CES: Christian gaming site offers morality scores
The founder of Gamechurch.com says he's actually not a big fan of the church. Still, his site gives morality scores to all titles.
As the doors to CES swung open, I rushed in looking for a technology that would save me, hopefully, from myself.
I thought I had found it within seconds.
For there was a large image of Jesus Christ who looked like he was gaming. I pushed past the peddlers and the half-naked dancing girls and headed straight to GameChurch.com's booth.
GameChurch's Doug Christensen was quick to anoint me with his pitch. He explained that GameChurch was a place for Christian gamers to get together and be themselves. Then he told me that the site reviews games and gives them "morality scores."
I asked him whether the more immoral games were, well, slightly more worshiped than the PG ones.
No, he said. But he felt that the more immoral ones were a little more popular with younger gaming converts.
I asked whether God was always on your side when you are gaming, or whether, when you lose, he is trying to tell you something.
Christensen told me: "Who you are as a person is nothing to do with who you are as a gamer." His favorite games, he insisted, are first-person shooters, in which, well, you have fun killing people.
A man in the corner, wearing a straw hat but not a preacher's smile, then told me he was Mikee Bridges, the founder of GameChurch. He explained that the site was funded by a secret donor, who prefers to remain nameless.
The site is still in beta and he said there's no business plan. This is a spiritual movement.
He said he's not a big fan of Christians or the church. Rather, "I just want you to know that Jesus loves you," Bridges told me.
The folks at GameChurch hold the solemn belief that Jesus Christ has been misrepresented by organized religion. Gaming is a way of getting like-minded organization-fearing Christians together.
As GameChurch's Josh Stachurski explained to me: "Religion tells you there's a certain way to live. We don't believe that. Jesus loves everyone." Which would include first-person shooters.
Bridges revealed to me that his site's approach to Christianity is mirrored in other slightly surprising areas: "We have a sister site over at the AVN 2011 porn convention. It's called XXXChurch.com. It's the No. 1 Christian porn site."
Naturally, I rushed back to my hotel and logged on to XXXChurch.com, wondering what on earth this site might contain. I'll let you seek it out yourself it you should so chose, but here was a headline I saw: "Porn addiction-sexual addiction treatment-masturbation addiction recovery and support."
He's very clever, that Mikee Bridges.