Baby, musings, video games

Baby girl has been kicking up a storm – enough to keep Jaimie from sleeping some nights. She’s also gotten what seems quite large, but apparently she’s about to kick off a growth spurt. Between now and the end of the pregnancy, she will triple or even quadruple in size. That’s frankly mind-blowing, as is most of pregnancy. There is, you know, a person growing in there.

I’ve always been deeply opposed to abortion on scriptural and philosophical grounds. Watching Jaimie go through pregnancy and grappling with my own fatherhood has experientially cemented those convictions. I am a father now. Not when our little girl is born; right now. I have watched friends grieve the loss of an unborn child just as they would the loss of one who had been born. The folly of our culture – its inane belief that the parents can decide whether the distinct human being growing is in fact a person or just a blob of tissue – has never been more profoundly abhorrent to me.

I should immediately clarify: I do not think those who have had abortions are moral monsters. I do think they have been tragically misled into committing a horrid act under the pretense that it is morally neutral. We in the church ought to do a better job of offering the comfort and aid of the gospel – every sin forgiven and paid for in the work of Christ – and remembering that though the culture wars may be fought, we should seek to minimize civilian casualties.

On a less serious note, Jaimie and I are eagerly awaiting the release of Mass Effect 3, the epic conclusion to a video game trilogy we both love. I have the rare blessing of a wife who enjoys watching me play video games as much as I enjoy playing them. (Truth be told, she might enjoy watching more than I enjoy playing.) I’ve been amused to see how advertising of games has developed over the last few years, and indeed how the presentation of the games has changed. When the first game in this trilogy came out, the public marketing was relatively restrained, and the game began much like a traditional video game, though with a hint of cinematic influence. The second game had some TV promotion and made an overt step to display its titles just as if opening a movie. This third game has seen 3-minute long cinematic trailers in the vein of movie trailers, and I have no doubt it will present itself in the vein of a serious action movie in many ways.

I find the development of the gaming world fascinating. A decade ago, games were considered the province of nerds only. Sometime in the intervening span, that perception began to shift. I credit three factors. First, the maturation of the game industry itself: developers have taken an increasing interest in constructing their characters and stories in a more approachable way. Jaimie likes watching me play because the games are interesting fiction. Second, the explosion of smartphones, led by the ubiquitous iPhone, has led to a much wider audience for games in general. Think Angry Birds and the many other wildly successful games. These many not be the massive titles “gamers” play, but when any grandmother may be playing a video game (whether she thinks of it that way or not), the world has changed. Finally, it has simply become untenable to think of games as an out-there phenomenon when blockbuster games regularly outperform blockbuster movies financially. The biggest entertainment releases of the last half decade have all been games.

I’ll be curious to see what the world of entertainment looks like in another decade, in any case.

And with that, I’m done rambling for now.


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