The Thin Line Between Faith and Stupid

One of my favorite lines to (mis)quote is from This is Spinal Tap: “there’s a fine line between clever and stupid.”

Today I’m thinking about the fine line between faithful and stubborn.

We had a dismal Q1 around here and when I say “dismal” I mean something like the “Oh wow. There’s a good chance we won’t survive this” kind of dismal. Between scuttlebutt and news stories I know we weren’t nearly alone on that, plenty of folks saw the same kind of sudden contraction we did, but really that’s beside the point.

When you find yourself in a place that makes you wonder if the thing you’ve dedicated your heart and soul to for several years is about to die it makes you look at things in a rather stark light. You start asking yourself troubling questions like:
Did I make a huge mistake?
What did I do wrong?
Was all my effort a waste of time?

Gaming for Good

One of the best streams we’ve been able to swim in over the last year has been the growing conversation called “Gaming for Good” or “Serious Play.” in that vein I had the honor of speaking at Serious Play in Seattle, the NRB conference in Nashville and now we’re scheduled to speak at Casual Connect…

Keys To Your Calling

This Saturday I had the great honor of being the commencement speaker for the mid-year graduation at George Fox University (my alma mater BTW). It was very uncharacteristic of me but I wound up writing the whole thing out whee I always just go on outline notes. For some reason this one didn’t come out that way. Anyway, the text of what I wrote is below and we’ll post the video as soon as its available. (though you’ll see i drift from my own notes quite a bit…)

The Keys To Your Calling
For GFU commencement Dec 17, 2011

I remember this moment very clearly though I’m not certain how old I was – probably about ten.

I was lying on my stomach on the living room floor and the family was watching CHiPs.
At some point a commercial came on and I saw something that totally captured me – a computer generated 3D model of a corporate logo spinning in nothingness. It was as if I was a space ship grazing a massive chrome artifact in deep space – and I was so hooked. I made up my mind right there that I wanted to be a computer graphics animator. I told my folks, then and there, what I would be doing with my life and they smiled politely…but not exactly enthusiastically.

Through school plenty of interests flared up and receded, always fascinating in their time, but by graduation time I was still fixed on CG as a career. So I started junior college with that field in mind and I was very excited. One day I sat down for lunch and struck up a conversation with the guy next to me…”what’s your major?” he asked.
“I want to be a computer animator!” I beamed.
He looked me straight in the eye and said “why would you want to do that? That must be the most boring, tedious job I can imagine?”

…I was crushed.
I’d been going so far on pure enthusiasm. I really didn’t know anything about the actual work of CG. For all I knew he was right. And for lack of knowledge I believed him.
..and my spirit died. Or at least went off for a long winter’s nap.

A Return to Beauty

As I was driving to work this morning I looked out and saw a wetland. The rising sun was reflecting off the surface and little islands and peninsulas of reeds broke the water up into seas, rivers and tributaries. As I watched, a massive flock of birds took to the air, leaving the earth in…

God Games Never Sell – NOT!

Journey of MosesThe last session of CGDC this year was a roundtable discussion that opened with Mark Soderwall’s observation that where faith-laden works had made real headway in movies and books, when it came to games Christian content had scored a “big Goose Egg.” Now to be fair, Mark’s assertion was not accepted by all the members as accurate but I certainly agree that from the purely ‘sales=success’ metric used in basically any other conversation on a game’s success then we ought to be candid in saying that even the best-selling Christian games have come far, far short of ┬ásecular games we’d call hits…but perhaps that’s a’changing.

Hexify recently released their hit Facebook game Journey of Moses as the first Bible-based game on the platform – and its success has been self-evident. A whole raft of articles have been written in both religious outlets like the Christian Post but also secular sites including CNN, Inside Social Games, and One News Now. But press coverage is one thing – what’s really impressive is the game’s track record. On October 4th Hexify released some ground breaking news:

Journey of Moses had surpassed 1 million users in just 8 weeks!

I had the chance to have an informal interview with Brent Dusing* of Hexify to discuss some of the less-publicized aspects of the game. His insights should be of interest to anyone thinking about adding religious content to their video games but it should be of particular interest to the folks who want to add God to the game and ALSO make a profit.

Minecraft Moodiness

I was playing Minecraft with my son the other day and we were exploring a cave. As always there is the anxious advance-n-light process of posting torches around vacant spaces while you try to be prepared for a lurking creeper or skely. But at one point we turned a corner and found our first abandoned…