Would Jesus be a Gamer?
It’s 9:00 in the evening. Jesus and his twelve closest friends walk through the door of their hostel fatigued and drenched from the rain, yet content. They feel happy to have spread the word of God to so many people today but their minds still stray to the pain, sick, and evil that they have witnessed. They talk quietly among themselves as they make their way down the long corridor that leads to the rec room. They breathe a simultaneous sigh of relief as they round the corner and realize there are only a few other residents in the room; they sit down comfortably along the large sectional sofa that faces the entertainment center.
Jesus picks up the remote and begins flicking through the channels: a news station highlights war and famine in third world countries; a drama makes light of the main characters’ adulterous affairs; a comedy finds it necessary to curse and make vulgar suggestions in every line of dialogue in order to provoke laughs. With a grimace, He sets it back down. Was there no way for He and His friends to enjoy a laid back evening together without being bombarded with all the issues that they had dealt with all day? Just as the group prepares to separate for the night – some may read, others may play cards, and still others may head downstairs to the small gym – Jesus spots a video game console tucked beside the television.
“Wait,” He begins with a grin as the others slowly start to saunter away. “I have an idea”.
If Jesus had lived in our times instead of his own, just how unlikely is the above situation? Is it at all possible? Would Jesus be a gamer? I’d like to think he would.
Jesus is the Son of God, but He is also human. And as a human, he would have needed downtime just like the rest of us – maybe even more. As we see something that breaks our hearts, it must have been even more heartbreaking for Him because His love is so much stronger than ours. As we feel exhausted or overwhelmed with our daily lives, He must have felt even more pressure knowing that the fate of our souls lay in His hands. He would have had ways to unwind, relax, and enjoy Himself like any other human. Do we really expect that His entire life was spent only doing His work, with never a single second to spare? We shouldn’t! The Bible tells us that Jesus grew to manhood like any other boy would have. He would have enjoyed fun and games as much as any other person.
If video games had been available to Him, why wouldn’t He play them? I’m not saying that He would have been obsessed with them – running to His dark basement every chance He could get to escape reality and jump into the virtual world, as Mary sighed and wished He would go outside and get a little more fresh air – but if He had grown up in our time, they would have been a common (and FUN!) way to relax and play with friends. Jesus wasn’t a typical, old school prophet; He was a radical leader. He wasn’t just “with” the times, He was ahead of them. Not only would He have enjoyed the new video game media, He would have used it to His advantage.
Obviously Jesus wouldn’t have played just any game; He would have some serious standards. Games that promote and endorse evil or immorality would certainly have been out of the question, but He would still have other options. From the classics like Super Mario Bros. to contemporary Good vs. Evil battles, He would have had plenty to play. And think of how amazing He would have been! One minute He could be gracefully out-dancing His peers on DDR, and the next they would be staring in awe as He walked across the lake in Wii Golf to complete a shortcut that earned him a double birdie.
When it came to war or MMORPGs, He would be unmatched; His wisdom and patience beyond that of any other human would just be the beginning. Who would dare challenge the clan who has a Leader so incredibly powerful, and so incredibly devoted that He would die for any one of His comrades? I’d say after the tenth time of losing to said clan – who refuse to brag even after they defeat you more easily than you ever thought possible, and who has a Leader that only offers mercy and a chance to join them instead – you’d be thinking Who is this Jesus? And how does He have such serious pwnage?
I could go on about my theories on how Jesus would game, but the bottom line is that He would game. He would game because He’s human, and humans generally enjoy gaming downtime. He would game to be part of such an important and powerful media in order to reach others. But most of all He would game because He’s fun, and He likes to have fun with His children.
But since Jesus doesn’t game, we should remember that we are His ambassadors in that virtual world. We represent Him every time we turn on our consoles and others are there to witness. So let’s pwn with class and make Him proud while we play
This commentary was originally written September 16, 2008 by Aoife.