God Ain't Boring
Ever since I was in 7th grade, I knew I wanted to make video games for a living. I loved the idea of putting together a fun experience and coupling it with a good story. I originally wanted to work for Nintendo, as they make some of my favorite games, but realized much later on that it would be a better idea to start my own company to make my games and do things a different way. More on that later.
During the story-drafting process of one of my games, I realized how much more I needed to know about the Bible. Fortunately one of the students in my Art class knew a lot about it, and he taught me. It was during this time that I went from being a Christian by family upbringing to being a devout Christian. I went from being a passive Christian to an active one. So I guess you could say that I was the first person God saved through my video games.
As I began following Christ, I began to submit my ideas to God for review. I figured, “If God made heaven and earth, He also knows how to make a fun video game. It wouldn’t be difficult, so I can just ask Him.” And I noticed as I did this more and more, that God showed me why I could trust Him: He gave me far better ideas than what I had before.
But at the time that I was going to church, I couldn’t really talk with many older believers about this because in their tradition, they viewed video games as inherently violent, sinful, and worldly. At the same time, I couldn’t really talk with young gamers about this because they saw “Christian games” as inherently boring, or as bland retellings of Bible stories. (For the record, that idea bores me, too.)
As I continued my writing and planning, I started to learn a lot about the game industry, and I found alarming information about it. I heard stories of developers being overworked and under-compensated. Many worked as many as 90 hours a week,harming their health and relationships. Others were let go right before the project ended just so they couldn’t get a share of the royalties and the company could save money. I’ve heard of the average game developer only having about 3 years of industry experience. They’d cut and run to a different industry where they could get things like stable work hours and job benefits.
But these disturbing realities didn’t discourage me. In fact, they inspired me. Whenever I see companies doing evil, I see that as an opportunity to do good and reap the rewards of being ethical. The loyalty people show to those who treat them right makes me say, “It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the most profitable thing to do.” And if I could treat my employees very well, they won’t feel compelled to leave the company and the industry. Then I could retain their services for over a decade, and be able to tap into their expertise, which yields dividends.
Suddenly it didn’t feel so difficult to think that we could become the best game development studio in the world. And in doing so, we could spearhead a new standard of operating. This is what inspired me to start a new company, and because of my Christian worldview and my desire to share the Gospel of Jesus with as many people as possible, I called it “Renewal Corporation”.
So that brings me to today. The items you see above are my first major forays into the game industry and the evangelism arena. I used to pass out Gospel tracts and talk with people on the streets during my time in Chicago. The Novel Gospel is my first book about Christ, and I endeavored to introduce people to Jesus in case they didn’t know much about Him. But it also serves as a reintroduction for many others who don’t feel confident in their knowledge of Him.
The two games, “Hide and Snap” and “NationBuilders” are just a few fun ideas I had, and I wanted to share them with the world. They’re secular games, so they don’t have a religious connotation or any message of any kind. But they’re fun. And I like fun. So I’m sure you’ll like them, too.
Thanks for reading.
-Jamaal W.M. Fridge