October 21, 2016

What We Believe: Language (KVR Fridays)

Ah, language. One of the hallmarks of the human race: Our ability to construct words and form sentences, some of which contain deep meanings and phrasing. And some of which, which don't contain much meaning at all, but which are constructed in such a way, that which we understand is merely the anger of the speaker, which has spoken, in such a way which we can't comprehend, the level of anger.

Okay, I'm done now. Welcome to KVR Fridays, where we post topical posts and articles, related to controversial subjects, video games, Christianity, and all three combined. Over the past three weeks (with padding, six weeks), we've been taking a look at What We Believe here at KVR Gaming.

This post will focus on the use of strong language in video games. Let's jump right in, shan't we?

Right off the bat, I want to get something out of the way: A lot of our arguments against bad language in movies and video games seem to imply that we, ourselves, are using the actual bad language instead of merely observing others doing so. I know that bringing something into your home and hearing it at the workplace is two widely different things, but we should be aware that we'll always be hearing others swear and utter profane words on a daily basis, and need to be able to keep our hearts pure and holy regardless.

As for my beliefs on strong language in gaming (and otherwise): I grew up in a home where strong language was constantly used by my family. Not just my immediate family, other family as well. I heard bad words several times a day. I kept myself restrained when it came to actually using them, but during my teenage years, I picked up the bad habit of swearing myself.

I didn't allow myself to use the strongest of words, however, after a long year of depression, I started dropping F-bombs like a madman in the past year of 2015. In the month of July, after praying about it for a while, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart against my swearing and I stopped swearing entirely within the matter of a week.

It wasn't easy, but I gradually eased my way out of the habit by praying for forgiveness every time I let a foul word slip out. While I don't swear anymore, I do still struggle with keeping my conversations pure and find it hard not to gossip about people I know, especially the difficult ones.

It's a daily process, and it's something we all need to do at some point; to surrender our communications unto God, and let Him change our hearts.

Anyway, with this being said, we also need to be careful what allow into our homes. I learned all those beautiful medieval French words through a couple of movies I "liberated" from filesharing sites. (Another topic on it's own, but I've long since stopped pirating movies and TV shows.) Once the stress really got high, it was nice to relieve the tensions by cooking up a swear word cocktail and downing it in one smooth motion if you catch my drift.

Nevertheless, I still watch movies with cuss words in, play games with foul-mouthed characters and listen to the occasional electronic song with a swear-drop as well as a bass-drop. It's a matter of constant debate for me, in spite of me being able to tune out those words, as I really want to keep my heart clean in front of God.

Through Christ we can be renewed to new standards, and He can grant us a new heart once we realise the error of our ways in full, accept the consequences, and give our hearts to Him. The only advice I can give as to what you allow yourself to hear, language-wise, be it at the office, at family "braais" or however they call it across the pond, or in video games and other forms of entertainment, is to pray and ask Christ to give you guidance.

It's the only way you'll be able to know for sure if you're going down the right road or not when it comes to your entertainment choices.

October 19, 2016

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Full Review)

This is why you never mix business with family...

Release Date: May 2016

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genre: Adventure

Content Verdict: Teenage Gamers (For Some Violence, Intense Content, and Language)

Quality Verdict: 9.6

October 17, 2016

Uncharted Territory (KVR Mondays)

Hello everyone! 

I hope we've all managed to overcome the Monday blues and made it through the day (mostly) okay. If not, here's a few kittens for you to stare at. My pleasure. :3

So first order of business: On Wednesday, we'll have our long overdue Uncharted 4 review up and running. It will contains a decent amount of material and a look at the game's unsurprisingly emotional story and depth.

On Friday, we'll have another look at What We Believe, this time regarding Language in video games, another tangent about language outside of video games probably also in the cards. We'll see.

I would like to hear from you guys if you have any ideas for the blog. I will greatly appreciate any suggestions for how we can evolve and grow in the future. We want a completely new format going into 2017, and we want you guys to be a part of it.

I'll see you guys Wednesday with my Uncharted 4: A Thief's End review. Until then, enjoy the upward climb until Wednesday. Try not to drink too much coffee and to pour for your coworkers as well. Just, ignore their strange glances as to why you're doing so.

October 07, 2016

What We Believe: Sexual Content (KVR Fridays)

Title immediately captured your attention, didn't it? Well, for good reason, as this is a very important (and very divisive) issue, especially amongst Christians. Nevertheless, we're not going to try and build Rome. We're just going to give you a few of our (or Kyle's) beliefs on the subject and leave you to debate the rest.

Welcome to What We Believe, a short little series where we explore our beliefs about certain areas of content in video games. Last week, we took a look at Violence in games, now we'll be taking a look at sexual content.

Not as prevalent as violence, due to the latter being the lifeblood (no pun intended) of most video games and shooters specifically, sexual content is nonetheless very common in modern games. The Grand Theft Auto series was well-known for giving players the ability to hire prostitutes starting in the third instalment, and summarily gun them down afterwards if so desired. (And doing either was purely optional, might I add.)

Countless other games feature suggestive themes, besides the infamous GTA series, like Deus Ex, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Fallout, Super Mario Bros (just kidding), The Witcher (really not kidding), and so forth.

Par for the course, these scenes are usually placed in the specified games for the viewing pleasure of gamers, and not to make any meaningful statements. Now, I'm sure the boot-knocking in Mass Effect was somewhat slightly meaningful in some small percentage of a tiny way, but it doesn't take away from the fact that the romances players form are still just really awkward and not in the least bit deep and real.

The greatest love story I've seen in a game is that of Jenny and whatever-his-name-is in The Darkness. Players only see the two cuddling up and watching a movie, no sex, and yet it feels real because nothing about it is forced or played for "teh lulz" as sex usually is in contemporary media.

You see, my greatest problem with sex in games and other forms of entertainment is that it's used as means of exploiting one's natural urges against you to stay invested in a story. Sex is the most intense desire that any human being has. End of story. As such, one should be careful how you view its depictions in media, as the subconscious loves absorbing all kinds of weird and kinky scenes and then playing them back to you in the worst situation. (Namely when one has to pray in Church, for example.)

The brain is made up of the conscious and the subconscious. The latter cannot be controlled. It can only be moderated. The sex drive is based on adaptation. What you put in, you get out. Rubbish in, rubbish out. Jesus into your mind, Jesus out in your actions.

A bit jumbled, I know, but that's the best I can explain it. We have to be ever vigilante in our choices when it comes to sex, namely in our discussions, viewing choices, or relationship decisions. God reserved sex for the marriage. It's not a very popular view amongst contemporary Christians, but it's one supported by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7.

Additionally, there is no such thing as "safe sex". Contraceptives don't work 100%. The only permanent solution is to be "neutered", and that doesn't stop you from still gaining STDs and so forth. Lifestyle decisions should be made wisely. Always.

You can't expect to sleep around and not have leave some kind of an imprint on you, be it spiritually, emotionally or physically.

Wow, okay, that was a preach I didn't expect to give. But still, it's where my heart is. I see a lot of young people my age jumping into bed with multiple partners, forming relationships based around all the wrong things, and getting deeply, tragically heart, and then blaming God for their pain. (A place where I'm especially guilty, after making an incredibly poor relationship decision back in 2014.)

Move wisely, people. You can't undo a sexual tryst. What's done is done. But the good news is, sexually pure or not, we always have Jesus on our side. He will make you pure and Holy, in His spirit and His spirit alone.

Don't be ashamed anymore, come to Christ and let Him work through you. All of us struggle with sin on a daily basis. There is no sin too great for Him to forgive.

Thank you very much for tuning in to read this article. I hope you don't feel condemned or judged. That is not my intention at all. Feel free to communicate how you feel on this subject. I welcome all who want to engage in conversation surrounding this issue.

Where two or more are gathered together in the name of Jesus to discuss a subject, He is in our midst and He will correct us. In His name alone, Amen.

October 05, 2016

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Full Review

Divided opinions.

Release Date: August 2016

Developer: Eidos Montreal

Publisher: Eidos

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

Genre: RPG

Content Verdict: 28 (Caution Advised)

Quality Verdict: 7.1