To be honest, I really didn’t feel like writing this article. At all.
To be honest, I rarely feel like writing any articles these days. I see less and less point to what I do, but, a handful of readers ask me frequently to keep running with the torch, so it’s in my hand again.
I don’t care about E3 this year. I already knew that I wouldn’t. I’d hope that more Christians would feel the same way, but, my experiences with my independent publishing have shown me that perhaps I hope in vain.
I’m still indie for my works, because Christian publishing houses say I’m too out there (you have violence and cursing and you come across as too negative about the church and you discuss taboo topics like alternative lifestyles and you make the traditional church uncomfortable!), while non-Christian, or Worldly, publishing houses say I’m not out there enough (you need to have graphic sex scenes, you need to have the majority of your cast be LGBTQ, you need to stop talking about God, if you don’t pander we won’t publish you).
I’m sitting on three completed novels that I don’t feel like releasing right now, and over 200 original songs that I don’t feel like releasing either. These days I don’t write “for publishing” novels anymore, I write “for fun” novels, stories where I weave whatever narrative I please in whatever fashion I feel like without prettying them up for public consumption.
We live in an unprecedented era of hostility towards Christianity, and an unparalleled era of the perversion of original works. Did you know that the game “Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers” was titled “Shin Sangoku Musou: Eiketsuden” in Japan? Eiketsuden means “Legend of a Brave Hero”. Not unlike how Sengoku Basara became Devil Kings in America, the American marketing team functioned off of the tried and true that media sells better in America if it slams Christianity, promotes demon power, and is deviant in some manner.
Did you know titles like Earthbound had Christian protagonists that were removed when the games were brought to the west? Did you know that in Xenogears the last boss was called Yahwei originally, but they changed it at the last minute?
There was a time where a game like Bayonetta wouldn’t have been made. I marvel at how people tell me “You’re an idiot, Bayonetta isn’t anti-christian!”
So…the game where you’re a stripper witch who kills angels, is purported to have done things that Christ did like die and rise miraculously in three days, and who at the end of her game kills a God and Jesus stand in, isn’t anti-Christian? Really?
El Shaddai, a game that says Lucifer is actually a hero, is getting a sequel that will no doubt be popular. Persona 5 ends with you turning into Lucifer, professing Satan as the ultimate power to win the day.
I look at the E3 announcements, and here’s the part where I expect anyone who was still reading with the capacity to be a rational human being to check that rationality at the door. I hear the words “inclusive” and “equality” thrown around all the time, but what I see is preferential treatment. Whether it’s in a comic book, tv show, anime or video game, when the word “inclusive” is used, what it actually means is “girls are gonna kiss”.
Don’t poop your pants with rage, I have more to say. Or, if you already pooped your pants, go change them and come back. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Are you back? Did you wash your hands? You good? Good.
Because here’s the thing. My outlook on all of this is a bit different that what you’d expect. Yup, I’m a minister, and yup that means most of you are going to stop reading with any shred of rationality because this issue is polarized because hey, guess what, people want it to be.
Because when any issue is polarized, it’s good for that sweet sweet green stuff. Unity doesn’t make money; controversy does. Whether it’s race, gun safety or alternative lifestyles, as long as there are extremes there is money to be made.
I get so tired of typing my outlook, my “credentials” as it were, but if I don’t people make all manner of silly assumptions. I open discussions with a simple question. Did you come here to have an intelligent discourse, or are you here to be mad and pick a fight? If it’s the former, let’s discuss. If it’s the latter, fine, I’ll still talk, just know that I only half care about the outcome.
It’s unpopular in our Alastair Crowley fueled “you are your own god, do whatever you wish, that is the only law that need be satisfied. Whatever is pleasurable is good” society, but if you profess the faith you don’t pick and choose what parts you follow.
That means that yes, you believe homosexuality is a sin (don’t stop reading), but you also comprehend the fact that Christ said love everyone regardless of their sin and treat them like a decent human being.
To that end, Life is Strange, Blue Reflection, probably the new Uncharted, The Last Night, Andromeda, Horizon: Zero Dawn and more. That’s your franchise, do with it what you will. I’m not gonna rush out and buy them, I’m not gonna support the games, but that’s your jam. That’s what those teams wanted to create. Cool.
Just, don’t tell me you’re making an “all inclusive game”, just be real and say you’re following the market trends. Or hey, maybe that’s just the story you wanted to write. That’s cool too.
My upcoming novel “In Defense of the Heart” has two gay couples among the main leads. I’ve seen “Moonlight” four times. If you truly have a story to tell, a real story to tell, then cool. Because I also believe that you can’t meet someone as a human being if you don’t pull your head out and get to know what they’re going through.
But that goes both ways. If Mass Effect was meant to be “all inclusive”, then why was the only Christian a bigot and a racist? If The Last of Us was meant to be all inclusive, why did we get our “Where’s your God now?” moments but no positive Christians? If Horizon: Zero Dawn was meant to be about equality, why did we get a narrative that said the world is bad because men and religion made it that way?
My point is this: sometimes it sucks to be a Christian. I loved Persona 3 and 4, but 5? Where I have to be Satan to win? I have to pass. Alternatively I can enjoy God of War because it’s narrative is about tearing down a corrupt pantheon and fighting for redemption.
I don’t watch most super hero shows, because my issue is pandering in whatever form it takes. I also loved Moonlight and Secret Garden because each (one a solely gay story, the other who used a gay protagonist to tell a story that was about loneliness) because they told stories, they didn’t exist to make pander dollars.
And I know that the majority of you either stopped reading early, or read to the end but decided to stay mad, but the point truly is this: If your goal is equality, that has to run both ways. You have to respect that I don’t agree with your lifestyle, but I love and respect you. And, you also have to respect that if as a developer you say your game is about equality but it’s about “This makes money right now” or it’s about preferential treatment, I won’t buy it.
Just like how I won’t be buying the new Super Smash Brothers if Bayonetta is part of the main roster. Because I love the sinner, but I won’t throw money at the sin.
If you want to have a rational, intelligent discussion, comment below. If you want to run in and rage, just know your comments will be ignored. However, if you truly, truly want a more equal world, understand that means calmly and rationally discussing with calm and rational people.