God calls us in whatever we do, that we do it with all our might and for the glory of God.
Here in the Digital Entertainment Technology major and as representatives of Abilene Christian University, we value incorporating our values into the games that we make and the working environments that we are called to serve in. Within the confines of game creation or virtual production, especially working for a big company, it can be daunting for the individual Christian to overcome the culture that is proliferating around us. The ways that we can contribute to the media that circulates comes in a variety of forms.
First and foremost, remember that you aren’t alone in the industry. There are plenty of Christians in the creative realms of digital media. Since media is so prolific in today’s society, we should in fact seek places that contain such high influence on our culture today as Christians. We are called to not ignore or even rewrite the culture that we inevitably have to live in, but instead be the counter cultural piece that can turn things for good.
As it was with the story of Onesimus who was the fugitive slave of Philemon: Onesimus ran to Paul, whom Philemon held in a high regard. Instead of Paul telling Philemon that he should free Onesimus from being a slave (even as our current culture might wish that to be the case), Paul took into consideration the culture of the time (which was a hierarchy that essentially protected the underclasses as property underneath the master or head of a household) and wrote to Philemon to take Onesimus back as a brother in Christ and to treat him as such. So Paul chose to help change the way that Philemon viewed Onesimus instead of single-handedly abolishing the entire hierarchy of slave ownership with a letter. Paul cannot change the culture and the structure that has been built up for centuries, but he can counter some of it. As can we, and here are a few ways how:
Create your own company: there are indie Christian creators out there in the world and you could be one of them! The great thing about Indie creation is that YOU control the content that you create. There are Bible story video games and films made by Indie companies, but there are also very lovely low key Christian creators that incorporate values into fun and creative games that can reach any audience. The subtle moral messages presented in games like these can be a way to share values with a much larger audience and have a much more welcoming open hand. Here are some Christian gaming companies for reference!
Creating the culture in a bigger company: if you are a part of a larger media company, chances are you probably aren’t calling the shots in the decision making processes of development. But as Christians, we can make differences just in the culture of the office. Showing love and kindness goes a long way in the industry, and earning respect comes from respecting and including others. These qualities are showing of good leadership. So if you become the light, people will follow. Earning a respected opinion will give you the chance to change and influence media for the better, and influence the lives of the people around you.
Creativity goes a long way: Create scripts that tell an amazing story; tell the stories you want to tell. When script writers or character designers create something that doesn’t spread positivity, come up with better solutions and blow the other ideas out of the water!
Character development: relatable, realistic characters that the average player can insert themselves into is one of the best ways to help the player or viewer to personally connect with your story.
Psychology and design: create stories that make you think deeper and care about the person in the story, value human life, and value treating others like you would like to be treated. Create intentionality and new perspectives with maybe some psychology that you learn. Things like level design, dialogue, character design can all be aspects that can be improved by the use of Psychology.
So whether it be for game development, virtual productions, or any genre of digital media, there is a place for you as a Christian.