It seems that everywhere you look these days there is a screen. We live in a world of constant exposure to media messages, and much of it, we could do without. Parents, in particular, understand the challenges of protecting their children from unwelcome images and ideas, often delivered through the supposedly innocent means of entertainment.
Today, it’s more important than ever that we remain aware of how the films, music, and games we engage with shape our hearts and minds. That’s why, after seven years running tech companies in Silicon Valley, I founded Lightside, which has in a short time become the world’s #1 creator of Christian games.
Despite our success, the gaming world remains nearly void of quality Christian content, While the music and book industries has long embraced talented Christian artists, and faith-oriented films are attracting bigger budgets and larger audiences, gaming is another story.
You may not consider yourself a “gamer,” yet, with more than 600 million people worldwide playing mobile games today, you might know more gamers than you think. And with so many people partaking in game culture, the potential impact of games—for good or evil—is huge.
You don’t have to go far to find examples of gaming’s negative impact on our kids, friends, and families. Take a look at the Apple App Store: nearly one third of its top 100 grossing games contain dark content, including gratuitous violence, gambling, and sexual themes. This dearth of uplifting games inspired my company’s mission to deliver high-quality gaming experiences that present gospel themes in inspiring, authentic, and enjoyable ways.
At Lightside, we believe God created entertainment to enrich human life with truth, goodness, and beauty. And we’ve been continuously amazed at the way God has used our work. One woman wrote us to say, “I’ve been unemployed for a while now. Having [your]game and the community around me really keeps me going.” Another said, “I thought I knew a lot about Jesus, but when I started playing the games, I started learning so many things I never knew… I have begun craving, wanting the knowledge of the Bible—so [much so]that I picked the Bible back up.”
Perhaps most satisfying have been the more than 16,000 people who have made decisions for Christ by playing our games, thanks to a partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Our latest release is a joyful puzzle game called Stained Glass, featuring the #1 hit song “Oceans” by Hillsong United. National Christian leaders have called it “the most powerful content in the App Store today,” which is partly a testament to the Apple award-winning designers behind it, but also a witness to the beautiful manner in which the game presents God’s story.
Moms from more than 100 countries are among the seven million people who have played our games and brought light to a world in need. The “Play in the Light” movement is growing. Join us and send a message to the entertainment industry that Christian voices matter, even in gaming.
Copyright 2015 Brent Dusing.