On February 1, Craig Detweiler, an associate professor at Pepperdine with a M.Div. degree from Fuller unveiled a fascinating mashup:  video games + theology.  He calls it Halos and Avatars:  Playing Video Games with God.

It looks like an interesting read, one in which Detweiler edits a cluster of chapters that cover the theological significance of gaming in an open-minded way.

From learning storytelling to contending with religious pluralism to encountering moral complexities in Grand Theft Auto, this one is sure to spark some provocative thoughts.

Pop Theology provides an interesting review of the book here.

If you’d like to find out more about Detweiler‘s particular combination of culture and faith, you might enjoy his blog, Dr. Film.  Here, the conversation typically covers politics, popular culture & film.

For an interview with Detweiler about Halos and Avatars:  Playing Video Games with God, watch this:

An Interview with Craig Detweiler, author of HALOS AND AVATARS from J. Ryan Parker on Vimeo.

Highlights of the video include implications about:

  • storytelling in gaming & how it can makes Christians nervous who have an understanding of a closed canon
  • Islamogaming as a way of reclaiming stereotypical characters so that they aren’t always the enemy
  • how gaming can challenge linear understandings of time & straight, progressive history (a la Run Lola Run)
  • using younger scholars to provide input to the book because of the way they are “closer to the ground”
  • gaming as a source of mediated religious community, rather than a cause of isolation
  • reframing of the notion “born again” when digital natives experience a sense  of being born again with each online persona they inhabit

These kinds of intersections (God and gaming, cinema culture and religion) are at the edges of faith and will be hot spots to watch in the next decade.