Craig Detweiler's collection of up-to-the-minute essays on video games' theological themes (and yes, they do exist!) is an engaging and provocative book for gamers, parents, pastors, media scholars, and theologians--virtually anyone who has dared to consider the ramifications of modern society's obsession with video games and online media. Together, these essays take on an exploding genre in popular culture and interpret it through a refreshing and enlightening philosophical lens.
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Millions of users have taken up residence in virtual worlds, and in those worlds they find opportunities to revisit and rewrite their religious lives. Robert M. Geraci argues that virtual worlds and video games have become a locus for the satisfaction of religious needs, providing many users with devoted communities, opportunities for ethical reflection, a meaningful experience of history and human activity, and a sense of transcendence. Using interviews, surveys, and his own first-hand experience within the virtual worlds, Geraci shows how World of Warcraft and Second Life provide participants with the opportunity to rethink what it means to be religious in the contemporary world. Not all participants use virtual worlds for religious purposes, but many online residents use them to rearrange or replace religious practice as designers and users collaborate in the production of a new spiritual marketplace. Using World of Warcraft and Second Life as case studies, this book shows that many residents now use virtual worlds to re-imagine their traditions and work to restore them to "authentic" sanctity, or else replace religious institutions with virtual communities that provide meaning and purpose to human life. For some online residents, virtual worlds are even keys to a post-human future where technology can help us transcend mortal life. Geraci argues that World of Warcraft and Second Life are "virtually sacred" because they do religious work. They often do such work without regard for-and frequently in conflict with-traditional religious institutions and practices; ultimately they participate in our sacred landscape as outsiders, competitors, and collaborators.
Since the Doom series, First Person Shooter (FPS) videogames have ricocheted through the gaming community, often reaching outside that community to the wider public. While critics primarily lampoon FPSs for their aggressiveness and on-screen violence, gamers see something else. Halo is one of the greatest, most successful FPSs ever to grace the world of gaming. Although Halo is a FPS, it has a science-fiction storyline that draws from previous award-winning science fiction literature. It employs a game mechanic that limits the amount of weapons a player can carry to two, and a multiplayer element that has spawned websites like Red vs. Blue and games within the game created by players themselves. Halo’s unique and extraordinary features raise serious questions. Are campers really doing anything wrong? Does Halo’s music match the experience of the gamer? Would Plato have used Halo to train citizens to live an ethical life? What sort of Artificial Intelligence exists in Halo and how is it used? Can the player’s experience of war tell us anything about actual war? Is there meaning to Master Chief’s rough existence? How does it affect the player’s ego if she identifies too strongly with an aggressive character like Master Chief? Is Halo really science fiction? Can Halo be used for enlightenment-oriented thinking in the Buddhist sense? Does Halo's weapon limitation actually contribute to the depth of the gameplay? When we willingly play Halo only to die again and again, are we engaging in some sort of self-injurious behavior? What is expansive gameplay and how can it be informed by the philosophy of Michel Foucault? In what way does Halo’s post-apocalyptic paradigm force gamers to see themselves as agents of divine deliverance? What can Red vs. Blue teach us about personal identity? These questions are tackled by writers who are both Halo cognoscenti and active philosophers, with a foreword by renowned Halo fiction author Fred Van Lente and an afterword by leading games scholar and artist Roger Ngim.
Halo 4 is the next blockbuster installment in the iconic franchise that’s shaped entertainment history and defined a decade of gaming. Set almost five years after the events of Halo 3, Halo 4 takes the series in a bold new direction and sets the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga, in which the Master Chief returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. Inside our guide to Halo 4 you will find: - Full weapons guide. - Every single campaign mission. - How to find all of the Secret Terminals. - How to fight your way through the Spartan Ops Co-Op mode. - Forge Walkthrough. - Massive, in-depth multiplayer strategies for every single map. - Key multiplayer weapon load-outs and battle tactics. - Every Achievement and how to get them. - Comprehensive list of Easter Eggs and secrets. - Avatar Awards.
Today the world is literally at our fingertips. We can call, text, email, or post our status to friends and family on the go. We can carry countless games, music, and apps in our pocket. Yet it's easy to feel overwhelmed by access to so much information and exhausted from managing our online relationships and selves. Craig Detweiler, a nationally known writer and speaker on media issues, provides needed Christian perspective on navigating today's social media culture. He interacts with major symbols, or "iGods," of our distracted age--Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Pixar, YouTube, and Twitter--to investigate the impact of the technologies and cultural phenomena that drive us. Detweiler offers a historic look at where we've been and a prophetic look at where we're headed, helping us sort out the immediate from the eternal, the digital from the divine.
Selfies are ubiquitous. They can be silly or serious, casual or curated. Within moments, smart phone users can capture their image and post it across multiple social media platforms to a global audience. But do we truly understand the power of image in our image-saturated age? How can we seek God and care for each other in digital spaces? Craig Detweiler, a nationally known writer and speaker and an avid social media user, examines the selfie phenomenon, placing selfies within the long history of self-portraits in art, literature, and photography. He shows how self-portraits change our perspective of ourselves and each other in family dynamics, education, and discipleship. Challenging us to push past unhealthy obsessions with beauty, wealth, and fame, Detweiler helps us to develop a thoughtful, biblical perspective on selfies and social media and to put ourselves in proper relation to God and each other. He also explains the implications of social media for an emerging generation, making this book a useful conversation starter in homes, churches, and classrooms. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and a photo assignment for creating a selfie in response to the chapter.
The New York Times bestselling series based on the blockbuster Xbox® games! Centuries before the Human-Covenant War would rage across the galaxy, a similar conflict erupted between the Prophets and the Elites—two alien races at odds over the sacred artifacts left by the powerful Forerunners, who disappeared eons ago. Although they would eventually form a stable alliance called the Covenant, there are those on both sides who question this fateful union. From an Elite splinter group rebelling against the Covenant during the time of its founding...to a brave Prophet caught in the machinations of the new leadership...to the root of the betrayal that would ultimately shatter the Covenant many years later, this is the untold chapter of the most unexpected heroes emerging from a realm filled with shocking treachery and ceaseless wonder. Copyright © 2014 by Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Microsoft, Halo, the Halo logo, Xbox, and the Xbox logo are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.
With the Covenant War over, the Office of Naval Intelligence faces old grievances rising again to threaten Earth. The angry, bitter colonies, still with scores to settle from the insurrection put on hold for thirty years, now want justice—and so does a man whose life was torn apart by ONI when his daughter was abducted for the SPARTAN-II program. Black ops squad Kilo-Five find their loyalties tested beyond breaking point when the father of their Spartan comrade, still searching for the truth about her disappearance,prepares to glass Earth’s cities to get an answer. How far will Kilo-Five go to stop him? And will he be able to live with the truth when he finds it? The painful answer lies with a man long dead, and a conscience that still survives in the most unlikely, undiscovered place.