66: The Great Continue Screen in the Sky

"Your relationship with the arcade is honest. You give it more quarters, it allows you to continue breathing - honesty. But what about those quarters? The other day, I was pumping some into a machine across from a movie theater when I was struck by something: immortality. What does it all mean? Not life or the universe, but gaming in general." Tom Rhodes explores gaming's connection to the afterlife in "The Great Continue Screen in the Sky."

The Great Continue Screen in the Sky

And here we see the reverse side of the token. The mythology of games. Experiences which resonate from the human condition can, it seems, arise from nearly any background, if it is earnest enough.

I've often wondered how I've developed my view of the cosmos, and I'm sure my odd views which align themselves closest with Buddhism come from games like Zelda, as well as the old TV shows like Battle of the Planets and Monkey Magic.

Oh wow I loved monkey magic. MONKEY!

The point of the article was not to say that games can influence us to this degree, but that this is likely to be the next battleground in gaming, as things usually end up moving towards religion eventually. And also, of course, to look into games for things the creators and designers themselves believe. To compare games stateside vs. overseas, you can definitely tell there is a difference in plot, device, and mythology, which must stem from collective culture. Part of that shared culture is religious.

I kind of see the continue screen as having very capitalist overtones, the more money you have the more chances you have to finish the game , it's almost as if money can buy you anything - even life, I don't know if that makes home gaming communism though.

Also monkey pwns, I just bought a few dvd's of it, the music is great!

TheMonkeysAteMySoul:
I kind of see the continue screen as having very capitalist overtones, the more money you have the more chances you have to finish the game , it's almost as if money can buy you anything - even life, I don't know if that makes home gaming communism though.

Also monkey pwns, I just bought a few dvd's of it, the music is great!

Home gaming would only be communism if you could take lives from your buddy's pool during a co-op game. :p

I think piracy is more communistic. After all, home gaming is only communistic if the games are free, whereas publishers price them expecting you to play them consistently after that, rather than the few quarters you may drop in.

From each according to his bandwidth, to each according to his DVD burner?

You make me smile.

Home gaming would only be communism if you could take lives from your buddy's pool during a co-op game. :p

Reminds me of Super Smash Bros, where you can do that. Hrmm... I wonder...

The entire concept of this article is negligible, games are fiction, they influence us about religous decisions as much as books, films and music, the gaming medium is not individual in this area, and the other mediums have already pushed their way through, and left a clear path. This is going to become a "battleground" for the minority only.

I believe the difference between games and movies is irrelevant to the religion discussion... rather, certain religions are considered 'acceptable' to Christians, and others are not. Witches & Warlocks, Satanism, Voodoo... no matter the context, some Christians will object to them. But Buddhism, for some reason, does not bother most Christians.

I think it is partly because it is an eastern religion... Buddhism has rarely competed directly with Christianity, though Christianity has tried (and generally failed) to compete via missionaries.

Whether it is the age of Buddhism, the remoteness of it, or the ideology that makes Buddhism less offensive to Christians, I don't know. But I suspect a Buddhist book, game, or movie will receive less criticism or reactionary vitriol than an equivalent book, game, or movie featuring witches and wizards.

Myrddin

Matt:

Okay, if you wanted to look at it as entirely pointless, perhaps it's just pointing out another way to view and appreciate the games you play. Like I said in the article, I hadn't really thought about them that way until the article idea just popped into my head one day, so maybe it allowed others to see them differently as well.

Matt N:
The entire concept of this article is negligible, games are fiction, they influence us about religous decisions as much as books, films and music

Which is a tremendous deal!

How many people read "Da Vinci Code" and then started questioning the Catholic Church? There were actual documentaries made to uncover the 'truth' behind it.

How many people listen to Heavy Metal, and think it's preaching the devils word and hence evil?

How many people think of God as being quite similar to George Burns in "Oh God!" ?

Thanks, FunkyJ, and indeed you're right!

Speaking of which, here comes this story from Ragnar Tornquist's blog (creator of The Longest Journey and Dreamfall):

"Funny thing with the player feedback for Dreamfall was - still is - how passionate the comments were. There were lovers and there were haters, and there were people on the fence, but common to all the comments I've read and the mails I've received was the passion. The game obviously made people feel something, and that, to me, was the best response I could have asked for. I remember reading about this one woman who turned to religion because of the story - because of the theme, about how important it is to believe in something, to have faith. Whatever she felt about the mechanics, the game touched her in some deep and profound way, enough to actually change her life. How many times do you hear a story like that? How often does that happen?"

So there! N'yah.

;-)

 

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