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What would Jesus play? I mean, if he had an X-box? That's broadly the question which the reviews on this site attempt to address. It may seem obvious to the rest of us that games with a 'mature' rating aren't family-friendly, or that a game such as Doom 3, with a storyline entirely about demons from Hell, is a no-go zone. Ghostbusters is likely to be another, but these are just assumptions until someone has actually played the games and assessed them on behalf of their readers. Are there gray areas, games which have messages of peace whilst being superficially violent? Is the low level of morality in an adult game still acceptable due to some other redeeming feature?

Most reviewers tackle this pretty well, without slipping into moralizing themselves and simply rating the games according to a fairly rigid points system. You might take issue with some of the scales used; for example, a low-cut dress or a character sleeping in their underwear might not worry you, but still draw a points penalty from a reviewer more sensitive to the irreligious nature of these things. You might consider the implication that characters are living outside of wedlock to be insignificant in the modern world, and object to the number of points knocked off for their doubtful morality. In most cases, the reviewers temper their personal opinions, mark up their scores, and let you decide for yourself. I only found one reviewer who, after playing a mature-rated game known for extremes of all kinds for many hours, declared himself disgusted by it.

In the main, it's a worthy attempt to show games in a different light. You might laugh at a Christian struggling to avoid admitting that an ultra-violent shooter is actually quite fun, but at least they're attempting to tackle these thorny problems rather than sweeping them under the carpet. Do young Christian players enjoy GTA3 despite the gratuitous violence? Darn right they do, and the reviewer manages to find some positive family values even here. The Call of Duty series, though the soldiering depicted is hardly of the Onward Christian variety, is hugely popular and pretending it's not would be embarrassingly transparent.

Unfortunately most of the PC reviews are for older games, but the console game reviews aren't and neither is the site forum; that's very active, and gives you further insight into how Christian players comment about their own interests in these games. There is a 'shoot-em-up' topic, and notably the most-wanted games are all in some way related to violence and war.

Amongst the excited comment about Call of Duty, a lone member suggesting that a paintball game fulfils the same purpose whilst being family-friendly and educational, is very much a voice in the wilderness. But he's there, and nobody flames him for his contribution, which is a lot more than he could expect from the average gaming forum. Besides, he's almost certainly as close to answering the 'what would Jesus play' question as anyone can get here.

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