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Video Games 2014: The Good and the Bad

Today I want to talk to you a bit about video games. These addictive games have come a long away over the years in terms of technology, especially with content and graphics. I remember when I was a child, I was excited just to be able to play a game of Pong with my brother. Now with the richer, deeper content and higher definition, we’re seeing a lot of things we didn’t see before. Some of this is wonderful, but there’s another end of the spectrum in which things are very wrong. I believe as Christians we need to pay close attention.

Something I’ve noticed is that video game developers are getting riskier and riskier. Recently, several games have been released, including Dragon Age: Inquisition, that push a homosexual agenda. Now I believe God loves people in the LGBT community, but I don’t believe the behavior is appropriate, nor do I want it forced upon me when I’m playing a video game. In fact, I feel that heterosexual relationships in video games should be kept to a minimum. However, I really struggle to find a decent game that doesn’t have a heavy dose of this content.

Now I really want to give a kudos to Microsoft, and their release of Sunset Overdrive for the Xbox One. This game does have inappropriate content, but they did something that surprised me. They put in an option to turn off offensive material. Why aren’t more video game publishers/developers making this option available. Instead, Johnny buys a video game and doesn’t have the option to turn off the blasphemy and other inappropriate content. Sure, he could’ve just avoided buying the game already, and he probably should have, but that’s not a realistic expectation. Instead, without this filter, he’s more likely to play it and have a morally incorrect experience. So way to go Microsoft with the filter and keep it up.

Now instead of going on and on about this topic, because I’m sure you get it; I’m going to give my TBL awards for best and worst games of 2014 and reveal my most anticipated release for 2015.

Best XBOX One Game of 2014Sunset Overdrive by Microsoft (Big guns, lots of action, but I’m primarily giving the award for the filtering system. Still, be cautioned, this game does have objectional content. I’m just glad to see these filters being placed on games).

Worst XBOX One Game of 2014Grand Theft Auto V by Rockstar Games (Brutally murdering prostitutes with weapons and vehicles isn’t cool in my book. Gamers seem to love it, but steer clear)

Best Playstation 4 Game of 2014Madden NFL 15 by Electronic Arts (If you’ll love football, you’ll love Madden NFL 15. It’s also much more polished than previous versions of Madden.)

Worst Playstation Game of 2014Dragon Age – Inquisition by Bioware (I would really love to give this game a chance, but I have to give it two thumbs down due to the forced agendas in it. Sorry Bioware, you missed the mark with this one.)

Best Wii U Game of 2014Mario Kart 8 by Nintendo (One of the most loved Wii U games by fans in 2014.)

Worst Wii U Game of 2014Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric by Sega (Fans hated it and the combined critic’s Metascore was 33/100. Sorry Sega, but this one bombed).

Best PC Game of 2014Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor by Warner Bros Games (Very intense game with some strategic elements to it. The reaction by gamers for it has been very positive.)

Worst PC Game of 2014Rambo by Reef Entertainment (This game disappointed those who dared pay the $40 price tag for it. I didn’t even bother because of all the negative reviews).

Best Indie Game of 2014World of Diving by Vertigo Games (It’s a fun little game. You swim around, take pictures, and interact with underwater creatures. Very relaxing. It also has VR support.)

Most Anticipated Game of 2015No Man’s Sky by Hello Games (Much anticipated game in which you can travel to billions of different worlds and encounter unusual creatures.)

So this is my little list. Also, allow me to leave you with this. Deut 7:26 warns us about bringing cursed items into our homes. Keep in mind that this can include video games, so be cautious and choose wisely. I admit I do make some mistakes when it comes to this, but by God’s grace and better research I will learn to make even better choices. Thank you for reading and God bless.

What were your favorite and least favorite games of 2014? What games are you looking forward to in 2015?

About Joel Bauer

Joel Bauer
Joel M. Bauer is a 45-year-old U.S. Army Veteran from Dunn, NC, which is just outside of Raleigh. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, he attended school at Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts school, in Fort Wayne, IN, where he received his BS in social work and psychology. He has worked in such places as a homeless shelter, a community based treatment center for severe mental illnesses, a school for troubled students, and other social service agencies. His current endeavor is to build The Bottom Line website into a site that inspires both Christians and non-Christians alike, and brings glory to God.

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12 comments

  1. Avatar

    Ohhhh how I love games and lists of best and worst, but more than that, I like to complain about them! lol

    Most of this list I agree with. There are some that I disagree with and one I reallllllly disagree with.

    Let’s start with the good: Sunset Overdrive as best. I have not actually played this, but it looks like a whole bunch of fun! Kinda Tony Hawk with guns kinda vibe.

    Shadow of Mordor. Good game, great enemy system.

    No Man’s Sky as most anticipated in 2015. Ohhhhh yes! I want that game so bad I can taste it. Still kinda surprised you are lookin forward to it though.

    Not so much: PS4 goy; Madden. Good game, but Far Cry 4 is leaps and bounds better.

    Now for the one I take most issue with: GTAV. It really isn’t that you put it as the worst, it is the reasoning (and the fact you haven’t played it as far as I know)

    Here is the reasoning you gave for it to be worst: ‘(Brutally murdering prostitutes with weapons and vehicles isn’t cool in my book. Gamers seem to love it, but steer clear)’

    I’ve been through this before on another post on this site, but apparently it needs repeating! By the same logic you put GTAV on the worst list, you would have to put the world on the worst list.

    I can step out of my house right now, get in the car, go get a hooker, beat the crap out of said hooker, get my money back and then run her over a few times (for good measure) and then take off. That does not mean I will! It is just something I could actually do! Rockstar made a believable world for the player to run around in and the player has the OPTION of beating up and killing a hooker.

    In the entire game (which I have beat multiple times) not once are you forced to kill a prostitute. The player makes that happen, not the game.

    And I take the same issue with your reasoning as I do with other people that use that reasoning. Here is why:

    Although you can kill a hooker, you can also:
    Kill every black person
    Kill every white person
    Kill every asian person
    Kick every animal you see
    Kill every man
    Kill every woman

    However, you can also:
    Drive around the country side
    Fly a plane at nite and enjoy all the pretty lights
    Ride a motorcycle around the entire map
    Take a submarine to explore the ocean depths
    Base jump off the highest mountain
    Skydive from way up in the sky and free fall for an entire 30 seconds or more.
    Fly a stunt plane under all the bridges
    Cruise the water ways with a jetski
    Play a round of golf
    Play tennis
    Go skate boarding
    Car surf
    Protect innocent civilians
    and the list goes on and on!

    Putting a game as the worst because of something you can choose to do, just does not float with me. GTAV is a beautiful game and it is down right fun. However, it is rated M for a reason. lol

    There is tons of swearing and killing that you just can’t avoid, but if you can overlook those things, it is one of the best open world games out there!

    If you are so inclined, look up some GTAV stunts and people just flying to show the world on youtube. It is a beautiful thing.

    I could go on and on, but I will stop now πŸ˜€

  2. Joel

    Mr Nxs,

    Thanks for your response to this article. I do understand that you can kill anything and everything “living” in GTA V and that this is an optional feature in the game. However killing prostitutes has been a staple of the game for not just V, but other GTA games as well. I’m also not saying that someone is going to kill a prostitute, or anybody else for that matter, because they played the game. That doesn’t mean that having the option is a good thing though. You see, ideas can manifest. I believe a child is much more likely to swear if he hears a swear word by a “cool” character in a game, and likewise they’re more likely to imitate other acts as well. Even if they don’t, the image is still in their head and can penetrate their heart. Just so people get an idea of how bad GTA V is, I’m linking a video of some guys apparently having a good time picking up a prostitute and brutally killing her. How else will people understand?

  3. Avatar

    Let me ask you something: Why is that the hooker thing is your main issue? Is it because it is a woman? If that was a man I bet this would not even be an issue. I could go on youtube and find a hundred vids of ppl beating the crap out of a dude and no one cares. Soon as it is a woman it is bad, regardless of the fact it is just an option.

    Not to mention most people play games as a release. To do things that they would never ever do in real life. Let’s face it, if games dictated most peoples behavior, you ad I should be out there killing people, robbing stores, stealing cars and jumping on mushrooms!

    We are not!

    Ya know why? We were taught that games are just that, games. You do not get to go do whatever the h*** you want just because you see it in a game or movie.

    Most people know this and I know you do as well. It is not the game, it is how you play it my friend.

    πŸ˜€

    • Joel

      Mr Nxs

      That is not my only issue and it is not only about women. However, let’s discern this matter with the Holy Bible. What does God’s word say about this kind of stuff?

      1 Thess 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

      If the Bible says it, maybe we should be listening? Just a thought. God bless.

  4. Avatar

    OK, I can get on board with what the Bible says, but if we are going strictly by that, then most games we play we shouldn’t. Every game you listed, with the exception of World of Diving is violent. Even Mario Kart is. Granted, not in the same vein as the others, but still.

    Unless you turn this site into a hitmans paradise, games are not bad! Just keep in mind that you have been playing games for 35 years or so and not one game has made you stray from God! Music might have though! Hahahaha

    πŸ˜€

  5. Joel

    Mr Nxs,

    I think there is a difference in violence between tackling another player in Madden football, or dropping a banana on a racetrack in Mario Kart than there is in brutally murdering someone in GTA V. In fact, I’m sure you’re more than capable of understanding the difference. The truth of the matter is that MOST GAMES aren’t good.

    As far as music, I think making good choices here are just as important. Some of the music is terribly violent, there’s lots of cursing, and these musicians are attacking what Christian’s hold dear.

    Keep in mind, this article was meant to briefly look at the good and the bad. All things were taken into consideration on my list to include game play, public opinion, filtering, and appropriateness.

    With all that being said, maybe you could take a few minutes and share your best and worst of 2014. Also, thank you for commenting. God bless

  6. Avatar

    You are right my friend. There is a difference between tackling someone and shooting someone in the face. Huuuge difference.

    Calling most games not good just because you have a moral disagreement with the content seems a little, well, SJW to me.

    Like you, I have a massive issue with DA:I. I swear Bioware seems to be pushing the gay agenda every chance they can! I really wanted to play the game because I hear it is awesome. However, I can not bring myself to do so due to the fact that they constantly made a point of bringing up gay and tranny characters. I refuse to play it because of that.

    However, I would never put it on a worst list or tell people not to play it just because I find it morally wrong or agenda driven crap. That is not the way it is supposed to go.

    I think what bothers me most is that you didn’t play GTAV and it seems that you only shunned it because of videos and what you have heard. To be fair, I have never play DA:I, but I really want to just because it is an epic RPG. Still would not tell anyone not to play it just because of my issues with it.

    It may be a little different as this is a Christian site, nonetheless, as long as you can handle the game and be adult about it, there is really no reason to not play it. Honestly, you put up with me and I am pretty sure I should come with an AO rating. πŸ˜€

  7. Joel

    So you have an issue with DA:I with it’s gay and transgender material, but you’re okay with killing people senselessly in GTA:V? You’re doing the same thing I’m doing, but applying it to a different moral dilemma, then telling me I’m wrong for doing so. Where do you draw the moral line when it comes to video games? Also, if you feel morally drawn away from DA:I, why can’t I feel morally drawn away from GTA:V?

    Keep in mind, this list is based on my moral perspective, as well as other factors, and a lot of it is opinion on what is the best or worst. There is not necessarily a “right or wrong” answer as to which game was the worst. Maybe you would like to share your list and why?

  8. Avatar

    I hear that alllll the time! Is there a difference between violence and sex? You bet your a**!

    America has zero problems with violence. It is burned into our brains at a very young age. We almost crave it. On the other hand, Europeans have little moral issue with sex. It is pretty much all over the place like violence is in the US.

    Even if I am wrong about the EU/US violence/sex thing, I still never put DA:I on a bad list because I disagreed with the content. There is not a whole lot of people like me that will not play a game due to certain content.

    And honestly, I was going to play the game until there was some news article about the tranny thing. That is what made me not want to play it, but it is not something I would bad list.

    My morals are my own. Trying to force them on someone else never works well. Believe me! You have met my brother. lol

    My point is almost every game has violence and no one cares. Soon as it involves sex, it is bad. And honestly, games are games! You play a game to get away. Me shooting someone in the face 200 times makes me laugh, not want to go to it. lol

    I do see your point though. Tis not quite fair for me to piss and moan about DA and I give you crap about GTA. To be fair though, if GTAs main dude was a tranny and it was advertised as such, I probably would not have played that either.

    Tis an odd thing now that I sit and think about it. Shooting a virtual person in the face has zero affect on me, but when I see dude on dude action, or man on woman for that matter, it just kinda turns me off.

    πŸ˜€

  9. Joel

    NXS,

    My friend, we are a Christian website, so I don’t think taking moral issues into consideration should be any surprise when picking the best and worst games of 2014. There were so many games released last year and most disappointed me. Still, there are so many others I would like to have mentioned, but the post would’ve been excessively long.

    I guess the best thing to do is play video games as if Jesus is sitting next to you, because He is with you. If it wouldn’t entertain Him, then it probably shouldn’t entertain you. I’m going to have to stand by my list because I felt it was honest for who I am, and maybe I wasn’t strict enough. However, I did want to be honest with what I felt was decent, and what was distasteful.

    Anyway, ultimately it is your choice what games you choose to play. However I still don’t understand why GTA:V was a surprise. This game was even ousted out of Kmart Australia stores for it’s objectional content, so I really don’t feel bad or alone is giving it a worst game rating. God bless.

  10. Avatar

    Not entirely sure Jesus would play any game, but that is just my opinion just like the rest of my posts.

    Your opinion is just that. As is mine. Didn’t really mean to cause a stink, I just like to argue. (don’t even get me started on that whole Ausie kmart badword)

    πŸ˜€

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