“What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, ‘church?’”
“A place where people are cared for and have their needs met?” John said. He elaborated, “I think that’s the idea and how it works for some.”
Three of the five new guys felt comfortable enough to share their agnosticism (I’m so glad that they felt safe enough to share). Everybody’s input was awesome.
John’s answer led pretty well into the theme of the evening: the church is people, people that need one another for the benefit of everyone.
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. -Ephesians 4:16
To really make this theme hit home I made sure that our new guys, John, Quentin, Chris, Zach, and Jesse played games that captured the essence of how “each part does its own special work” for the benefit of the whole.
Ibb and Obb
Zach and Chris walked to the right and jumped through gravity gates to walk on the ceiling (which was previously their floor). They often jumped off of one another to get to new heights. And when they came across enemies, Zach would step on baddies’ undersides to make them pop while Chris collected the shiny remains, adding to the score tally. While Zach and Chris didn’t know one another before this, they worked together brilliantly, solving most of the puzzles on their own even as the rest of us offered other potential solutions. Ibb and Obb’s light musical tones, and smooth colorful graphics put us in a rather happy interdependent mood.
Jesse stepped into the sad pixelated world of Lone Survivor as a guy who didn’t care to remember his name. The apocalypse happened and turned everybody into monsters which made going outside unappealing. Jesse discovered that his character’s loneliness made him kinda lose his mind; he could space out in front of mirrors and mysteriously end up at home. Jesse pushed through all the weird and harsh junk to get to his objective, an apartment with neighbors partying inside, oblivious to the fallen world around them. When he got what he came to the apartment for, he realized that all the neighbors were dead and he imagined it all.
Moral of the story: We need one another, or we’ll lose our minds.
Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons
John and I talked about having him play this game at Gamecell for at least the past three weeks. I don’t know if I just thought he’d like it, or if it’s just such an awesome game that I want to share with everybody.
John started the game as two boys pushed their father in a wheel barrel across an old Scandinavian folk town. Soon he realized that if he used both of the controller’s sticks, they moved much quicker. Coming to a bridge, he took the big brother over to a lever and pressed the trigger, moving the bridge. Needing to get to higher ground, he made the big brother give the little brother a lift to get up high. Then he had the little brother drop a rope so the big brother could get up. All of this happened on one controller, John controlling both brothers at the same time. The brothers got their father to the town elder, who nonverbally communicated to the boys that they need to get to a giant tree to find the medicine needed to make their father well. John sent them off and made each brother use his unique talents to compliment the other: the younger brother using his slender build to slip through wide gates, the older brother using his communication skills to get directions or past a kind gatekeeper.
Like Ibb and Obb, Brothers’ lovely graphics, charming puzzles, and interdependent theme put a smile on many of our faces.
Ten PM loomed and threatened to make us close up shop, but I had one more new guy who hadn’t played a game yet. And I knew just the perfect game for him (and our time).
Thirty Flights Of Loving
Stepping into a prohibition era bar with only non-alcoholic beverages, I was a tiny bit concerned when Quentin found the secret entrance to the place where they hide the “good stuff.” He didn’t understand at first why there were guns and liquor all over the room, but when he met the two other people in the room, he figured out that a heist was about to go down. The next fifteen minutes cut around half a dozen scenes in non-linear fashion only to dump him out at an ending before he expected it.
I asked Quentin, “So do you know why I picked this game for you?” He looked at me with a confused smile on his face, unsure. “Remember how you told me your dad named you after a famous Director?” “Ohhh! I get it! Because it jumps all around, just like a Quentin Tarrentino film!”
The night came to a close, but the guys still wanted to stick around. We talked, laughed, and hugged, but I couldn’t help but feel like I needed a better way to conclude the evening. Maybe in the future, we’ll end a tiny bit earlier and sit around and eat snacks and talk.