91 episodes

Video games and theology with Ben Wallis, Rachel Dalton, and Joshua Wise, Ph.D.

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    • Video Games
    • 5.0, 8 Ratings

Video games and theology with Ben Wallis, Rachel Dalton, and Joshua Wise, Ph.D.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

CaylusCrusader ,

Worth your time

An editor, priest, and theologian walk into a bar. And, well, they talk about whatever in a respectful way and generally have a good time. There’s religion, video games, politics, swearing, and openness. I imagine this is what kind of fellowship “the Inklings” (Tolkien and Lewis’s famous pub group) had. Good people, good conversation, thought provoking topics. A must listen.

This used to be a different podcast back in the day. Back then it was called, The Cross and the Controller and was separated into two parts. This podcast is different.

The cast has gone for a different approach this time, where if you listen to their first episode you will hear their mission statement. Basically they want to give a voice to as many people, perspectives, and traditions regarding important issues in and around video games. They don’t want to create an echo chamber of ideas. They are looking to be challenged but mostly looking to listen.

And on that account they succeed.

The podcast is hosted on the All Ports Open network. Its format is conversational and topic driven. Sometimes the topic is chosen beforehand; sometimes one presents itself.

Although hosting has gone through some changes I think the current make-up is here to stay. Ben the priest and Joshua the theologian have been the constants. Rachel the editor, who has been on for over a year, is the latest addition and has just been fantastic.

Rachel makes a living editing academic papers. She is also an actress/singer/writer who performs in stage plays. She is awesome and passionate. She is a HUGE Buffy fan (you don’t even understand).

Ben is an Episcopalian priest. He has a family, which you can tell, he adores. He also hosts, with his wife, another podcast on the All Ports Open network called Pod of Love. He is a HUGE Disney fan (you don’t even understand).

Joshua has at least one Ph.D. in theological studies and is an adjunct professor. He is the creator of the All Ports Open network and a few other podcasts. He is very driven. He is a HUGE Batman fan (you don’t even understand).

As far as flow, they have a few segments. First, although it is not an advertised segment, after introductions, they usually talk about what the hosts are wearing. In short Ben wears hoodies, Rachel is fashionable, and Joshua business casual (maybe).

Second they jump into what they have been playing. Next, sometimes they’ll go down to the old game mill and play the game of “give me something old.” Where they present an older IP and a video game genre then create a video game combining the two. Always a treat.

Then they jump into a commercial break to advertise their Patreon or another show on the network.

And lastly they’ll dig into their topic which is usually determined before-hand. They’ve critiqued the tropes in video games videos, talked about philosophy, ethics, virtues, gender issues, dungeon crawling, religion, co-op games, etc. They are currently going through Joseph Campbell's Monomyth: The Hero’s Journey. When doing this they try to relate it back to video games.

If you want to get a good idea of what this podcast is about listen to their first episode. A very good predetermined topic episode is their episodes about the virtue of justice (Episodes 55 and 56). If you want one of their emotionally heavy episodes listen to their episode about suicide (Episode 69 [serious trigger warning]). And if you want a good ad hoc topic episode listen to their talk about ghosting (Episode 82). The insight, the level headedness, the knowledge, the class and sass; it is all there.

Technically everything is good. Good mics, levels and all that.

I like the variety, the people, the topics, and how deep it sometimes goes. We need more nuanced discussion in our media. This podcast provides that. And deserves your time.

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