Microsoft’s “Halo” used to get kids an eternal halo

Interesting article in the NY Times about the phenomenon of Protestant churches using the video game Halo—in which the goal is to kill as much as possible—as an evangelization tool. At first I thought, why not? They already have the jumbotron TVs in every church. May as well use them on weekdays, too.

But seriously, as the article notes, this does seem to raise a legitimate question. How far is it advisable for a church to go to be considered “relevant” to youth (or to adults, for that matter)? Must they find exactly the same thing in church they find in the world at large? Someone in the article says that just because something draws teens into church doesn’t automatically mean it’s a good idea—and cites booze and porn as examples. Another claims that Halo is a necessary tool, because kids don’t play sports as much anymore. Perhaps, though, video games are more a cause of this, than a consequence? Maybe? I remember going to mid-week youth night at Concordia Lutheran. I was the biggest video game fan on earth, but still loved running around outside, going crazy. Might it be that the current crop of youth pastors have a Halo addiction? And are simply making a virtue of necessity? “Let’s see . . . gotta work at church on Wednesday night, which will cut into my Halo time—I know! Let’s bring Halo to church!”

Oh—and one guy is quoted as saying that playing Halo at church is “no different than camping.” Uh huh. Except for with Halo, you’re indoors rather than outdoors; Halo requires electricity and camping doesn’t; pizza places don’t deliver to campsites; and so forth. They’re virtually identical! What he means is that getting together with friends is getting together with friends, no matter what the place or circumstances. But this is really lame. A better analogy is that, if you are under 17, playing Halo at church is like getting someone to buy you and your friends beer. If you’re under 17 you are too young to legally purchase Halo or beer. (Problems with this analogy, of course, but it holds up better than the “camping” one.)

I’m not against Halo (I’m kinda hoping Joe rigs another Halo Nite!) but my gut feeling is that church is not the right place for that kind of entertainment. I wonder whether the Jews, Muslims, or Orthodox or Catholic Christians are doing anything similar. Or, if not, why this is a peculiarly Protestant trend.

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Microsoft’s “Halo” used to get kids an eternal halo”

  1. Video Games » Microsoft’s “Halo” used to get kids an eternal halo Says:

    […] comhrá wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptInteresting article in the NY Times about the phenomenon of Protestant churches using the video game Halo—in which the goal is to kill as much as possible—as an evangelization tool. At first I thought, why not? … […]

  2. Jon Says:

    I don’t think it is a trend. I think it’s an anomaly that someone considered newsworthy for obvious reasons.

  3. microsoft » Microsoft’s “Halo” used to get kids an eternal halo Says:

    […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptInteresting article in the NY Times about the phenomenon of Protestant churches using the video game Halo—in which the goal is to kill as much as possible—as an evangelization tool. At first I thought, why not? … […]

  4. Curly Says:

    Of course the news likes any kind of conflict, and they like showing internal discord, especially in Christian bodies, so when they saw intra-church debates over Halo they thought it was gold. Plus, the recent release of Halo 3 makes this an opportune time to talk about this.

    But they do say that “hundreds” of churches are doing this. This had to have been going on for some time, no? Makes me wonder what counts as trend and what as anomaly.

  5. Joe Says:

    I think utilizing the Church big screen after hours for a bit of Halo is cool, but using it like they are is weird. Halo is a war game, albeit a fantasy-like one with aliens, it’s still war. I’m not sure how they’re getting past the violence. That camping analogy was great!

    And the next Halo Nite is set for Nov 3rd if you’re in town! There will be green screen anitcs. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: