Destiny Acts Like a Sponge, Bioshock Dies, and We Theologically Justify Videogame Time

In which, we look at articles published elsewhere about Bioshock’s conclusion and Destiny’s beginning. Oh, and that time we tried to justify videogames from a theological position (full of biases, of course).

Destiny Beta: The Bulletsponge Dilemma

destiny-beta

I played all that I felt I needed to play of Destiny. It was fun and had some great hooks. But the bullet sponges expose the time-suck ambition of the game’s design:

So there I am, in Destiny’s final Beta mission with some other players. We’re head-shotting and outflanking blokes. Then, all of the sudden, we slam up against this Tank-boss. We shot at this thing for twenty minutes. Twenty. Minutes. We shot, took cover, shot more, revived each other, dealt with minions, and continuing to shoot. Meanwhile, our bulletsponge boss proverbially stuck out its tongue, saying something along the lines of “Naynaya na Nyan Nya!”

Read ‘Destiny Beta: The Bulletsponge Dilemma’ at Plus 10 Damage

Burial At Sea: The Bioshock Obituary

bioshock

Did you hear that Bioshock died? I wrote the obituary. Here’s a sample:

Bioshock was a connoisseur of hot dogs and potato chips that came from the garbage. He also loved eating pineapples out of cash registers. His favorite hobby was meticulously scanning every drawer, broken gun turret, and public fountain for coins. The only things he loved more than money was using said money to finance his first loves: immolating drug addicts and decapitating law enforcement.

Read the Bioshock Obituary at Theology Gaming.

We Theologically Justify Videogame Time (in this podcast)

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Ever need to have a good Godly reason why you play videogames? Well, here you go. Just ignore the scary picture of Rutger Hauer.

Topics include natural theology, Mario Kart 8, Valiant Hearts (POSSIBLE SPOILERS ABOUT DOGS), Abyss Odyssey, Metal Gear Solid, Pikmin 3, Dark Souls, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Shovel Knight, Nintendo Land, Unrest, Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, Destiny of Spirits, and Ted discovering that you can play PS1 games on a PS3!

Listen to the Podcast on Theology Gaming. Or subscribe via iTunes.

A GameCell Birthday With No Birthday Boy (Mostly)

cake

It seemed appropriate to celebrate Alex Carter’s birthday since our GameCell got together on the exact day he turned 22.

Wayne got there first, deciding to be a trusty stand-in for Vince while he’s on vacation. And the Knapp brothers, Richie and Michael showed up right on time. We caught up for a little bit, discovering how Richie’s relationship with his girlfriend, Liz, was going and how happy Michael was to be going to Bronycon in Baltimore next (this) week. It was nice to catch up. But I soon realized that the discussion I had planned didn’t suit this small group. So we played games instead.

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Richie picked Super House of Dead Ninjas – which proved perfect for our limited crew size. Midway through Richie’s first run, Alex Hively showed up. Richie liked using the whip, while Alex really liked the nun-chucks. Not sure what Wayne thought of the game, but I’m sure he wasn’t fully able to connect with it in a way that felt mature and thoughtful. The game was about a ninja girl who just chops dudes to pieces after all.

We played Super House of Dead Ninjas on Steam, but it’s free online as well.

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Then it was time for a gentleman’s game: Gentlemen Dispute. This free game came as a recommendation from Alex and involved two players with old-timey gentlemen who brawl by floating/flying across screen and trying to knock off each other’s giant top-hat. Everybody played. Then Owen Hershner showed up (who won his first gentlemanly dispute). Then he faced the reigning champ, Richie. Richie ultimately got crowned the “Gentleanliest of Men” for the evening.

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Needing something a little more sober, Alex Hively took the helm of Valiant Hearts: The Great War. Our guys watched the heartbreak of World War 1 tearing a French/German family apart as a German husband was deported away from his wife and child while we step into the shoes of his French father-in-law as he was drafted. Owen thought it was fascinating when we up artifacts that unfolded true-life facts about the war. Our guys sat on the edge of their seats as we met the German Shepherd first-aid dog that would be the game’s constant companion.

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Then the somber tone shifted sideways when taking control of the American action-centric character, Freddie and seeing how he chased the moustache-twirling villain. The dog got caught in a bunch of barbed wire and started crying horribly. Owen took the controls as we raced through the level to save the puppy. Then Alex Carter (the birthday boy) arrived just as we saved the puppy!

Oh happy day!

It seemed like the perfect time to eat cake and celebrate Alex’s birthday. But Alex just came from Shady Maple Smorgasbord. So he wasn’t ready to have any more food forced inside his mouth. Instead, he wanted to play One Finger Death Punch.

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For the greater chunk of gaming humanity that’s unfamiliar with One Finger Death Punch, an explanation is in order. Imagine if a videogame threw up all over your screen with countless hordes of stickmen and explosions all over the screen. Then a semi-racist narrator provides culturally stereotyped Asian commentary on your martial artistry; AKA, your skills at pressing X or B at the correct time. The game’s title comes from only needing one thumb to do all your “precision fighting.” Alex took this opportunity to show off his thumb’s destructive prowess while making more “HYAAA”, “HOOOOOO”, and “KEEYAAAAWW” noises than Bruce Lee.

It was at about this time that Wayne decided it was time for him to go to bed. And I don’t blame him. This was a lot of crazy manic over-the-top games than I’m gunning for. We needed a cool-down. So I asked Wayne to stick around just for what was next.

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We sang happy birthday to Alex. Wayne headed home. Then we had some brief discussion as we ate cake.

“What was your first significant game experience?”

Each of the guys shared without worry about us seeing each other grind the chocolate cake in our mouths. Owen talked about an arcade racing game that he and his dad bonded over. Alex Hively talked about playing Spyro with his dad and always loving spending time with his dad and games. Richie shared about endlessly beating an adult playing Soul Calibur at the age of five. Michael talked about finding his first glitch in a Mario game. And Alex Carter reflected on his grandmother buying him his first Pokemon game.

Since significant formation experiences were on mind, I linked it to the first “significant spiritual experience” that Jesus had with all of his disciples. But since I was a little rushed for time and didn’t mind an awkward transition I just threw this out there:

“Why do you think Jesus turned water into wine?”

“Because he wanted to celebrate?” Owen asked. “Because he wanted to party!” Alex Carter joked, seeming to think this was just a funny answer. “Actually kinda,” I started. Then I read the story in John 2.

We landed at a question:

“If Jesus is the Son of God, what do you think this miracle says God is like?”

Kardashian’s Hollywood, Peter Pan Syndrome, and The End of Times

In which, we look at a few of Josh’s exploits elsewhere:

Why is Kim Kardashian’s Videogame Blowing Up Right Now?

kardash

I know this sounds crazy, but I found some redemptive qualities in Kim Kardashian’s new videogame. Madness!

For now, as I look back at Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood, I can see a game that excels for one core reason: it’s explicitly for girls. There’s not been enough of that. So maybe we can celebrate the gender-appeal-diversity, even if the name of the game makes most of us game-snobs cringe?

Read about it on Plus 10 Damage.

A Story About My Uncle’s Peter Pan Syndrome

A-story-about-my-uncle-2

A Story About My Uncle is a super fun game with a bedtime story premise. Problem is, it’s not actually made for kids. It’s made for me.

“We treat the games we play as conceptually being for other people – in this case, children. But what if we (the gaming elite) are really the only ones playing them?”

Read about it at GameChurch.com.

Eschatology (End Times) and Videogames Podcast

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We talked all about what will “definitely really happen” at the end of the world and what the Bible says about the matter. More importantly, we talk about the videogames that try to grapple about this subject (and as little as possible about the Left Behind series).

You can go to the website and listen here. Or you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

Mammoth GameCell (16!)

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Somehow we crammed fourteen full-size males into my tiny living room. Then we asked this question:

Who’s your biggest living hero? Or just somebody you really look up to?

Dakota Kline brought up PewDiePie – not because of his quality of communication, but because of his success as a guy who plays games on Youtube for a living. Garret mentioned his uncle. Alex Carter mentioned his favorite manga artist, Mark Crilly. New guy, Aaron Bayne said comedian Kevin Hart. And other new guy, Tyler wants to be just like his dad.

I threw the crew for a bit of a loop with the next questions: Why do people follow his Disciples? And why do you think his first disciples followed him? The guys provided some smart and compelling answers. Then I read the end of the first chapter of John, where Jesus gets some of his first disciples. Feeling like this might be loosing some folks, I brought it back around:

What if your hero came up to you and said, “Come, follow me!”?

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Alex said, “If Mark Crilly said that to me, I’d drop everything and follow him.” Most of our guys seemed pretty on-board if PewDiePie said “Come, follow me.” Then we came back to Jesus and I asked, “What if Jesus is saying that to you right now? Come, follow Me? If he’s asking you that, what do you think the implication is?” I got a few blank stares so I just explained, “To an ancient Israeli teenager, rabbis were Jedi Masters. And everybody wanted to be Jedi.”

This took us a little bit off course, with a lot of Qui Gon Jin references and dudes pretending they had light sabers.

“What I’m saying is that Jesus is like a Jedi Master. But more importantly, he’s all about navigating the complexities of life and showing us how to do that. But, how do you think we do that?”

Jeff Adams took the question and ran with it. “Maybe we need to really investigate him more?” He said. Somebody specified the importance of getting super familiar with Jesus in the Bible. And Vince drew-out the importance of community and following Jesus as a group of disciples (kinda like the group of twelve young guys that were with Vince and I). I tried to wrap things up with that theme of “We figure this out together.” We closed our discussion with a question that I wanted to hang in the air:

“In what ways don’t you want to follow Jesus?”

Then we transitioned to game-playin’.

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Somewhere in the midst of that transition, the chaos factor turned up a few notches. Some of the guys ordered Pizza. Then the one with the cash got towed. We got Tyler and Tim (both new guys) set-up playing split-screen Goat Simulator. And two more dudes showed up – boosting our numbers to 16.

In the midst of all of this, I learned that it’s increasingly difficult to get sixteen dudes to take interest in two players simultaneously doing the most nonsensical things they can think of.

Sidenote: Tyler, Tim, Dakota, and Aaron had a ton of fun playing Goat Simulator. It just wasn't as much fun to watch (especially when you have two dudes doing completely separate things).

Sidenote: Tyler, Tim, Dakota, and Aaron had a ton of fun playing Goat Simulator. It just wasn’t as much fun to watch (especially when you have two dudes doing completely separate things).

Aaron Bayne’s chose The Floor Is Jelly. As he played, nearly five conversations went around the room at once. Aaron did great as he figured out how to bounce like a little Mexican Jumping Bean in a world made of jello. But when he got stuck, it became a perfect opportunity to reign everybody back in: “Hey guys, Aaron’s trying to figure this platforming puzzle out. Maybe we can give him our attention and try to help him out?” It worked a little.

floorjelly

Dakota took the helm of Shovel Knight as the conversations died down a little. Conversation turned to the value and challenge of old-school Nintendo games like Megaman, Zelda 2, and how fun Shovel Knight was to watch. Dakota enjoyed the game and the tension of the first boss battle.

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Shawn Berkebile showed up late, but I wouldn’t let him miss-out on his ceremonial new-guys-always-play game-christening. His choice? Race The Sun: a game that starts at about 700 mph and only gets faster. Somebody pointed out how it was the perfect place for Shawn to show off his skating skills.

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And that was it. What a great night!

What’s the Theology of E3? Is it Growing up? How Close Is That Transistor Sword?

In which, we finally look at some posts from early June despite it already being the middle of July.

(We is slow, we is fine, we is ‘portant.)

Transistor: Intimacy with a Sword?

intimacy

Transistor was a great game. But it’s approach to intimacy was even better.

And yet here we are, left slightly out of the loop on the details of the intimate relationship between our protagonists, seeing only the effects of that intimacy. They do everything together. He protects her at every chance he gets, fighting for and with her. He makes decisions with her, providing his input and gently supporting her choices. And as a result, she won’t let go of him.

Read about Transistor on GameChurch

Is E3 Growing Up?

joele3  

So how’s E3 doing when it comes to preoccupation with male adolescent power fantasies drenched in corpses?

Ever have that moment of sudden clarity where you’re staring down the barrel of a gun, looking at a man begging for his life, and you’re suddenly like, “What have I become?”

Metaphorically.

The last time this happened was just a week ago when Watch Dogs came out, but the first time this existential horror occurred to me was E3 2012.

Read ‘Is E3 Growing Up’ on Plus 10 Damage

What’s the Theology of E3?

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Zach, Ted, and I refected on the choice findings of E3 and what Jesus might have to say about this year’s event (sorta).

E3: The Home of Trailers! E3: Everything Comes Out Next Year! So let’s talk about hype for things that don’t exist yet and other such stuff.

Listen to Theology Gaming’s ‘Theology of E3 Podcast’

GameCell Date Night (And Questions!)

In which, we reflect on the topic of dating and what our GameCell talked about/played on Friday night.

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Official police sketch

New guys Dan and Keric played Transistor and Bastion. Honorary new guy, Pierce, played Ether One.

Before all of this, we looked at romantic relationships and asked the question for single guys, “Why do you want to date?” So now, if you haven’t answered the question it comes to you:

Why do you want to date?

Max talked about dating as a pursuit of finding a partner for life that has common vision and purpose. Keric expressed the value of the fun of discovery. And some of our younger guys just listened. Meanwhile, Vince sketched all of the guys sitting on the couch. Then I shared some of my thoughts on this blog post. Eventually, we got around to the bigger question, “How do you develop a healthy romantic relationship?” But since that’s a really broad question, maybe a more interesting question to leave you with is this one:

What’s the funniest mistake you made in your pursuit of a mate?

Christian Dating (Third Revision)

I penned dating advice before Jess and I got married (over three years ago). Seems like a good time for a re-think now that we now have so many young single friends.

Hitch

All of us need at least a little help. (Hitch, 2005)

“How do you develop a healthy romantic relationship?” (We all ponder this)

This may be one of the biggest questions. And if you’ve read the whole Bible, you’d be surprised to find that there’s not a ton of instruction. Sure. “Avoid sexual relationships until you’re married.” “Cultivate a close relationship with Jesus.” and “Learn to love others.” But that doesn’t necessarily help young folks navigate the dangerous waters of romance. So maybe some advice will help?

“Why do you want to date?” (Ask yourself)

No, seriously. Take a moment and think about it. Why do you want to date?

Are you trying to find somebody to spend the rest of your life with? Are you in a season of life where it’s time to do that? If not, maybe it’s not a good idea to start dating. You might just be setting yourself up for heartbreak. Romantic relationships can be a source of some horrible heartbreak (duh). So you may not want to mess with something as fragile as your heart until you’re ready to pursue a spouse.

Back to the question: Why do you want to date? Is it because you feel like nobody loves you and you want to feel complete? This may come as a shock, but a romantic relationship will amplify that insecurity, not solve it.

If you’re looking for pure and unconditional love, maybe look to Jesus before you look to another screwed-up human being?

Just a suggestion.

Actually, maybe I should be more pointed? Don’t pursue for pursuit’s sake. Discover whether this somebody you could spend the rest of your life with. If they’re not the person you could build a future with, or you’re not at a point where you’re ready to do that? Don’t do it!

Yo, seriously heal yer hearts! (Overcome heartbreak)

Your heart is the most important part about you. It’s what God most treasures about you. And your heart’s health is what determines your quality of relationships.

Please don’t start a new romantic relationship when you’re heartbroken. That stuff trickles. You’ll carry all your hurts into your next endeavor even if they sit nice and tucked away for the moment.

The King of Hearts wants to heal you and make you whole again. If you haven’t worshiped God in a while, you may forget (or simply not know) that he loves to put your heart back together as you give it to him.

Heartbroken? Maybe it’s time to let Him in?

Don’t date, hang out!  (Become good friends first)

Using the term “Christian dating” can be a bit of a misnomer. The hangout seems to have replaced the 1950s model of “going out on a date.” Hanging out in group settings seems to be the best place to get to know one another. It’s at least a lot less volatile than going out to dinner and interviewing one another about what you want in life.

The hangout process is safer; less volatile. It’s less make-or-break. There’s a greater likelihood that you can remain friends if things don’t work out.

This doesn’t mean that an established couple shouldn’t be going out on dates to connect with one another. However, I do believe that healthy relationships need to develop a friendship before they get romantic. That’s why hanging out is just a good idea.

More importantly, don’t date in isolation without a community of friends around you to help navigate tricky heart-matters. Hanging out in groups can open the door for all the healthy benefits of community.

Date their friends (Value each other’s friends and family)

No I don’t mean to pursue your date’s friends. But you do need to value them and befriend them. You’re probably not courting just one person. You’re courting everybody they’re closest to.

Did you see the movie Hitch? Remember the part where Hitch teaches Albert to treat his love interest’s friends as more important than her?

In the Christian context, that’s their closest spiritual family (church). These are the people who help your love interest make their decisions. Their lives are interconnected. And you will be interconnected with them if you get married.

You must participate with them, love them, and demonstrate your true character to them. You might find that their friends become your family.

Respect one another, dangit! (Don’t be a *****)

While I wouldn’t recommend learning everything you know from 19th century English courting habits, I would absolutely recommend gentlemanly and lady-like conduct.

Gentlemen, open doors, pay, prefer her decisions over your own, and speak kindly (but honestly). Most importantly, respect her in every way. Never treat her as an object. Ladies, unlock his car door before he gets to it, don’t exploit his paying for you, prefer his decisions over your own, and speak kindly and honestly. Most importantly, respect him. Don’t bad-mouth him – to his face or behind his back.

And both of you: spend healthy time apart. You don’t have to talk to one another through Facebook Messenger incessantly. Don’t break-up or talk about breaking-up over text. If you need to have a serious conversation, have it face-to-face.  Maybe over coffee.

Since it bears repeating, let me iterate: respect one another. Seriously.

Want sexy? Become sexy. (Especially spiritually.)

Pursue the sexiest mate you can find. However, you may need to redefine “sexy.” A person’s body is not the most important part about their sex-appeal. Their emotional health may be the sexiest thing. Can you trust this person with your heart?

If so? That’s pretty sexy.

There’s a safety and an appeal to somebody who is arms-wide-heart-abandoned to God. Even the worst bad boys will admit that there’s something seriously attractive about a godly woman. One young woman told me she was attracted to a young man because of how he worships God. I don’t think this is an isolated case. I’m convinced this is a universal rule: whole-hearted God worshipers (who love God and others with pure hearts) are sexy. Additionally, nothing is more attractive than virtue and integrity. Humility is paramount! Those quick to admit when they’re wrong? Hot.

Any of this sound good to you?

Great. Now become this kind of sexy. Pursue virtue and maybe discover what it means to really follow Jesus.

Build on mountains. (Like Jesus and other healthy couples)

Once you start building your life with somebody, you’re gonna need something bigger than each other. If you claim to be a Christian, this should probably be Christ himself. Focusing entirely on one another can slowly and subtly turn your romance into a gross pile of festering sewage. A human being isn’t your goal and never should be. If they are, you could end up like my puppy, Luna, who caught a Frog in her mouth and suddenly had no idea what to do with it. You need a mission and a vision bigger than yourselves. Maybe that vision and mission could be embodying God’s Loving Kingdom in the world around you? Just a thought.

The whole purpose of a relationship is to connect. If you stop doing this when you get married, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Seek wisdom from people with time-tested relationships. If your friends haven’t ever had a relationship last more than a few months, maybe they’re not the best ones to go to for advice?

Questions? (Don’t be shy)

I missed a lot. This is by no means complete or as well-thought out as it could be. So I hope to fill that void with discussion.

What did I miss that’s important to you right now?

What have you been afraid to ask?

Voluntary Servitude GameCell

In which, our gamecell flirts with max capacity, we look at feet (with Jesus), and we play games about mopping, crawling, jazz, and hypnospace…

gamecellmay

Brian showed up early. Vince and Alex weren’t too far behind. By the time everybody trickled in, we were full to capacity. My living room sits a maximum of eleven apparently – any more than that and we’ll have to make better use of the floor.

Michael Knapp, Richie’s little brother, was our celebrity guest of the night. Since Devin hadn’t been down since his first visit nearly a year ago, we gave him honorary new guy privileges. The mass population required introductions. For an icebreaker, we asked everybody’s favorite game or media of choice. Surprisingly, Alex Carter chose the new DmC (based purely on its combat). Jeff Adams couldn’t possibly say anything other than Counterstrike (being that he’s got more hours in it than most of us have games altogether).

“So what’s GameCell about?”

GameCell is about mature engagement. With life and God and games and all the good and bad that entails. And that means we’ve got to listen to one another. The only way to do that is to make sure that the new guys have all of our attention. So we try to encourage a culture of attentiveness.

“Why do you think Jesus washed his disciples feet?”

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

- John 13:3-5

If you read the blog title, you probably have an idea. But imagine you didn’t see that. Why do you think Jesus washed his disciples f– Yes, I know you read that it’s all about voluntary servitude. But imagine you didn– Okay, I know. It’s there. You know that’s where I was going. Fine. So yeah. That’s what it was about: Jesus came to serve not to be served and he expects his disciples to do the same. Sure, it’s not a common thing to lower yourself to everybody and serve everyone, even your enemies. And you think it would be something you see more of if “2 billion people” claim to follow Christ on this planet. But that’s not quite reality, is it? That’s why the question is, are you a voluntary servant in the world around you?

cleanup

To follow the theme of serving others, we played a game about mopping. “Is mopping all you do?” they asked. “No, you have other things you can do, like pick up the remains of slain enemies and put them in an incinerator. No seriously.”

The premise behind Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior is that you’re the janitor that somebody hired to cleanup the mess left by the real player number one. Newbie, Michael Knapp took the helm on this one. He seemed to have the gift.

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Devin likes scary games. He went straight for Among The Sleep, the horror game in which you play as a toddler. We turned off the lights. There wasn’t a single time in the game that there was an actual threat to our two-year-old hero. Tell that to the guys who left the room. Love to say that there’s more to the game beyond jump scares and creepiness. As far as we could tell from the firs half hour, seems it’s just a tense spook.

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Needing a lighter tone, Josh Z selected Jazzpunk, the quirky first-person comedy published by Adult Swim. He talked to cardboard boxes, saw that his boss was a drunk, tried to sneak into a Soviet Embassy, and shot pigeons with a strange remote control.

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To close out the night, Jeff opted for Hypnospace Enforcer by my buddy, Jay Tholen. Given the quick and frenetic pace of the Battletoads-Hyperbike-like action-dodging-gameplay and the entrancing tunes, the game made its way the whole way around the room. We played it for over a half hour with nobody making it past the first level. But it wasn’t for lack of want. I had to shut things down instead of us trying to get through the challenge. Everybody seemed especially fond of the drunk cat that clings to your cruiser’s roof with a big smile on his face.

And that was it. Great night.

Transistor Experimentation, Incarnational Multiplayer, and Children of Light

In which, we discuss Transistor’s experimentation, how playing with your friends is godly, and who Child of Light is for…

Oh I’m Just Sperimentin’ With My Transistor – Transistor Review

transistor

Have you ever just played a game three times through without playing anything else? And made each one of those play-throughs much longer than they need to be? That’s what I did with Transistor. I just wanted to savor every moment I had with the game. Truly loved it. Gave it a perfect score.

The Theology of Local Multiplayer

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I throw the word “incarnational” around like it’s candy. It’s just my way of saying “physically, mentally, and emotionally present” with those around you. It’s what Jesus was like. And I know that if Jesus played any games (none of which is documented, but highly likely) that he did it in a way that enaged with those around him because he loved them. What if our game-playing was primarilly focused on those we play with? This hour-long podcast episode talks about that.

Don’t Call Me Princess – Child of Light Review

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Have you ever played a game that made you wish you had a daughter to play it with? Child of Light did that to me. It’s a pretty decent game with a lot of thoughtful strategy and prettyness. But it also made me feel unsuited for the game.

SportsFriends GameCell

In which, our GameCell played the Sportsfriends collection in the back yard and we discussed God and stuff.

Let’s Johan Sebastian Joust!

Young and old men alike played this game where one tries to move their opponent’s controller while keeping their own perfectly still. This was the result:

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garretstalk
puller
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winner

“Light Conversation”

After everybody got all hot and sweaty, it was time to cool off around some light conversation:

“So what do you think God’s like?”

Loved everybody’s answers, but there were two absolute favorites:

Mr. Beatty said he thought God’s like all energy but would reveal himself to people in a way they could understand. Like as a person that you could connect with (which reminded me of The Shack).

Mr Smith said he thinks God is revealed in every facet of the world around us – in each other, in our puppies, and even in plant life (which reminded me of this verse in Romans 1).

We didn’t just throw-into that question out of nowhere. Before it, We talked, heard about each other’s lives, and talked about what GameCell is about. I’m learning it’s important to allow for small distractions and get a sense of the group’s dynamic for the evening. I don’t want to be flip or awkward when dealing with heart-topics. Small-talk’s important.

Two Controllers. Four Players. Two Games.

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Hokra snagged the first post-conversational game slot. It’s also the first that let us share controllers with a partner (single-controller two player) as we played four player games (on two controllers). It’s a game of purple and green squares trying to get a little black square (puck). Each of us tried to get the puck and work with our team mate to hold the puck in one of our goals. Kinda dug how this caused us to play shoulder-to-shoulder.

Then we unexpectedly found our new favorite awkward-to-control game: Super Pole Riders. It’s also got an option for four players on two controllers. It ‘s funny to try to pole vault and whip one another with pool noodles. I’m willing to bet six dollars that if you play the game for three rounds, you will giggle. We giggled like schoolgirls.

Good Night Out (Back)

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We played my personal favorite Sportsfriends game, BaraBariBall, which I would describe as Smash Bros Volleyball with seven jumps instead of two.

And we had a lot of fun hanging out in the back yard.

Great night.

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