Gaming and Training

Hats off to the Christian Century Magazine who just published a (paper-only?) special on theological education for the future. Its entitled “Seminary 2050” and my copy just came to the door. Great to see other voices on the same topic from friends of mine like Brian McLaren and Maggi Dawn. Great also, to see my own humble submission which brings me to an editing point which, I know, annoys publishers to death, especially when authors are as picky as I am, and considering the laughably long sentences i write, broken by commas, and punctuated by afterthoughts and asides, as i do when i speak [its a blogger thing] and its a Pauline thing [see what large letters i write] and it sure sounds like i was sitting next to you with a coffee and a photo album but some publishers just don’t want that, which is why I submitted a sensibly written document that would not require heavy editing. Even the right amount of words that was requested. Really.

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And I am not upset at all at the harsh slashing of content that enabled the editor to bring my article down to a particular brevity. But the omission of a word has altered the meaning of a sentence, and perhaps the article itself, so I wish to make amends right here.

Where it says “Educational videos will provide playful, interactive learning experiences. “ (page 27). Please add the omitted word GAMES so that it reads “Educational video GAMES [ie, computer generated immersive environments] will provide playful, interactive learning experiences. The need for new and more relevant ministry scenarios, [produced by Asian companies], is met by the automated input of new students and life long learners, who inform and update the system [through their requests for tailor-made training packages.]”

Nothing interactive about watching a video or DVD. In fact, its the opposite of what i was trying to say which is why the title “Videos for Pilgrim Leaders” is, as you can guess, not one that I chose myself. Probably my fault for using the already extinct word “video” rather than “multi-media CG-based immersive participatory virtual environment.”

And i am not making recommendations here for seminary training, just trying to give a realistic scenario of how I think things will be in 2050.

So . . just in case you read that and thought I was suggesting Seminaries would become the Blockbuster of 21st Century Seminary training . . . NO!

And again . . . No!

And in Czech . . Ne!

Also, one paragraph stuck out as being particularly relevant, in light of the last blog post regarding a new missional order.

“The rise of urban monasteries and abbeys will add a much needed residential element to education. Ministerial training will be reconnected to gardening, hospitality, cooking and entrepreneurship. Associations of monasteries and seminaries will form “trials” open to student-pilgrims.”

Andrew Jones, page 27.

Yes, I believe that. And I should add, lest you think me one MP3 short of the playlist, that my esteemed colleagues from this section, both Brian and Maggi, also speak of the new monasticism as a viable stepping stone on the way to Seminary 2050.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • jim.k says:

    sorry about the rough edit.
    totally agree with a new monastic move. it’s nice to see that cookie cutter church recipe is changing. i’ve been getting tired of seeing to many communities just “playing church”.

  • andrew jones says:

    thanks jim
    not a rough edit at all. just one word that i was not clear on and should not have used. why the heck did i say “video” games?

  • Mathias says:

    Very interesting. For some time now I’ve also had this brooding feeling that the monastic life will return. It will be exciting to see!

  • futuristguy says:

    Oooh – – cool! Should I live so long (umm … 2050 … I’d be 95!) perhaps the various simulation exercises and games I’ve been working on since 2000 for cultural interpretation and contextualization will finally be wanted! By some publisher! Who will pay big bucks!
    But then again, I’ll probably just self publish way before, so I can use them in my next residential community-discipleship-leader formation situation.

  • andrew jones says:

    FG, they really should have asked you to write something. This is your area. Why not write something now and leave a link here. What you write is ALWAYS worth reading.

  • impleri says:

    “Seminary MMORPG” would have been an interesting title.

  • Where are the educational Christian computer games of today? I wondered if you could recommend any sites?

  • andrew says:

    I have come across some board games that are trying to make the transition but i really cant name any gaming environments that are suitable right now.
    Interesting though, that some Playstation conquest games have missionaries in them.

  • Michelle says:

    My son, currently finishing off primary school (age 12), is aiming for a career in game design. He’s planned out quite a few Christian-ish plots. But it seems the wider world will have to wait a while… 🙂 We were looking for currently-available Christian/educational games a while back. Came up basically blank.
    The kid’s going to make a killing. And I’m going to retire and live off his earnings.

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