rogue Jewelry
    Dive into the spear-based dark-fantasy war world of Oblitus and find a game that streamlines the game design philosophy of Dark Souls by adding permanent death.

oblitus

Trust Night — GameCell Recap

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Do we learn to trust others just by spending time with them? And does that same idea apply to God? These questions guided our night as we explored Trust on a special Good Friday GameCell.

Team leaders showed up half an hour early eager to learn their roles.

Tim won the role of The Great Introducer. His task? Make our guests comfortable and break the ice with a question of his choosing.  Greg transformed into Documentarian for the night as soon as he got a camcorder in his hands. Garrett reprised his role as Gamemaster. As always, he was eager to introduce our crew to the games and get a controller in their hands. Vince showed up with the snacks and automatically unlocked the Achievement, Snackbringer. And Tyler, most importantly, became our Dungeon Master; meaning he would assign the additional roles of Questioneer (one who asks the question) and Text Master (Scripture reader). We had great trust in his ability to pick the right people for the job. Garrett led in prayer for our evening.

Our crew arrived.

Alex Hively, Alex Carter, Mikey, Richie, Daniel, Josh, and Roberto will be familiar names if you’ve followed this series. But Wes showed up for a second time, this time in perfect time to be a part of our discussion.

Mr. Hively, Mr. Roberto

Mr. Hively, Mr. Roberto

Tim took right to his Great Introducer role:

What’s your name? And what game  are you currently addicted to (or grinding in)?

Garrett talked about playing Fallout 3’s Tranquility Lane with his mom. Roberto briefly touched on his experience with Bloodborne. Mikey mentioned that he really loved Minecraft but that he was playing other games. Richie said he was playing American McGee’s Grimm (and Primal). Wes cited seven games that he was juggling for his Twitch audience. And Vince mentioned how he can’t stop playing Candy Crush Saga.

Tyler jumped to task as the Dungeon Master. He handed the first question card to Wes.

“Do you trust anybody? If so, why?” Wes asked.

Richie said he trusts people only when they earn that trust over time. Wes answered his question by saying that he trusts everybody until they prove him otherwise. He said that if somebody proves themselves untrustworthy, they probably won’t have his trust again.

Super Knapp Bros: Michael, Richie

Super Knapp Bros: Michael, Richie

Daniel got the next question card from Tyler.

“How does somebody gain your trust?” Daniel asked.

Roberto emphasized that trust is forged through trials. He talked about how when something terrible happens, you find out who your true friends are. Our crew seemed to agree that those who are tempered in the hard seasons prove themselves trustworthy.

Daniel asked the follow-up question that was on the back of his question card.

“How could God gain your trust?” Daniel said.

Wes started squirming in his seat and told us he was agnostic. I tried to make comfy by emphasizing that his voice mattered in this discussion and anything he wanted to say on the matter was valuable. Wes shared more of how he felt and how he still feels connected to pastors like Rob at Family Worship Center even though he doesn’t believe in God. Alex Hively shared that he felt in a very similar place to Wes.

Tyler said God got his trust by showing him that his ways are better than our ways. He likened it to trusting a Teacher or trusting your student peers. The teacher has the answers whereas the students can only speculate. Wes expressed how in his 3D animation school, students sometimes are better than teachers. So Tyler explained that the teacher-student gap he was talking about was more like Elementary school. We agreed with that and said that in high school, the students weren’t nearly as teachers as they thought either.

“Anybody know what holiday it is?”

The crew shouted answers. “Black Friday!” “Good Friday!”

I laughed and explained: Black Friday is something else. But it’s a potentially fitting name in some ways since it’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ death. It’s called good since he died for our sin and shame. So it’s a neat counter-cultural irony. Same with the cross, which was a symbol of peace through oppression and killing any threats to peace. Jesus subverted that symbol and made it an ironic symbol of love; taking what was used for oppression and using it as a demonstration of self-sacrifice that restores freedom. But that all leads to what happened three days later: resurrection.

Wes asked, “You mean what happened two days later, since Sunday is two days after Friday?” I didn’t have a response to that, but told him that I’d get an answer from him (which I did a few days later over Facebook).

I brought it back to the resurrection and asked the guys if they could imagine if we were all following Jesus around, watched him die, and then showed up later with holes in his body where he was pierced? “Wouldn’t you want evidence that it was him?” I asked.

Tyler handed the Text Master card to Alex Carter.

Alex read John 20:24-29:

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Tyler handed out the last card:

“Do you think you could be like Thomas and trust?”

Wes gave a firm yes.

Others said yes with confidence. But I didn’t quite catch all who said yes. I was a little distracted by something awesome taking place in Wes.

I pointed out how God invites us to walk with him to form trust: especially as He’s found in the Bible. Then we can be like Thomas and know He’s trustworthy.

Alex Carter concluded our discussion by praying us closed. While in prayer, somebody said something that distracted Alex. So he started praying for them. I started giggling and said, “Thank you, God for loving us despite our passive aggressive prayers. Aaaaamen!” Everybody laughed. Snack time.

When Vince wears his Old Man Face, you know it's about to get rowdy.

When Vince wears his Old Man Face, you know it’s about to get rowdy.

Game Time: Trust Games Only

Garret reprised his Gamemaster role and introduced the games that build trust through teamwork:

  • Tekken Tag Tournament
  • Helldivers
  • Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale
  • BaraBariBall (part of the Sportsfriends collection)
  • Hokra (part of the Sportsfriends collection)

Wes’ pick?

Hokra.

Germany never stood a chance against the Mighty Roman Empire.

Germany never stood a chance against the Mighty Roman Empire.

Wes got the most votes from our selection of guys who had only been there once. And it took a match or two for everybody to get how the game worked as it was so simple (one button, one control stick). But this simple team game of team keep-away (with a puck and end zones) turned fierce.

We passed-around the four controllers to new teams of two every three rounds. This made sure that everybody got a good feel of the game and got a turn.

tv_hokra

Our crew loved it. They got very loud. It was as loud as any sports event. Sorry neighbors.

Hokra was an A+ team multiplayer game experience.

Roberto went next. He picked the game he brought:

Tekken Tag Tournament

Tekken Tag matches were a blur. But EVERYBODY loved the Snoop Dogg level.

Tekken Tag matches were a blur. But EVERYBODY loved the Snoop Dogg level.

We got teams of two set up.  Roberto explained how to tag-out so that the team doesn’t lose (if one player gets beaten, the team loses). Roberto took it easy on everybody when he played, but not too easy. He did an excellent job of giving just enough information before throwing everybody straight into the game. Since there was over thirty playable characters, it took a bit of time for players to pick. But the game was an all-around success. Matches with some of the sillier characters got everybody to say things like, “Go Panda Man!” because they were fighting as a big panda.

The decibel levels weren’t any lower than the previous game. The excitement was maxing-out.

Tekken Tag was an A+ team fighting game experience. 

We ran a little late with our game time since our discussion went a little long. Since we had a larger crew, it was 9:55pm when we finished our second game. Some of our crew left. But we had enough time for one more game. Many voices among our crew shouted:

Playstation All Stars (Battle Royale)

playstationallstars

The loose team-goal for the evening was for a team of Fat Princesses to be a team of Kratoses. But since nobody really wanted to play as Kratos, we settled for two Dantes from DmC fighting two Fat Princesses. Garrett and I got three kills as a Fat Princess before losing a race to 5 kills. We switched options a bit and tried a few more team based scenarios. The winners were always whoever stockpiled all their super-energy and then went into Super form level 3 and just cleaned up the board. It didn’t make the game very intriguing or exciting.

Still, it was fun to play as Playstation characters even if the match goals lacked tension.

Playstation All Stars was a C+ multiplayer game to play.

Excitement levels bumped the top of the charts. Somehow Roberto managed to keep his intensity in check.

Excitement levels bumped the top of the charts. Somehow Roberto managed to keep his intensity in check.

‘Twas an amazing night as always. The sense of teamwork and trust was palpable. Our crew connected more. It felt like we’re really learning to gel as a crew. Til next time!

How A Videogame Helped Syrian War Children

The game, This War of Mine, earned all of my attention last year when it illustrated the horrors of war from the perspective of displaced refugees living inside of a city under siege. A button on the game’s main menu let you donate to War Child: a charity dedicated to child victims of war.

Creators, 11 Bit Studios, launched a specific set of downloadable in-game content (DLC) earlier this year for This War of Mine with 100% of proceeds going to child victims of the Syrian conflict.

This infographic illustrates the results:

thiswarinfo

More info at warchild.thiswarofmine.com.

Source: Polygon

Articles: Blind Forest Dungeons Stress-Out Gravity’s Lynx Momma

In which we discover M. Joshua’s contributions elsewhere: some reviews, a feature about learning to parent humans by simulating lynx motherhood, and a videogame that explores the consequences of stress-management.

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  1. Relieve Stress In Darkest Dungeon Like You Do In Real Life
    Let’s explore how this videogame handles stress-relief through prayer, meditation, and vice.
  2. Gimme The Blanket Set — Ori and the Blind Forest Review
    M. Joshua gave this game an “I want an Ori and the Blind Forest blanket set” out of ten.
  3. It’s a Me, Gravity Ghost — Gravity Ghost Review
    Gravity Ghost is “a bright-eyed spacey game that slides its nonlinear story into place with clear game design.”
  4. “I Don’t Really Know How To Be A Good Parent”: Reflections on Shelter 2
    Mothering lynx cubs in Shelter 2 makes M. Joshua less scared to become a dad.

shelter502

Conscience Night — A GameCell Recap

In which our GameCell crew meets in my house to discuss God, life, games, and how you keep a clean conscience. Then we play some hilarious videogames.

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Tyler, Tim, and Greg snuck into my house a half-hour early to co-conspire: who does what? Tyler took Questioning. Tim opted for Text Master (Bible Reader). Greg took Game-Questioning. Alex Carter showed up and got the Introducer/Closer role (the guy who welcomes and prays over our time).

Garrett loves the Game Master role (the one who researches the games so everybody has an idea of what they’re getting into). So he secured that same role.  I set expectations. Vince showed up with snack. Everybody knew their place. Go time. Alex Carter kicked us off.

Why don’t you share your name and what season of life your’e in?” Alex asked.

Alex silently asked this question as he led by example: “Hi I’m Alex, I’m about to go into my final term in the Art Institute of York for graphic design.” Vince, Greg, Tyler, Tim, Garrett and I shared where we’re at in our schooling and careers just as Alex Hively showed up.  Then Tyler dove into the first discussion question.

Remember what we did last time?” Tyler asked.

Roberto and Vince were left in the dust. Greg and Garrett brought them up to speed: we called it “Filter Night” and talked about how to discern what’s good or bad — but we focused most on how to find what is good. The standout hit game of the evening was Life Is Strange: Episode One. This was sort of a setup for the follow-up question:

How did you feel about the F-bombs in the game, Life is Strange?” Tyler asked.

Greg, Tim, and Alex Carter responded with “It’s not a big deal.” Tyler confirmed that he felt it’s just how some people talk. Since F-bombs are more of a common thing in videogame culture and online play, a lot of us mentioned how we kind of tune it out.

Roberto elaborated, “I wasn’t there obviously. But for me, f-bombs in games come down to context. Like, I’m not gonna talk like that, but it doesn’t bother me if it fits the character of the person talking, especially since most games are about people who aren’t committed to a godly lifestyle”

Do you try to keep a clear conscience when faced with messed-up stuff in games? If so, How?” Tyler asked.

Vince chimed in after a little silence. He talked about how having kids has affected how he thinks about what comics he gets and keeps on his shelf. But that he also thinks a lot about the overall theme and message of things. Vince’s big thing was not to take media on as a part of him. It’s a lot less a part of him and more of something he actively sorts out.

Tim went into Text Master mode:

“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” -1 Tim 1:5, NLT

I shared about how surprised I was that the Bible emphasized this value of keeping a clear conscience.

Do you think God wants you to feel guilty?” Tyler asked.

Garrett gave a ton of great input on this. He made some points about how it’s important to know when you do something wrong and guilt is part of the human experience to some degree. Alex Carter said that it’s definitely something that would be bad if we didn’t have when we do something wrong.

Is guilt helpful for your conscience?” Tyler followed-up.

Vince backed up a bit and expressed that he’s sure God doesn’t want us to be trapped in guilt. Roberto unpacked that a bit with some personal experience of struggling to forgive himself. He emphasized how if he wallowed in guilt and didn’t trust Jesus’ grace and forgiveness, he could still be stuck back there. Vince agreed with this example and related.

Alex prayed over our time. Then we had snack.

snack_weirdos

Vince busted out a surprise birthday cookie for me. I wanted to take a picture. But our crew is a bunch of food-monsters. So it was mostly gone by the time we took the photo above.

Game time.

Roberto picked the first game as our esteemed New Guy. He picked Hardlander.

hardlanders

Roberto, Greg, Tyler, and Tim launched their little stubby rocket ships, only to quickly explode. Simple awkward physics-based controls ensured everybody crashed with a BANG! This high-failure rate made our crew laugh like hyenas.

Tyler’s face turned beet red with a giant smile — and a few laughter-induced tears. Tim couldn’t stop giggling. Roberto, the hardcore fighting game guy, never stopped smiling. Every time he flew his rocket ship, it resulted in him or somebody else exploding in a hot pile of wreckage. We commonly heard, “Whoa, no no no no no! BOOM!,” followed by everybody busting up.

Nobody kept track of who won, because it barely mattered who was the last man standing. It was too funny to see each other crash while trying to maintain balance and control.

Our crew loved the Laser Tag level. Everybody launches with a giant death-laser on their ship’s nose that triggers as they thrust. My favorite level was Sumo, where all players have to launch off a launch pad before it drops and everybody’s left in a giant circle so nobody can play it safe by not launching.

Greg threw-out the conversation-linking question: “How does this game hit your conscience?” To which, our crew responded, “It was hilarious.” Nobody expressed that it felt wrong in any way. They just loved the pure comedy of it.

Hardlander was an A+ couch multiplayer game for our crew despite only being an early and incomplete alpha on Desura.

Vince got picked as the next game-picker. He chose Mama Lynx Simulator, Shelter 2.

Vince immediately ran into a few game-bugs, frame rate issues, and weak controller support. But as we got those issues ironed out, he took to being a pregnant lynx right away. He took off running away from a pack of wolves and followed a maternal calling to a den. There he gave birth to a litter of lynx cubs. We named them as a group:

shelter2

Vince got the the cubs settled and ventured out to hunt for lynx baby food: rabbits. Alex Hively noticed some bunnies out in the distance. And our crew worked with Vince to encourage him in the rabbit-chasing. Soon, he snagged a bunny and it went limp in his momma-lynx mouth. He brought it back to the cubs. They excitedly munched the bunny carcass and got the blood all over their little baby kitten paws. Aww!

We told Vince that the game had a lot to do with the pain of losing the babies. And he didn’t want to risk losing Snake, Mr. T, Chewie, or Fart. So we changed games.

Greg asked “What’s your gut/spiritual reaction to this game?” to link it to our discussion earlier. Somebody said that the game was a neat depiction of nature. And somebody else mentioned how all the killing was specifically about feeding your young, which was good.

Shelter 2 was a B+ game to watch Vince play, despite any technical issues.

Tim got next pick and wanted some crazy four-player mania. He picked the free Broforce /Expendables 3 tie-in, Expendabros.

expendabros

Tim picked three co-op partners and soon found that four dudes on a highly-destructible map made it easy for them to lose a place to put their feet — especially if somebody was the bro with a grenade launcher. All the crazy fire power of these bros usually destroyed the bad guys the second they came on the screen. But quick one-hit deaths made our team of four need to work together and stay alive.

Garrett said he really loved the Jason Statham bro who rained knives on the enemies. And it was hilarious when Tim raised the American flag at the end of the level and Roberto jumped onto the helicopter while the whole level spontaneously exploded.

Lesson of the evening: explosions are funny.

Greg’s question of “How does this hit your conscience?” led to answers that focused on the hilarity of cartoon death and accidentally killing your team mates by blowing them up with a mis-placed grenade.

Expendabros was an A+ four-player co-op game that’s free on Steam.

With another fifteen minutes to spare, Roberto brought out Teken Tag Tournament 2. So we popped it in the PS3. But it seemed primed for a half-hour install.

Roberto saw it as an investment on next time.

I had a back-up bonus game from our last GameCell get-togetherPaperbound.

We played a handful of rounds of this by-now classic couch brawler. And then we called it a night. As always, it was a super rich night of Kingdom exploration, videogames, and growing friendships.

gametime

Ladies Night: A Special GameCell Recap

ladiesnight

My bride Jess invited me to bring the GameCell experience to her crew called No Boys Allowed. These females love games. So it was a perfect fit. We told them Jesus loves them, handed them a Jesus For the Win gamer bible and dove right into the questions.

What’s your name and your favorite game?

Whitney threw her hand up and shouted “LEFT 4 DEAD!” Maddy said, “Anything by Bethesda,” especially Fallout 3 and Skyrim (I once caught Madison holding a wisk and a masher in our kitchen. “I’m dual wielding!,” she says.). Jorja said Mario Kart (except Rainbow Road). And Frannie, Cheyenne, and Mini-Jess all agreed that they loved any game they could destroy others in — especially their dads or brothers.

For the lady-leaders, Heather said Pac Man was her go-to. Elise confessed her love for the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for Super Nintendo. And my missus told everybody about her general hatred of games — with the exception of Yoshi’s Cookie for NES.

So, what’s GameCell?” I asked.

Maddy and a few others knew it was a get-together about games and God. But they didn’t know it started with a highly-interactive discussion where everybody’s voice mattered — espeically new girls. We connect with one another about life, God, and games. But that the most important thing is listening to one another.

From here, the lady-leaders led with the question cards I gave them:

Who do you like to play games with?” Jess asked.

“Anybody I can beat,” was a common answer.

ladies_basement

What’s one reason girls have such a hard time getting along?” Heather asked.

“Boys.”

I think Mini-Jess was the first to bring this up, which led to a chorus of “Mmmm, yeah” responses.

Jorja said that if a girl has a nasty demeanor, it ensures that she’s not gonna be able to get along. Maddy mentioned that mean attitudes from girls are why she prefers to be friends with boys instead of girls. Whitney and Elise also talked about how guys just generally seem easier to get along with.

Franny, I think, brought up that, “Girls are just really competitive about like everything.” There was no disagreement.

Elise shared Matthew 22:36-40:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

We explained: Jesus is all like, “loving your neighbor is pretty much the most important thing.” It’s tied with loving God. This means that Jesus wants you to love other girls — especially the ones you don’t like.

Why do you think Jesus wants us to love each other?” Elise asked.

Celeste showed up right as the question landed. Jess hooked her up with a Jesus For the Win gamer bible and we got back to our question.

Heather pointed-out that “we need love. It’s kind of like life-blood.” The girls mulled this over for a bit. A few questions of clarification came up. But the idea came back: loving other girls — especially the ones we don’t like is really hard.

“Maybe if we need love, then we really need each other? Like maybe Jesus wants us to love one another because we need each other?” I said. Cheyenne and Jorja offered agreeable nods.

Do you guys pray over your discussion time?” I asked

Jess said we could do that.

I just wanted to close out our time. But Jorja seemed to maybe be the one to do it as she’s gone to church with us. “Would you mind closing us in prayer?” She said, “I don’t know what to pray.” Maddy asked, “Wouldn’t you just like thank God or something for our time together?” I said, “Yeah.”  Jorja said she still wouldn’t know what else to say or do and we told her that’s okay. “You’re thankful to God for our time and are excited to have a good time playing games, right?” I asked. “Yeah.” She said. “Okay, well Amen!”Good prayer Let’s have snack.”

birthday_pizza

Since it was just a day after the birthday of a certain birthday girl, Heather and jess decided to surprise somebody with a special birthday pizza.

celeste_birthday

Celeste pretended like she couldn’t handle all the attention (yes, she could).

Game time. 

“Who besides yourself do you pick to play first?” The ladies filled-up our couch and took the remaining floor space. Maddy got the most votes. Her choice? Puppeteer.

puppeteer

Maddy had to pick a partner since Puppeteer is a two-player co-op game. She picked Mini-Jess.

Maddy took the headless puppet role. She needed to find makeshift heads and to use her head-powers to solve simple jumpy puzzles. Mini-Jess jumped into the floating ghost cat and helped Puppet-Maddy find Moon-shineys. Ghost-Cat Mini-Jess vomited the Moon-shineys into Puppet-Maddy’s mouth. Teamwork!

Silly voices, loud clanky set-changes, and in-game audience reactions made it neat to watch and a little mysterious. By the end of the allotted half-hour, everybody knew how things worked. We stopped just before Maddy’s Puppet got the special magical scissor shears (that presumably make the game more interesting). But nevertheless our players had some fun and the viewer-ladies enjoyed the play.

Puppeteer was a B+ co-op game for our lady-crew to watch others play on PS3.

Whitney got next pick (as per crew votes). She chose Divekick.

divekick

Divekick’s two-button fighting seemed perfect for a bunch of competitive ladies new to fighting games. But it took Whitney and her first competitor, Jorja, a little bit to figure out how to move without directional input.

Whitney got the taste of digital blood and became a bit of a Divekick wrecking ball. Elise took Whitney on. And Cheyenne gave Whitney a few really nice kicks to the head. But Whitney held onto the Divekick title.

We gave some of the other ladies a shot at kicking each other in the head. They loved the ridiculous characters and their bonkers responses to victory and defeat. The crowd favorite was Redacted, the female skunk-bear who snuggles with her pups when she wins (while still having a cigar in her mouth).

Divekick was a B- fighting game for our lady-crew to beat each other up in. It could have been better if the ladies could button mash and smash each other around.

maddys_turn

Celeste needed some game time. So we hooked her up with the controller and gave her the pick of the litter. She chose Flower.

It took her a good bit to figure out how to use the controller like a motion-driven thing with gyroscopic input and a few button presses. But after about five minutes, she was flying through meadows and collecting flower petals like a pro.

flower

The other girls worked with Celeste to help her figure out where to go and what do to. They came together and worked interdependently without any of my instruction.

Flower was an A- game to watch Celeste play on PS3.

Only five minutes left. Whitney wants to see Thomas Was Alone. I try to give Franny the controller. But she passed back to Whitney.

Thomas perfectly illustrated the theme of the evening: that we need one another.  Whitney leaped through the first two levels before we could hear the narrator finish telling us what Thomas was thinking. She wanted to see the game! But we also wanted to know: why was Thomas alone?

thomas

Whitney and our crew got to meet Thomas’ first friend, Chris, who couldn’t jump as high as Thomas and he had a really bad attitude. Whitney controlled both of them at separate times to make them work together. They needed each other.

Everybody wanted to know what happened next to Thomas and Christopher, the little rectangles with big personalities. But we had to call it. We ran ten minutes over our time. We were all just really into it.

Thomas Was Alone was an A+ game to watch Whitney play.

luna

Our ladies really enjoyed the night. Except for Luna, who was exhausted and sad that the ladies were spending more time in games than with her.

Conscience Night: Dude GameCell Preview

This Friday, the classic GameCell crew covnerges in my living room to discuss the following questions loosely-related to our last get-together.

1. Remember what we did last time? How did you feel about the F-bombs in Life is Strange?

2. How do you try to keep a clear conscience when faced with messed-up stuff?

“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” -1 Tim 1:5

3. Do you think God wants you to feel guilty? Is guilt helpful for your conscience?

Games for our dudes:

dudes

We’ll select from the games above and circle around these questions: “How does this hit your conscience? What’s your gut reaction to this game?”

Ladies’ Night: A Special GameCell Preview

Tonight, we’ll try the GameCell format with a completely different crew: the young women of my wife’s cell group, No Boys Allowed. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. Here’s what we’ve got in-store:

1. Who do you like to play games with?

2. What can get in the way of connecting with other girls?

“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” – Matt 22:36-40

3. Why do you think Jesus wants us to love each other so much?

Game Time:

ladies-playlis502t

We’re gonna pick from these games and answer the question, “What does this game say about how we relate to each other?”

Camp Orchard Hill Winter Blast

We took eighteen teenagers from our youth center to a winter retreat last weekend. Some of the guys that came were GameCell regulars. The camp produced a video that captured the experience.

WinterBlast 15 3/6-3/8 from Camp Orchard Hill on Vimeo.

You can find Jess and I dancing on top of chairs behind our buddy Aaron at the 38 second mark.

Articles: Oh No! Stardust-Robots Murdered Citizens of Earth!

In which we recap contributions elsewhere: A review of Stardust Vanguards, a how-to guide for political cartoon videogames, and why you should try ghost-detective work.

  1. Space-Robot Brawlmania — Stardust Vanguards Review
  2. Citizens of Earth: Punching At Politics With Soft Blows
  3. Murdered: Soul Suspect Gets Out of Jail, Deserves Place to Stay