Braid: Why Christian Men Should Play This Game
By Ryan
created on Sun, 10/05/2008 - 20:15

Christians often recommend books to each other; I'm going to recommend a video game.

I could introduce Braid by calling it a puzzle-platformer released in August on the XBox Live Arcade. That, however, would tell you nothing about this game. Look up a screenshot: it's like playing an impressionist painting for its beauty and dimension.

The landscapes are filled with the symbolic and desolate images of its main character, Tim, who is struggling with a past mistake that cost him the love of his life. Of course, the mistake itself is the final revelation of the game, which will take about 6-8 hours of puzzling to reach, given the game's geniusly simple time-manipulation mechanics.

The visual, musical, and symbolic journey of Braid explores three deep longings in every man's soul: romantic relationships, scientific curiosity, and parental autonomy. The game is about coming to terms with our desperate, almost invisible attempts to control the outcomes of these longings, and avoid the pain of sin, regret, and helplessness.

In my experience, these are the core issues of male spirituality at the time of latter high school, college, and (regrettably) for many Christians far into their adult lives. Braid does not offer many answers; but the way the game frames the questions will possibly lead to some meaningful conversation and introspection.

Here's my disclaimer: to enjoy the game properly, you have keep an open-mind about the game's cryptic sayings and a willingness to think about what you are seeing. I assume if you participate in Conversant Life, you already qualify on both counts. If you need anyone to chat with about the experience, send me a message. Braid is one of the reasons I'm proud to be a Christian gamer!

Comments

Well, that settles it; I'm getting it now.

Tell me when you do. I'd love to talk with you about it.

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