JB and I were recently interviewed for an upcoming article. As usual, there were the typical WhoWhatWhenHow questions, but it isn’t every writer who asks the more important question:
Once that question hits the table, I get riled up. I start talking faster and louder, and my hands start gesturing widely like my Italian grandfather’s. It gets me talking about ‘calling’ and ‘inspiration’ and ‘The Kingdom.’ If you let me ramble, and this gentleman did, I’ll start using military metaphors and words like ‘infiltrate’ and ‘mission.’ Whatever else the listener has gleaned at this point, they certainly have an answer…and an insight into Soma Games that they probably didn’t expect.
As I mentioned, most people don’t get to ‘why.’ As a result, I don’t usually answer it outside of private conversations. But the possibility that some or all of my interview rant could show up ‘in the wild’ made me realize I’ve never really shared that part of the Soma Culture with our FanFriends. Today seems like a good time to change that.
To be brief…
- Soma Games is infiltrating the video game industry specifically, and the entertainment industry in general, to bring some Spirit where it’s pretty clearly missing.
- We do this by offering our strength and encouragement, and our best efforts to be pioneers, thought-leaders and craftsmen.
- We hope to lead and inspire a vision of what we, as an industry, could do. Not wag our fingers in anybody’s face about what we should do.
- We’re not about domination, we’re about participation. And we know we must earn a seat at the table. No points are given, nor expected, for good intentions.
- We walk fully “in the world” by participating in the mainstream. But we will not be “of it” by being intimidated into keeping our mouths politely shut concerning our values and the things we hold dear.
To paraphrase “Wild at Heart“*…
We bring the full glory of our lives to the world… and let them deal with it.
It was sometime in the 30’s, and movies were quickly growing in popularity and cultural influence. An executive from a major studio wrote a letter to a prominent Bible college to say, “We desperately need Biblically trained, morally sound writers to come to Hollywood and write scripts.” His need was obvious – the appetite for new movies was mushrooming, and in the absence of the ‘right kind’ of stories, the ‘wrong kind’ would certainly fill the void.
But the university president’s response was shocking,
“I’d rather my students went directly to hell than to make Hollywood a step along the way.”
I honestly have no idea if the story is true, and frankly it’s not important, because the story illustrates an attitude that I know to be real, current, and pervasive.
Regardless of what others have done in the past or are doing now, we feel called to engage, to press in and bring the gifts we’ve been given to the arena of gaming, and to speak to our culture through entertainment. When we began, it seemed as though we were alone, but we quickly learned that it’s not the case. Folks like Q Ideas and AS1 have similar ideas. And by tapping the power of story as our weapon of choice, we’ve become part of a well-established movement. It’s nice to have company, but the truest reason we started down this road is because we heard a call, and we answered. From that day forward, it’s been a little like chasing a Wild Goose.
* Ironically, Soma Games would not exist were it not for John Eldredge and Bootcamp Northwest. But John has stated often how much he doesn’t get video games or why young men are drawn to them. That’s ok. He’ll come around – wont he Luke?