Gamechurch is a Christian gamers organization that has one message for the gaming community: Jesus Christ loves gamers. While some skeptics originally thought the organization would pull a Westboro Baptist Church and say gamers are all going to hell for playing video games, it turns out Gamechurch is simply about Christians who are gamers.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the so-called Gamergate controversy has divided the gaming community, with critics saying it’s a movement dedicated to attacking women, while supporters say it’s all about calling attention to the alleged lack of journalistic integrity in the gaming press.
Mikee Bridges is the head of Gamechurch, and last year he explained to Vice why he set up Gamechurch in the first place.
” I’ve been a Christian all my life and I don’t like American, Western Christianity. I don’t like the way we’ve portrayed Jesus, which is surrounded by guilt, shame, and judgment. Nowhere in (the Bible) does it say any of that stuff. I went from being a musician to being a promoter, and because of promoting, I had music venues, and in these music venues, I’d have a café or a lounge. I’d put some computers in there, and kids started gaming.”
Bridges is not your typical Christian. For starters, he’s covered in tattoos, and how often do you see Jesus portrayed as Ryu from Street Fighter by the average church? But what had a Eurogamer writer taking notice is that Gamechurch did not ask for anything in return when they were giving out free stuff at expos.
“Most Christians want something from you. I don’t. I really don’t. I want to give you something; if you want it, great, if you don’t want it, great – there’s nothing you can do for it. You can’t give me any money, you don’t have to change anything. I don’t care if you think you’re a sinner or bad – I’m probably worse. We just have that really simple message with zero attached to it. Take it or leave it. I don’t need anything. I’m doing what I think I’m supposed to be doing and that’s the end of it.”
Gamechurch is described as a place where even atheists are comfortable hanging out to talk about games. Bridges believes a large part of their success is that they’re not condemning gamers for what they play.
“It’s funny, we like to poke fun at ourselves, to de-construct what people think when you say ‘Christian’ or ‘Jesus’. They think ‘judgement’ and ‘oh he hates video games’ and ‘he hates us’ and ‘Jesus doesn’t love me’ and all that stuff. We’re trying to get rid of all that garbage. When I hear ‘Christian’ I cringe. If you’re not a Christian it must make you cringe. We’re trying to change that.”
If you hop on over to the Gamechurch Facebook community page, you will see a diverse set of links and articles. For example, they note that Bungie’s Destiny is kind of bland, but highlight how the heavily cooperative game has allowed families to come together. The Gamechurch website even gives their opinion on the Gamergate debate, highlighting how women have been driven from their homes over the controversy.
What do you think about Gamechurch?