Garden of Good & Pixel

February 17, 2013

A few days ago, I came across an article from a man reviewing Minecraft who went into severe detail explaining how it was a representation of the Bible. Allow me to–since I shall not be linking it for obvious reasons–give you this quote from said article:

“One of the central lessons comes when the player realizes that the most important thing to craft in the game are torches. Demons can spawn anywhere there is darkness, like at night or in caves. Torches keep this from happening, conveying the importance of light in a dark world. This makes the player more receptive to the good news that Jesus is the light: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46) and “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).”

Yeah, that’s a real quote. Someone actually wrote that with legitimate belief. Now, I’d like to state for the record that I am not against anyone’s religious beliefs. Hey, if believing in something makes you feel better or makes you happier in your life, awesome. I’m glad for you, so long as you don’t use that belief to shove hurtful agendas on other people. No, this isn’t about attacking someone’s religious beliefs. This is about claiming things that aren’t there.

The Blame Game

Games have been scapegoats for violence for a while now, just as heavy metal was in the 90’s. We just had to change it to gaming because we need a new scapegoat every generation or so, so we don’t have to blame ourselves for our downfalls in society. Minecraft obviously has never been attacked for “violence”. Most of the games attacked for violence are things like Call of Duty or other generic shooters, games that promote heavily killing in game and use of powerful weapons, games that are said to “desensitize us” to actual violence. While I think this is bullshit, and people should just take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming something, Minecraft has never been one of those games.

And why would it? How would you even go about that; especially now with the addition of potions and enchantments? It’d be like blaming World of Warcraft (WoW) for real world violence.

“My son wasn’t a violent person, but then he started playing WoW, and now he’s running around school shouting various spells at people and waving a stick around.”

Yeah, you just sound stupid. Your kid is about as violent as a Salmon. On the other hand, there was a case where a Norwegian kid saves his sister from a Moose using skills he learned in WoW.

So yes, I’ve heard games being blamed for real world violence, but this is the first time I’ve heard a game being praised for its “religious” overtones. This isn’t true; this is subjective nature of reality. Art itself is subjective, and we all take something different from it. You put a man in a room with Minecraft and he’ll see a statement about big world industry ruining the environment and our beautiful landscapes. The 2nd man will see a video game. It just depends. So this man’s article isn’t right, it’s his view on what he came away with. Minecraft is in no way religious.

Black Magic, Drugs and Weird Math

But, I’d let this go if he didn’t add this:

“The game’s now under the control of a guy named Jeb Bergensten. Since Jeb was hired last year by Notch to help out with development, he has been adding all sorts of questionable content, like occultic “enchantments” of weapons using the captured souls of demons, and drug labs that let you brew amphetamine-like drinks. Now he’s been put in charge of the game and Notch is no longer allowed to work on it. Is Notch OK? His Twitter account, which is probably under the control of Mojang, is filled with all sorts of strange messages that sound like the fake Notches mentioned above, with Atheist stuff and.. weird math or something. Did anti- Christians realize the threat that Minecraft posed to their hold on the mainstream game industry and seize control to pervert the true meaning of Minecraft? If anyone can contact Notch, the real Notch, please find out what is going on.. and please pray that he is OK!”

jesus facepalmThis man is allowed to have any take on the game that he pleases, obviously, as we all are, but by adding this little bit at the end he’s no more of a hypocrite than an Atheist who claims Minecraft is now religious would be. It’s not enough to try and force a belief–one that clearly isn’t there–on a video game, but then to attack someone else’s beliefs (people who probably don’t even talk to this man or ever speak about his religion). It makes no sense, and it just made me realize that what I was reading had turned into a man’s take on a game into pure unadulterated madness. I’m fine with people taking what they want from art, and I’m fine with it being religious if that’s what they see, what I’m NOT fine with is saying other peoples beliefs are stupid. I tolerated his view, he needs to tolerate others.

Minecraft is a video game, plain and simple. To some people it may have a theme and to others it won’t. But let’s just agree on one thing, yeah? Let’s all just agree to admit that unless stated by the creator, nothing has a message, and we all just create those messages ourselves. You don’t have to attach meaning to every single thing in the world.

Just play the game.

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