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Christ Centered Gamer Blog

This blog contains non-gaming related reviews and random ramblings

Transformers Prime finale Beast Hunters Predecons Rising

My son was excited that we finally got a sent a boy friendly bluray to review.  While he has not seen the Transformers TV show or movies, my husband and I are familiar with the movies.  We were happy to hear the familiar voice of Optimus Prime once again.  This movie introduces some new enemies that are threatening Cyberton and the autobots.  An alliance is formed between the Autobots, Decepticons and the Predacons to defeat the risen Zombicon army. There's plenty of action and clashing metal.  In the end, some tough decisions have to be made and a valuable lesson of self sacrifice is learned.  Any Transfromers fan will not want to miss out on seeing this finale.    

   

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Sofia the First helpful princess!

Disney princesses have been inspiring girls for a long time with their radiant beauty and grace.  Sofia has humble beginnings and is adopted into a royal family.  She wears a magical amulet that enables her to talk to animals.  While we can't relate to speaking with animals, we can understand Sofia's insecurities and we can learn many valuable lessons from her.  The Ready To Be A Princess collection has five episodes that teach lessons about lying, gossiping, keeping promises, kindness and overcoming your fears.  As a parent this is my favorite princess and my kids enjoyed the show as well.

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Regular Show Fright Pack - Frightfully Funny!

This was my family's first time watching the cartoon series Regular Show.  Rigby the Hyperactive raccoon and Mordecai a six-foot tall blue jay, are grounds keepers at a park and find their jobs incredibly dull.  They'll often make up games like roadkill bingo to make it fun or avoid their work altogether. Since this is a Halloween themed collection, there are many scary stories shared like the one about a possessed ventriloquist doll that desires to draw on it's owner's face.  My kids were more entertained than scared so I didn't have to worry about them getting nightmares or anything.  My kids now walk around jinxing themselves, fortunately without actually punching each other when they speak.  Like many cartoons there is violence and since this is a fright pack, references to zombies and the undead are plentiful.  When it comes to language there is one instance of "friggin" and one of the characters says "What the H!" without completing the word. Overall my family enjoyed this 176 minute bundle.  While the retail price is $19.82 I have seen it selling for $11 or less.    

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Super Buddies - Puppies with power!

The buddies are back and this time they're in for a galactic adventure!  While my family hasn't seen the previous Disney Buddies movies, my kids quickly fell in love with the talking puppies.   The movie begins with Budderball's owner, Bartleby, celebrating his 12th birthday with his friends and grandfather (John Ratzenberger).  While on a treasure hunt, the puppies stumble upon some rings that give them mysterious powers - Eerily similar to some rings mentioned in the Captain Canine comics.  Could this series be based on actual events? Real or not, the puppies learn some very important lessons including helping those in need despite how you feel about them, and that you don't need super powers to be a hero.  While those lessons are praise worthy, Super Buddies does portray the town's sheriff as a bumbling fool and there are some references to Buddhism.  There is plenty of humor and silliness that my kids enjoyed and the action kept them at the edge of their seats.  While I found the movie a bit over the top, my kids enjoyed it quite a bit.  I guess we'll have to catch up on the previous Buddies movies we've missed.    

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A divine dish - The Grilled Cheesus!

Today we got our Grilled Cheesus from http://www.grilledcheesus.com. It carries a $40 price tag, but some of the profits (not sure how much exactly) go toward charities that feed the hungry.  Here's what the unit looks like:

Operation is pretty straight forward; you have to let it heat up a bit.  If you want to have a sandwich with Jesus' face front and center, it can make one at a time.  If you don't mind a half blessing, you can cook two.  We pre-buttered our bread and put on our cheese and waited until both lights had an orange light to let us know it was done.  I'm not sure why the green side has an orange bulb in it, but it works.

Here's what the inside looks like.  It's pretty easy to clean; we just wiped ours off with a soapy rag.

Hallelujah!! Here's the finished product:

The kids and hubby approved of the look and taste of the sandwiches.  I'm sure we'll be blessed with many more Grilled Cheesus meals in our future.  

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I enjoyed my ride on the Red Line

 

While most Christian films are low budget and show it, Red Line has great special effects, actors and is quite the thrill ride.  Unlike other Christian films, this movie is not preachy or tacky.  While it does praise virtue, the message it's trying to share is the insecurity of today's subway systems.  Red Line is about a terrorist attack on a subway that blasts apart a train taking many lives in the explosion and impact.  The survivors are left to fend for themselves and doubt each other's intentions when they realize that the bomber is among them.    I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil anything.  This is a movie you have to experience for yourself.

http://www.redlinethefilm.com/

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Enervee ranks popular consoles by energy efficiency

The Enervee™ Score for Video Game Consoles is calculated based on performance per power consumption. Current models range from 4.58 to 36.70 performance (scaled) per kWh. This number is converted into an easy energy efficiency rating from 0 to 100 (best). For Gaming Consoles, the CPU, GPU, and system memory components have the biggest impact on energy efficiency.

1. Ouya 8GB     

 

2. PS3 SuperSlim 500GB

3. WiiU

4. Wii

5. Xbox 360 Slim 320GB

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My son is not a brony.

However...my two daughters really enjoyed My Little Pony Equestria Girls. The story teaches about the power of friendship as Twilight Sparkle ventures out to a new world and tries to reclaim her crown that was stolen from her in the Crystal Empire. The humor is good as Twilight Sparkle tries to adjust to becoming a human and fitting into a new school with human like versions of her pony friends. There's plenty of singing and dancing with catchy pop music and the voice acting is well done. The artwork is similar to the cartoon series which I'm sure my daughters will now want to see more of. If you have girls, they'll love this movie.

 

  

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A fun ride (on a pterodactyl)

I was recently sent a BluRay of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

While I'm not familiar with the books that this movie is based on, it does make me curious about them. Instead of introducing the main character (or plot) right away the movie starts off slowly by introducing the supporting characters and their roles in this early 1900's adventure. The special effects and visuals are top notch though I find many of the characters have exaggerated features. The audio is a mixed bag with the obvious dubbing and the narrators volume should have been normalized to make it blend in with the movie a bit more. The background music is enchanting and makes me wish I could understand the French lyrics. The voice acting is good and the English translation is spot on with swearing and all. The movie is rated PG and has some (fully clothed) passionate scenes and violence. Younger kids may get frightened with the walking and talking mummies, but those were the highlight of the film.

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Xbox One Revealed

Today Microsoft has revealed its upcoming console, the Xbox One.  Unlike the Wii U, it has the full support of Electronic Arts and will be launching with their popular sports games FIFA, NFL, UFC and NBA Live.  Forza Motorsport 5 will also be available on the system.  Last but not least, Call of Duty: Ghosts (at 60FPS!) will be making an appearance on this system.  The visuals look great and the system specs are impressive as well. The Xbox One will be sporting 8GB or RAM, USB 3.0 and a Blu-Ray drive.  Microsoft plans to launch 300,000 servers to crunch data real time to provide gamers with trending in games and TV shows and cloud storage space.  The system is very fast and switches between the home screen, games, movies and internet as fast as you can say it.  That's right, this system recognizes your voice and arm movements to enlarge windows or split the screen. Skype is now available and connecting with your friends is easier than ever.  The Xbox One can also use your cellphone as a remote to surf the web.  I'm curious is non-windows phones will be supported.  Time will tell, but this system does look impressive so far.    

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A Gamer's show and tell

Every week at my son’s preschool they have a show and tell for each letter of the alphabet.  Being the gamer geek that I am, a few of those weeks I sent him to school with a game box.  This week was the letter Z so he brought in the CD cover for Zork.   Needless to say it stood out from all of the zebras.  So looking over my game collection here’s some other possibilities…what are yours?  

A. Age of Empires series

B. Bit Trip Runner

C. Crayon Physics

D. Dance Dance Revolution

E. Elder Scrolls series

F. Flatout Series

G. Ghost Busters

H. Halo

I. In The Groove

J. Just Dance 3

K. Kid Icarus: Uprising

L. Little Big Planet

M. Mario Kart

N. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

O. Office Jerk

P. Portal

Q. Quantum Conundrum

R. Rayman Origins

S. Sonic Generations

T. Trackmania

U. Unreal series

V. VVVVV

W. Wario Ware series

X. Xenoblade Chronicles

Y. Yoshi

Z. Zork

 

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My kids are starting cook and to beat me at videogames

My seven year old got Cooking Mama for her birthday and we've all been playing that and have been doing cook-offs to see who can make the best dish.  While I have years of cooking experience, it doesn't make any difference in this title.  It was quite humbling to see that they could make better sandwiches than me.  Not to mention my failing at making rice.  I have since mastered sandwich (and rice) making but I have to actively play and practice to keep up with their scores.  Even though this experience has been humbling, it has been a great influence on my kids as they have been taking a greater interest in cooking and have started helping with mundane tasks like peeling and chopping carrots and potatoes (with supervision!).  This is a wonderful way to bond and teach kids how to cook.  Even if it involves getting whooped in Cooking Mama.     

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I doubt I'll buy another Nintendo product at launch again.

We have owned several Nintendo products going back to the NES.  Our house currently has 3 3DS', a DS Lite, A GBA, GBA SP, Gameboy, SNES, N64 and our latest acquisition, a Wii U deluxe.  While we didn't pre-order it, we did get it within a couple of weeks of its release.  We paid the full $350 price and I'm a little miffed to read they Nintendo is now offering a Zombi U edition of the console that includes the deluxe console with a pro controller, Zombie U, collector's book, and a digital download of Nintendo Land.  The retail price is set at $389.  An additional game and controller for $40? I want in on that deal.  I'm disappointed that  early adopters are getting the shaft here.  The ambassador program for the 3DS was a nice gesture after lowering the price of the unit.  What will Nintendo do to appease their upset fans now?  I think this will be the last time I buy a product of theirs on launch.  

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Gaming in Linux

I've been running Linux in one form or another on my systems since 2001 when Red Hat 7.1 came out. Since then, I have leaned towards Debian based distributions like Ubuntu or Mint. Linux is best known for being a free operating system alternative, especially for server environments, and a core component of Android. Now that Windows and Mac operating systems can be had for under $50 for desktop use, what does Linux bring to the table? A few examples are stability, flexibility, and open source alternatives to various office and multimedia suites. Gaming has never been its strong point. Humble Bundles have been great for Linux users since most of the games offered are multiplatform and have Linux installers. Many Linux versions have made their debut on the Humble Bundles. Even bigger news is that a beta version of Steam is now available. CrossOver, and its open source version Wine, has been making significant progress in improving Windows emulation. This allows popular Windows applications and games to run on Linux including Skyrim, Source Engine games (Left for Dead, Team Fortress 2, Portal), and Guild Wars 2. I thought I'd give it a go and see how Linux can play games in my Humble Bundle and Steam library, as well as check out Crossover since it was free for a day around Election Day. 

For Christmas I received a 2TB hard drive and that freed up a 500GB drive. I erased and installed a fresh copy of Linux Mint 14 KDE edition onto it. The install was painless and I now dual boot between Linux and Windows 8. Getting my ATI 7870 fully supported took some package manipulation, but it's now fully recognized when running commands like glxinfo and glxgears. Unfortunately, my results vary and I run into bugs regularly. Nvidia based cards have better Linux driver support, so I can only assume I would have had better results with an Nvidia graphics card. 

Installing Steam wasn't so bad, though it had quite a few dependencies to download onto my vanilla Linux install. I will say this: Steam is still definitely beta and has some stability issues. It's slow and unresponsive at times. The friends list seems to work, but there is often a delay when chatting, so I often switched to using an IM client like kopete instead. I found that using Steam on CrossOver seemed to be much more reliable. I'm sure Valve will fix it; we just need to be patient.

My games list is quite diminished compared to my Windows list. This is to be expected, since currently the number of Linux ported games is at only forty one in all of Steam. I have seven games to work with, and out of those only three worked out of the box. (Serious Sam 3 BFE, Cogs, and Uplink). After installing some of the broken games using my Humble Bundle installers, I was able to get And Yet It Moves and Space Chem working in Steam. For some reason, Steam doesn't seem to be checking or installing all of the necessary dependencies. VVVVV wouldn't run in Steam (missing executable error) but it did run via the Humble Bundle Installer. Bit.trip Runner didn't appear on my Steam list, but I was able to get it to play, though it managed to crash in twenty minutes or less, every time. Looking at the developer's Website, my Creative sound card may be to blame. Your mileage may vary.

It's not all bad news though. Serious Sam 3 impressed me the most, given it's system requirements and how smoothly it ran in Linux. The only kink I had to iron out was disabling my video card's HDMI audio as my primary sound device. After that, it worked like a charm. I bought this game knowing it would have Linux support; had I known the objectionable content, I may have passed on the 75% off sale. Every swear word imaginable is used including the F-bomb. There is a lot of gore and violent acts, as well as sexual innuendos and lewd conversations.

I was looking forward to playing Team Fortress 2 natively, but it wouldn't work. Fortunately CrossOver allowed me to play it by mimicking Steam in Windows for me. Since I saw Guild Wars 2 as a supported game for the latest version of CrossOver, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I tried installing it using my DVDs but it kept erroring out at 84%. I eventually switched to using the Windows downloadable exe file and I copied over my files from my Windows hard drive to save time. Success! I was able to log in and play my character....at 12 frames per second. While it's progress, it's certainly not playable.

Ultimately I'll be sticking with Windows for my gaming needs in the near future. Linux is definitely getting a much needed shot in the arm by having the support of Valve and the Humble Bundles. We've been patient so far, but the wait is not over yet. It will be worth it though. :)

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Wii U First Impressions

The new Wii U with a touchscreen on its controller makes new methods of gameplay possible. Nintendo conitinues on with it's family friendly motto that: gaming together is more fun.

On the last day of November, approximately twenty games will arrive that are specially designed for this controller. After getting the chance to play some of these games for a while, I've noticed that an extra screen greatly adds to the gaming experience. Cooperation takes on a whole new level as each player can watch a different screen thus adding more strategy to gaming.

New Super Mario Bros. U. 

Take Nintendo’s famous icon Mario. The Italian plumber is the main character of the game New Super Mario Bros. U. Nintendo, after some criticism, went back to their successful formula we all know and love. Just as in the old days, we run to the edge of the screen while jumping over all kinds of obstacles and scary creatures. And of course you hear the familiar sounds when you collect coins and eat mushrooms for extra strength. A new addition is the Boost Mode where another player adds blocks to the scenery. Those extra blocks can prevent you from falling into the depths and losing a life. The player who places the blocks using the controller, sees a different picture than the Mario player. Teamwork will be required to devise a strategy to dodge and run quickly through the level. Both players have a reasonable contribution to the final result, which differs from many cooperative modes in other games. Such direct form of coöperation in a console game is not often seen.

ZombiU

But the opposite is perhaps more fun. Counteraction. Ubisoft uses counteraction in the game ZombiU, especially for the Wii U. The game tells the story that in London an epidemic has broken out that causes the population to change into wandering monsters. In a dark building you play against each other to capture flags. The hero's goal is to capture the flags while the other player sends monsters to block them. With four flags spread over the building, a strategic war ensues. After a game, changing roles is still interesting because you fight with substantially different weapons. The controller will display your weapon arsenal. Try not to spend too much time switching weapons because you may be shot in the process!

Nintendoland

In the new Nintendoland you see cooperation and opposition back in various games based around the famous Nintendo characters. For instance you play Luigi's Ghost Mansion in a maze where the ghosts are played by your opponents. The game is similar to the famous Pacman-game. Back then the ghosts automatically ran in the same direction over and over again. Your opponents of course don’t run the same route every time and so the game is much more fun. If a ghost detects you, he warns his companions to get in close. Teamwork is key in this title.

Wii Fit U

There is no teamwork in Wii Fit U, only more difficult exercises. The Wii Fit U-game includes twenty new activities over the old game that sold four million copies. The restaurant-activity combines both agility and speed as you quickly serve the customers cakes and drinks by walking on the balance board. You must keep the gamepad controller flat, even when turning a corner otherwise the drinks and cakes fall from your tray. The gamepad shows you whether they fall, while the TV displays what route you need to take. Sometimes you do not know where to look for a moment and then the order ends up on the ground. 

The trampoline-activity combines the two screens in the same way: with the gamepad on the floor you see whether you are in the middle and will jump straight for a better result. On the screen you see the timing, when you can best jump. The trampoline is fun to practice and it's nice that you see how well you do on each jump. 

Lastly, there is a water shooter-activity where you power up the water hose by setting your foot on the balance board while aiming the beam with the gamepad. The goal is to hose away all of the men and monsters. While this sounds simple, you'll be feeling it the next day in your upper legs.

For statistics lovers, two things. First, you can transfer your performance from Wii Fit to the new U. Second, there will be a Fit Meter added to the game which counts your steps during your daily activities. And that data can be transferred to the Wii U system. All in all, Wii Fit U is a worthy addition to the Wii-Fit franchise.

Wii U

The Wii U console came out November 18th. With the pre-orders selling out, finding one in stores may be challenging. The list of games available for the Wii U is quite long, including LEGO City: Undercover, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Fifa 13, Neo Nano Assault, Pikmin 3, Just Dance 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin’s Creed III, NBA 2K13, Rayman Legends and Toki Tori 2. The controller is now called a gamepad and includes a touch screen. Besides the familiar buttons of the Wii controllers are now two thumbsticks. The gamepad is also usable separately as a kind of tablet for playing games, watching videos, or browsing the internet. There is a built-in camera and microphone and the Wii U comes with a stylus. With just a hand gesture you can send films, games and photos from the gamepad to your TV screen. The separate TV button controls your TV's volume when the Wii is off. Through the Home button you can quickly do something in between gaming, like watching your social networks or search something on the internet. And the most important: almost all Wii games are playable on the Wii U, as well as the supporting gadgets like the Wii Remotes and Nunchuk.

Basic edition: 299.99 $, White, 8 GB,
Deluxe Edition: 349, 99 $, Black, 32GB, 
http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu/

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Has the Vita been revitalized or doomed?

While I didn't buy my Vita on launch week, I still paid full price for it a month or so after it's release.  I thoroughly enjoyed titles like Rayman Origins and Lumines: Electronic Symphony but have been disappointed in the lackluster choice of games available for the unit.   As awesome as the hardware is, without good software, the system is doomed.  As an owner of a hacked PSP, I was hoping that the Vita would broken from it's tight leash.  Sony has been persistent in removing every exploited game from their store and releasing system updates to close each loophole.  

Last week was an exciting week since there was a leaked kernel exploit that allows the system to play PSP ISO games.  Shortly after the leak, a major contributor stepped down for good. However, another known hacker has stepped up and made a public release of the custom emulator/firmware for the Vita.  The exploited PSP mini game has been removed from the store, but now is a good time to watch and see what other games are vulnerable to opening up this system against Sony's wishes.  

So with these possibilities comes great responsibility.  I for one own every game that I play. I realize that I am in the minority here.  If people continue to pirate games without giving what's due to the developers, the system is doomed.  If you have a curious mind and want to see what the Vita can really do, now is a good time to pick up a system (and some games and accessories for it!) and join the underground community.  

source: http://wololo.net/

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Unleashing the nuke in Mercs 2

How much is the life of a virtual being worth? How about 10 lives? Or 50?

            You see, I just recently finished writing my review for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, and after finishing it, I began to question some of my actions. Near the end of the game, I acquired a nuclear bomb as part of the story, and after using it to infiltrate the final boss’s fortress, I bought a “few” extras just in case. But I think we all know where this is going.

            As would anyone who’s given nearly infinite power, I began buying and using as many nukes as I could afford. It was so easy. Because I had already completed the game, I already had the cash I needed, and I would just reload my save every time I ran out of the nukes. First I was just using them on buildings. After all, no one would miss one abandoned (or possibly inhabited) building, right? Next, I began using them on enemy soldiers, because they’re leader was evil, so they must be evil too, right? Then, I just stopped caring. Why should I care who I use this weapon on? I’m untouchable; there are no consequences strong enough to stop me from doing what I want. Even if I were to nuke every faction’s HQ, all their armies combined couldn’t stop me.

            Then I began to notice a pattern in other people’s play styles. Everyone would begin the game, travel to the nearest city, nuke a few buildings, then nuke the soldiers who would retaliate, and finally nuke anyone caught in the crossfire. The exact same thing I did.

             At first, it seemed like a natural thing. It’s fun to cause chaos, and it’s just a videogame. Why should I care about virtual people? But the more I thought about it, I began to realize just how sinister my thoughts were becoming.

            The first time I used the nuke, I had a (somewhat) justifiable reason: revenge. The second time, I just wanted to see what it would do to a building. I picked what I hoped was an abandoned building far away from anyone who might be hurt by the bomb. After that, I was hooked. It was such a gradual progression that I didn’t notice I had gone too far until I had already jumped off the cliff.

            It was only after nuking a neutral oilrig that I realized how far I had fallen. Without any particular reason, I decided to destroy fully operational oilrig, complete with workers and security guards. Since apparently no one in Venezuela can swim, everyone died. The entire oilrig, and all its workers…all of the innocent workers, gone.

            It may seem like such a trivial thing to anyone else, but for me, it was a lesson on how consuming power is. The old saying, “power consumes, and absolute power consumes absolutely” has never seemed so true to me.

            Power first appeared to me as a friend, offering to make everything easier. Then it turned into a toy, which I could use and abuse as I saw fit. And when people tried to stop me, it became an excuse to abuse that power. “Why should you tell me what to do? I’m bigger than you, I’m stronger than you, I’m better than you.” 

            Maybe it is just a videogame, maybe it doesn’t matter, and maybe I’m just over thinking this. But that day I encountered a side of me I was unaware of, one that could not be satisfied, bargained with, or made to see reason. A side without compassion or feeling, only chaos and destruction. Feeding off of pain and suffering, addicted to the rush of adrenalin, and willing to do anything to get another dose.

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Starting to regret buying a 3DS for my kid

My husband and I traded in our DS Lites and got a black and a blue 3DS on launch week.  For the most part we've been happy with our purchase.  Yeah, I would like to see better titles out but I've enjoyed Ridge Racer and most recently, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.  I'll admit that I've played mostly DS games on it than 3DS titles.  We appreciate the Ambassador games offered to compensate for paying full price. That was a nice selection of games.   I personally love the 3D camera and swap note is great for sharing Bible verses and encouragement among friends.  

So with all of these good features we didn't hesitate on purchasing one for our soon to be 8 year old daughter.  It was on sale for $100 less than what we paid for it and several family members pitched in for it.  No regrets right?  Wrong!

Just this week two videos irk me as a parent.  Even with parental control enabled my kids can watch a video of the song "The Fighter" which contains phrases like "Give them hell", "Imma d**n sure" and "Kiss my a**".  The video muted a** but the rest of the language was left intact.  These are not phrases I want my 8 year old repeating back to me.  

The other video that upsets me is the 3D version of Zamarat.  This video has a hairless green woman wearing a metal bikini with nipple covers and a metal G-string.  

Both of these videos are considered to be suitable for kids under 12.  My kids and I have watched many of the movies together and I find the mini 3D documentaries fascinating. My kids love the video game based movies, especially the Kirby one.  It's a bummer that I'll have to screen the movies from here on out.  Perhaps I'll have to remove the icon from the system altogether.  It's a shame if such drastic measures will have to be taken.  Nintendo, if you're reading this...please look over the videos before stamping them safe for kids of all ages.  Adding a rating summary would be helpful as well.

 

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Compromise

Compromise


According to Wikipedia, compromise is when you give up a demand in order to make a deal.

The Bible does not really indicate whether compromise is good or bad, but warns us of the consequence of compromising the wrong things.

1 Chronicles 10:13 ESV 

"So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance."

Saul compromised for sure, and he paid for it.

I think we need to realize that throughout our lives, we compromise many of our personal beliefs in order to satisfy other people.  It's the way of freedom and democracy.  The Bible tells us to love our neighbor, so we try to accommodate non-Christians by only living by some verses and ignoring the more hardline stuff like "Jesus is the only way".  Through education, we learn to respect other cultures, but in the process, we actually don't realize our responsibility towards others.  We often act as Christians only in Church or with other Christians, instead of being Christians 24/7.

I see it like this: we compromise something of our own in everything that we experience.  When I think of gaming, movies and music - "OMG" and "Jesus Christ" are "okay".  We try to ignore these obvious remarks in entertainment in order to enjoy the content, and that sounds like compromise to me.  I for one am very gullible.  I'm not a very logical thinker.  I'm a feeler, so I make decisions according to how I feel - which ends up being a catastrophe every time.  Thus, it's important for me to read the scripture and listen to friends/preachers often, so that I can align my emotions to Jesus, instead of the world's temporary satisfaction.  I see the same problem in many people.  We are subjected to worldly ideas every day, and after a while, things that are not really in line with the Word, are accepted as fact.  That's why it's important to reevaluate yourself on the decisions you make according to how you feel and also why we have the Holy Spirit, which guides us in the right direction, even when we want to listen to the flesh.

John 14:6 ESV 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Jesus's words are uncompromisable.

One does not want to be deemed as a "Christian Zealot", because that would completely destroy the goal intended for us - spreading the Gospel, but one does also want to stay true to Jesus' teachings.  So it's a very profound topic, one which can have a liberal outcome such as "It's just a game"/"It's just a song"/"It's just a movie", or on the other side "From today on, I'm going to abstain from playing violent video games."

That's so far what I've experienced. 

One verse that hits me like a rock every time is of course:

Mark 8:34 ESV 

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me".

 

 

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Thoughts on cheating

Cheating is a topic that has perhaps been thoroughly discussed in most social gaming groups, but still stays a very controversial topic for some. As a "rehabilitated" cheater I try to understand this controversy in the gaming world in a more liberal way.

Just the other day, my nephew(14 years old) exposed the "cheater" I once saw in myself.  It was interesting to see how he looked up cheats(just like I would) even before installing the game.  It seemed innocent to me.  After all, I had grown out of the cheating habit quite easily.  The rate that games are becoming more "arcadish", is astonishingly fast.  Big titles like Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon have been humbled down to a very easier difficulty level, and are appealing to a lot of casual gamers.  That's why it seemed cool to me, but after a lot of thought, I've come to another outlook point.

Cheats are immediate.  In fact, you could complete a lot of games by typing a "win mission" cheat.  Therefore, it's also understandable that people are quick to demand things these days.  You skip that effort = reward system, which especially makes up core game parts in RPGs.  So in real life, one would be more prone to demand things.  You would also expect things to happen in a very short time - with the minimum effort.  That could be why we misunderstand the more profound things in life. 

Would we be Christians if God had given us cheats?  I don't think so.  I mean, prayer especially requires time.  Emotional wounds also need time to heal.  Everything needs time, and that's what cheats try to bypass. 

I still think it's okay to cheat in a game.  However, one must realize that you're like a sponge, absorbing everything around you.  That which you absorbed, will be released or accounted for at the end of the day. If you incorporate a cheater's mindset into your own, you might face difficulties ahead.

All in all, it depends on who you are and whether the game is fun without cheats.  That's just my opinion.  I've used cheats in some games, just to avoid playing the whole day and to achieve something worthy.  Over the past few years, I've just lost total interest in cheating.  I've learned to work for my rewards even when it gets tough.

 

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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