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.
Kevin Schut (PhD, University of Iowa) is professor and chair of the department of media and communication at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. His research uses video games to investigate the intersection of communication, technology, and culture. He has published articles and chapters on video games and history, games and mythology, and evangelical involvement with video games.
With solid research and intellectual curiosity, Kevin Schut dispels myths, debunks stereotypes, and offers an informed, levelheaded, and accessible analysis of a perplexing and contentious subject. Of Games and God is a valuable resource that invites players and skeptics alike into a critical discussion of the dark spots and bright lights of interactive video games.
-William D. Romanowski,
author of Reforming Hollywood: How American Protestants Fought for Freedom at the Movies and Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture
Kevin Schut's Of Games and God is an engaging introduction to the topic of video games written for Christians, particularly those who have never considered the value of video games or those who wish to defend them as a worthy pastime. Balanced in its perspective, broad in its scope, and written for a general audience, Of Games and God fills a niche that has long been waiting to be filled.
-Mark J. P. Wolf,
Concordia University Wisconsin; editor of The Medium of the Video Game
Outstanding read! If you're a gamer, media junkie, teacher, parent, or student, you need to read this book. Christians and non-Christians alike will find gems of truth throughout the book. Reading it is only the beginning of the conversation!
Infinite Game Publishing
Kevin Schut's Of Games and God provides a balanced, research-driven perspective on the hugely influential video game industry. A must read for anyone with questions on the compatibility of the Christian faith and interactive entertainment.
-Joseph M. Tringali,
general manager at 5TH Cell, developer for Scribblenauts and Drawn to Life
Gaming is a notoriously difficult topic to analyze and the relationship between gamers and churchgoers is typically less than cozy. Nevertheless Kevin Schut explores the problems and promise of today's dominant cultural medium with insight and understanding of both gamer and church cultures. Like it or not, gaming is a powerful vehicle for teaching values and ethics, and churches that ignore how gaming is speaking to their teens and young adults do so at their own peril. But with this great book, every gaming noob can speak l33t and grasp the relevant social trends at the same time.
In his book on the intersection between Christian faith and video games, communications and media professor Schut offers well-researched ground for fellow believers to begin critically engaging with an oft-derided medium. He deftly addresses typical arguments lobbed against video games by presenting anecdotes, scientific studies, and interviews to start a critical dialogue about faith and games. At its core, the author asks: how does a Christian navigateand even enjoya subculture that seems saturated with sloth, sexism, mindless violence, and iconoclasm? Without a thoughtful approach, games like Halo, Final Fantasy, or Zelda can corrupt an audience. Schut calls for a healthy Christian criticism that withholds absolute judgments, considers context, and synthesizes perspectives when it comes to games. While some may find his overview to be too broad or that it moves too quickly for the uninitiated, he makes an undeniably honest and heartfelt attempt to understand not only the relationship between Christianity and video games but also between faith and modern culture. (Jan.) 2012 Reed Business Information