Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Video Games and the American Academy of Religion

The September 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Literature contains a rather intriguing article about religious studies and video games. Entitled “Gaming Religionworlds: Why Religions Studies Should Pay Attention to Religion in Gaming,” the article is actually a “roundtable” that consists of several short pieces from several authors.

What this article is not: an in-depth, widespread exploration of theological themes and narratives within video games.

What this article is: essentially several authors detailing that preliminary scholarship over the past few years concerning religion and gaming confirms the legitimacy and relevancy of the scholarship. They then, in their own ways, propose ways and means that such scholarship should and must continue.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I Refuse to Strike You Back

I will never hurt...another living soul...
You can do what you like to me, boy...but I refuse to strike you back.
Wolverine #67
By Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dank Memes

I think I may have found a cause for my perpetual lack of success.  No, it's not from my terrible history of producing content on a reliable schedule.  No, sir, it's because I am lacking in the dank memes!  Think about it.  Facebook is flooded with people sharing pictures of egotistical pastors from super wealthy megachurches with text over their pictures espousing sappy, inspirational, yet ultimately hollow and meaningless soundbites.  Surely I can exploit the same trend for my own selfish gain!

Share at your own discretion, or peril!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Rooting For You Anyway

I know a lot of things about you, Garth.
...And I'm rooting for you anyway.
by Doug TenNapel 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Preach Peace and Practice War

But I wanted to be closer to the Christians.  They talk in riddles.  They preach peace and love in the midst of performing incredible violence.
There's a structure, a purpose to what they do that is beyond my ken.  They're changing Norskk, changing it with words and with iron and with blood.  I need to understand them better.
- Black Road #1
by Brian Wood and Garry Brown

Monday, June 13, 2016

MitchWords 16.3

Ever get the feeling Evangelical churches might as well have signs posted out front that read “Introverts need not apply”?

Monday, May 30, 2016

MitchWords 16.2

I hate the church. I loathe evangelicalism. I don't really care for Christianity.  And about half the time I don't even like God all that much.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

I Am God's Regret

You're why this is happening. You ruinous excuses for human life.
You are why everyone will die. Why the rains are coming to wash them all away.
You are God's regret.
 - The Goddamned #2
 by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guéra

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Disruption of Christian Patriarchy in The Gospel of Carol and Other Comic Books

Once again I tainted the hallowed halls of Luther Seminary and brought shame upon academic respectability by rambling about comic books at the Upper Midwest joint conference of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature.  It was a really fun time had by all.  Or, at least had by me, since I was rambling about comic books.  Here, presented for your pleasure, or agony, is that paper.

Also, much gratitude to John S. Troutman for letting me bug him so much about The Gospel of Carol.  If you want a fun read, you can snag all the issues from comiXology on the cheap.

Monday, April 4, 2016

That Dragon, Cancer: Video Games, Death, and My Problem with Heaven

Recently I played a video game called That Dragon, Cancer. Well, I didn't so much as play it as move the mouse around periodically and infrequently click the mouse when appropriate. The rest of the time was spent futilely trying to hold back tears.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Shut Up, You Believe In Talking Snakes

Dwayne: PWNER?
Jimmy: Uh...that was one of my hacker names.
Dwayne: Is that even a word?
Jimmy: Shut up, you believe in talking snakes.
-The Tithe #7
by Matt Hawkins and Phillip Sevy

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why Do You Bother?

Father Leone: I mean, people look to you to save them -- probably most of the time -- from their own mistakes.
They do things -- knowingly -- wrong. And they look to you afterward to make them right.
Why do you bother?
Superman: Because I can.
Father Leone: That doesn't mean you have to.
Superman: Yes, it does.
Father Leone: Why...
...if it's not out of love?
- Superman #206
by Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee

Monday, February 1, 2016

Violence Is Stupid

Alana: Why, because you violated some personal pledge against hurting awful people?
Marko: My reluctance to use force isn't ideological, it's practical.
Violence is stupid. Even as a last resort, it only begets more of the same.
- Saga #5
by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Friday, January 29, 2016

No Other Explanation

Tree: Cedric took the "Vampires Walk Among Us" speech pretty well, I think.
Nick: Might not have been the best time to drop your "Jesus Was A Vampire" theory on him.
Tree: A guy shows up alive three days after being crucified. There is no other explanation.
-Blood Brothers #2
by Mike Gagerman, Andrew Waller, Etan Cohen, and Evan Shaner

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

God Sweats the Details

People think God sweats the details...
People think He's got time to watch each and every thing we do. Like he really cares what we say and whether or not we're really following his rules. It's such bullshit.
He's not marking down every impure thought or bad word. He doesn't care if you look at your neighbor's wife or drink on a Sunday or masturbate.
He's a little busy waging war on a cosmic level with the devil and the forces of evil.
He just wants us to be good and be good to each other. So really...masturbate all you want.
- Outcast #3
by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta

Thursday, January 14, 2016

MitchWords 16.1

God Comes to Roch

“Don't do that!” I shouted with a start as I opened my eyes and saw a figure looming over my bed.

“Get up,” the familiar man said.

I sat up, propping myself up on my elbows. “You don't exactly score points for subtlety, you know.”

“Up,” the figure insisted as he turned and headed out of the bedroom. “And I could use a drink.”

Stumbling in the dark, I followed him down the hall into the darkened living room. “Wait, what time is it? It's the middle of the night!”

The man flipped a lamp on and found himself a seat on the couch. “You live with people now. It's hard to find a time when you are alone for some private and genuine conversation.”

I stood dumbfounded for a moment.

“You never pray anymore,” he clarified.

“I don't know how to pray,” I replied with a shrug and walked into the kitchen. “Now you said you wanted a drink? I don't think they have...”

“Surge,” came the voice from the couch.