Rather than write off as childish one of the most influential popular culture phenomena ever, Detweiler (Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century) assembles a savvy group of experts to explore the spiritual and theological implications of video gaming. Those not familiar with the contemporary scene will be amazed to discover how far video games have evolved since the days of Pac Man and Space Invaders. Video games, as a number of these scholars point out, have integrated a narrative aspect that is fascinating and complexÂthe characters have literally become three-dimensional. Some of the other important issues raised include the power of gaming to build virtual communities, the ways games can help children develop virtues, and the myriad ways religion is portrayed. Especially compelling is an examination of how Muslims are characterized in games. These essayists are fans who lovingly approach and reproach video games, and they earnestly hope that all who pick up a joystick will reflect on the spiritual possibilities. (Feb.)
--Publishers Weekly, January 11, 2010
"Every parent, every gamer, every pastor needs to get Craig Detweiler's superb collection of essays ASAP. Your ability to connect to a digital culture depends on it." Leonard Sweet, Professor of Evangelism at Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey; and Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon
"Detweiler moves beyond the tired debate of whether video games are good or evil, probing a deeper, more interesting question: Where is God in the world of games?" David Thomas, author of "Video Game Reviews," distributed by King Features Syndicate. He teaches critical video game theory at the University of Colorado, Denver.
"Detweiler and company add gaming to the growing field of religion and media studies. This ground-breaking book includes spirituality, ethics, and theology in an analytic toolkit designed for parents and players as well as scholars and seekers." Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the USC Annenberg School for Communication
"As humanity becomes increasingly enmeshed with the interactive and the digital, we will need our spirit guides. Read this book to develop a balanced and informed sense of the way that the Spirit and the Game are starting to interact." Edward Castronova, Associate Professor and Director of the Synthetic Worlds Initiative at Indiana University,and cofounder of terranova.blogs.com