Trained to Thrill?

Catechumen, the first Christian video game with a decent budget, is garnering praise from critics.
Swords, demons, minotaurs, and dungeons. Sounds uplifting, doesn't it?

Actually, for the thousands of Christians who love PC-based video games, it may be an answer to prayer. The Interactive Digital Software Association says 60 percent of all Americans purchase computer and video games. There are probably more Christian gamers out there than one might think, but they remain an uncounted segment. In 1999, the video-game industry (which includes computer games and their console counterparts, like Sony's PlayStation) pulled in $7.4 billion, about $697.5 million of which came from PC game sales.

Of the 215 million computer and video games sold in 1999, plenty were of the nonthreatening variety, including (according to research firm PC Data) the top three PC games of the year: Roller Coaster Tycoon, Sim City 3000, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. But shelf space at stores is overpopulated with dark and intense titles. Sure, many have been concerned about the most violent games, but until recently the makers of games like Unreal, Diablo, and Doom met little real opposition.

That all changed when two students stalked the halls of Columbine High School almost three years ago with rifles and trench coats. In the aftermath of the massacre, the boys' video and written memoirs indicated an obsessive love of Über-violent games like Doom and Quake. Hand-wringing turned to blame-sharing, and everything from the music of Nine Inch Nails and the movie The Matrix to video games spent some time under society's glare. Eventually the heat faded and the continued success of such games showed that interest in the genre had only increased. But some continued to stalk violent video games like the demon hunters so common to the genre.

One of these ...

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Trained to Thrill?
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