Thank God for Video Games

February 17, 2015
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[this post originally published pre-Bloodborne]

*souls* is love
*souls* is life

the *souls* vidyagame series that is . .

but i’m not here to talk about that,
cuz i’ve talked enough about that
(ask anyone i’ve talked to),

i’m not here to talk about how the
*souls* games
revolutionized gaming for a lifelong gamer
and connoisseur of the best
that gaming has had to offer for the past
its entire history
or about how the series is one of the most
innovative, engrossing, enjoyable, affecting
things i’ve had the pleasure of


i’m here to talk about how,
after months of time spent with
*dark souls 2*,
i then spent time with
*dragon age: inquisition*
(you can read about those here)

and then just spent time with
*the last of us*,
which was awesome
and atmospheric
and evocative
and now my favorite game
from naughty dog (the developer)

and am now spending time with
*middle earth: shadow of mordor*,
which is an *assassin’s creed* clone,
(as i’d been led to believe)
but also much more than that,
(as i’d been led to believe,
hence the purchase)
and super viscerally violent
and very fun and cool
and true to the look and feel of the
peter jackson movies,
which are quite true
to the tolkien source,
so where’s the possibility of wrong?

and will soon and very soon
be spending time with *bloodborne* . .
a game which in every sense
but the name
is a new *souls* game

and man . . i. can. not. wait.
(i mean, seriously: take a gander
at some Bloodborne images online . . i’ll wait . .
amazing, right?
where is this place? what will happen?
can i do it? . . ah, the
thrill of the
challenge of the
adventure of it!
ah, the story to be told!)

but of course, i can wait
and am waiting

and i notice:
(when waiting
and/or time spending is required,
which in this world is often . .
all of the time
if you think about it a certain way)
there sure are lots of cool ways
to spend time,
vidyagames being one of my faves
and one of the world’s growing faves,
the world spending billions of
collective person-years on it yearly

and i notice that
gaming sure qualifies as a
and something to be thankful for,
especially when you consider
our ancestors, who had to make do
with just literal rocks,
then papers, scissors,
before we upped it to
the level of representational
then developed it, developed it,
until the age of apps

and as much as
the quiet of life should
also sometimes be embraced,
should be plumbed
for what whispers lie there,
both within and without . .
as much as sometimes
we should turn. it. all. off. . .
when it comes down to it,
it’s nice and healthy and a
to be able to
mindfully leave this world for a bit
to recharge, as it were, in
lordran, yarnham, mordor,

and as much as i would argue
(vociferously, passionately,
ultimately correctly)
that gaming is much more than
just a pastime,
a way to spend time . .

and as much as one should be
mindful of the import of the
term “spend time” itself . .
should be mindful that
time is
(if you think about it a certain way)
a valuable commodity,
not to be spent willy nilly
with so much “important stuff” to be done,
gaming is still a

and as much as what i’m
now saying
could be easily applied to
really any form of art/entertainment,
really any way to enjoyably
spend time,
what i’m saying
can still be applied to gaming,
and so i am

i’m saying:
i enjoy gaming and will continue to . .
i even look forward to the enjoyment
that specific future games
(like *bloodborne*)
will bring

and even though one must
also embrace the quiet,
even though gaming’s more than just a pastime,
even though pains should be taken to
moderate time spent with it,
to work/life/play balance it,
and even though what i’m saying
isn’t even unique to gaming,
i’m still saying:
i enjoy gaming,
am thankful for it
as a good thing in this world,
where good things should be,
at least occasionally,
singled out and praised,
reflected upon like this . .

i’m saying that it’s
a good thing that
the world would be
worse off without

i’m saying:
in *the color purple*,
alice walker has one of her characters say:
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by
the color purple in a field somewhere
and don’t notice it.
People think pleasing God is all God cares about.
But any fool living in the world can see
it always trying to please us back.”

i’m saying: i see the games in the field, God . .
i see that they’re purple,
and also beautiful and fun and cool and all the rest
that the metaphor might imply . .
and i believe they’re one of those ways
you’re trying to please us back . .
i see it and am thankful . .

i touch their tips
like joysticks
as i pass them and smile . .

i’m saying: thank God for games

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Matt Hill has contributed to hollywoodjesus for the past decade, taking on movies, music, books, games and other topics. He writes from Michigan, where he lives with his wife and kids. Visit for free music from his sweet, super-secret Christian rock band.

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