Video- and Internet Games

Authored by: Rachel Wagner

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Popular Culture

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415638661
eBook ISBN: 9781315724478
Adobe ISBN: 9781317531067

10.4324/9781315724478.ch8

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Abstract

Just as our art, culture, politics, and communications have become absorbed into wired space, so too is religion becoming wired. As Lorne Dawson (2005: 15) has observed, religion “of every kind, big and small, old and new, mainstream and more exotic, is present online, and in great abundance.” Mary Hess (2008: 44) notes that today, “it makes little sense to write about media practices as separated in any way from practices of faith more generally.” Leonard Sweet (2012: 122) similarly observes that technology is so “embedded” in our lives that “it no longer [can be] considered a separate category, but [is] a part of everything.” A number of compelling questions emerge when religion gets wired, regarding sacred texts, sacred space, ritual experience, self, and community. But as we shall see, the most compelling and provocative point of contact between religion and wired culture is videogames, which increasingly function in ways that remarkably resemble religious practice—for good and for ill.

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