You’ve probably noticed: I mention that I play video games pretty regularly on the podcast. And if I don’t outright mention it, I’ll use video game terminology to explain certain characteristics of a film, its storytelling, or its logic. And, in other cases, like Pre-Show episode 3 (available exclusively to Patreon supporters), both Daniel and myself share our extensive history within the gaming community.
I’d say it’s pretty typical for there to be a lot of layover between the cinephile and the gamer, and with that in mind, I reached out to Logan Sharp, founder and lead host of The Reformed Gamers, about sharing his insight into gaming culture, the excitement of the Lord’s work through their community, and what his prayers are for the future.
And, in case you missed it, The Reformed Gamers and Cinematic Doctrine have had a few crossovers in the past, so be sure to plug into our episodes on Super Mario Bros., the first three Resident Evil movies, and most recently, Train to Busan.
So, who is Logan Sharp, and what is The Reformed Gamers?
I head up a lot of the content, community management, social media, etc for The Reformed Gamers. The Reformed Gamers, or TRG for short, is the show that believes gamers can game to the glory of God. Since the show began in 2015, we’ve tackled different topics gamers face from a Biblical worldview. Topics include ROMs & emulation, politics in video games, questionable content (violence, nudity, language, etc), and more. When I’m not working on the podcast, I serve as a youth pastor and media coordinator at my church.
At the beginning of 2020, The Reformed Gamers celebrated 5 years of producing content and building a strong following. In that time, what’s one of the coolest things to come out of the project?
Hands down, it’s been our community. I, personally, have made some great friends who are fellow content creators and have been able to help one another. Other members of the community have come together to support others who have been affected by tragedy. There is even a group of players who go into multiplayer games to share the Gospel. Our community is fulfilling so many commands in the Bible that it’s truly incredible to see.
Specifically, what do you think the Lord has been doing through The Reformed Gamers?
I’ve seen God do a few different things through TRG. One outcome has been providing a place where Christians, new and seasoned alike, can come together to ask questions without fear of ridicule. Our community is great about thinking through different topics and providing answers rooted in Scripture. Another way has been how our conversations and examinations of different games have helped others think through the games they play and why.
Like movies and film culture, video games and gamer culture can often have a negative stigma attached to it within the Christian community. How does The Reformed Gamers address the stigma facing gamer culture from the church?
By facing it head-on, addressing certain issues from a Biblical worldview, and putting out more good to (Lord willing) offset the negative. The primary mindset we run into is the one of “video games are for children”. We have a plethora of episodes covering a variety of games that are definitely not for children. We even covered Fortnite on an episode and highlighted some of the positive aspects of the game that can be used to cultivate communication and teamwork.
Conversely, apart from the ultimate mission to spread the word of the Gospel to non-Christians and encourage Christians to game to the glory of God, is there an aspect of gamer culture that The Reformed Gamers recognizes needs immediate change?
Our culture (in America, anyway) has become increasingly tribalistic in regards to ideas. This has crept into gaming and has caused a lot of problems in regards to overall communication between one another. You see this primarily in regards to the console war/fanboyism that is prevalent online. With the new systems being practically identical in terms of hardware, it’s weird to see people online argue over which box is better.
It’s 2020. The Reformed Gamers have introduced new contributors to the website, continues to upload podcast episodes, has a twitch stream, and cultivates a healthy, populated Discord channel. Let’s think about 2025: Where’s The Reformed Gamers? What do you hope the Lord develops in those 5 years?
This is where I tend to “Gary Vee” my answer and throw out something big: I see TRG being the Christian alternative to an IGN or Polygon. I’m proud of the intentional focus we are giving to the website and believe we’re putting out content that is just as good as, if not better than, the podcast episodes. I’m hoping this continues and we help gamers everywhere connect their hobby with their faith.
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Melvin Benson is the Founder, Executive Editor, and Lead Host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!