“You are what you eat” – yes, but you don’t eat video games

Fox News reports on two different video games released on the same day, one from Lightside Games focusing on Jesus’ life and the other being the demon haunted Diablo III, a product from Blizzard Entertainment.

The timing was not lost on Brent Dusing, CEO of Lightside Games.

“Both games immerse the player, and you are what you eat,” Dusing said in a statement. “While one game goes one direction, ‘Journey of Jesus: The Calling’ players walk in the Messiah’s steps, in an authentic experience of Israel in Christ’s time.

Diablo III sounds like Buffy the Vampire Slayer turned up to eleven, an adventure pitting a “barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk or demon hunter” against the fiends from Hell with the fervent hope that the “good” guys will triumph.

Journey of Jesus is free to Facebook users, so it probably will get a lot of play – by those who already claim to be Christian (whether they dutifully follow Christ’s footsteps or not). I suspect it’s going to be of little interest to people from other religions so wouldn’t be a useful tool for converting them. And the atheists who try it will probably try to pick it apart as they play, not use it as a means of learning any real history about that era.

When I was younger, I thought there was something to the notion that violent video games make people violent but then I came around to the notion that people who already have a proclivity towards violence are the ones more likely to be interested in playing those games. Research is starting to swing that way, too.

What the research does show, in a nutshell, then is this:

Teens who are already angry or aggressive likely should be limited in their playing of violent video games
Teens should not play M-rated games
Girls especially should not play M-rated games
Video game is an important social development interaction for boys. Parents should keep this in mind when taking such time away from them in punishment.
And of course, all things in moderation. Playing a video game for 6 or 8 hours straight is unhealthy behavior at any age.

I’ve played my share of “shoot ’em ups” and I’ve yet to become a violent offender. That’s anecdotal, I admit, but still true. I’m not much of a gamer anyway. The Man loaned me his old Nintendo and I still can’t get Mario past the first few levels. I like puzzle games, or board and card more.

I never play the games on Facebook but for kicks I signed up for the app so I could try it out. I decided to play as a woman and already I’ve cut a bunch of wood, picked a fight with a Roman and witnessed Jesus getting baptized. Whee. What childish fun. If I play again, I’ll update you on my progress.

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