Hi Nicol,

I just downloaded and finished listening to your message. Here are my
thoughts and comments in a sort of question and answer format.

Q: Tom, why must you use mythology in Mysteries of the Ancients?

A: Well, Nicol, there are a number of reasons why I use mythology in
my games like Mysteries of the Ancients and it has nothing to do with
religion per say. I am a Christian myself, and unlike your church I
have always been a lot more open minded and liberal about church
doctrine. For one thing I believe it is alright to read, study, and
understand other religions provided I realise that Jesus Christ is my
personal lord and savior. Therefore I do not worship Greek, Egyptian,
and Roman mythology but I study them to better understand the culture,
people, and beliefs of those ancient societies. Not to study ancient
cultures religions is ignorance of what those people thought and how
they lived their lives. Which brings me to my next reason for using
mythology in my games.

I don't know if you are aware of this, but when I entered college it
was with the intent to become a historian. I couldn't get grants to
get a history degree so I eventually entered the computer science
field. All the same I took several electives on ancient history,
comparative religions, ancient mythology, to get a better
understanding of ancient people and ancient culture. I don't see Greek
mythology, Egyptian mythology, Babylonian mythology, etc as religion
but as ancient history. From that attitude or perspective it is not
incompatible with Christianity because the issue here is not who or
what I personally worship, but studying ancient beliefs from a purely
scientific and/or historical point of view. That brings me to my next

Although, I am a Christian by faith that doesn't mean I necessarily
agree with the bible on each and every subject. What I'm saying is I
don't take everything in the bible litterally. For example, in Genesis
chapter 1 we have this story about the world being created in six
days. Now, since I am college educated, have a heavy background in
science and history I absolutely can not take that litteral. I agree
with science that the world is about 4.5 billion years old, and our
universe is perhaps a good fifteen billion years old.  So how do I
reconcile that with the bible?

Well, for starts the hebrew word in the book Genesis is not day. There
really isn't an English word like it, but basically it is an
unspecified period of time that is used to seperate one stage of
creation from another. Using that logic we could say it was a day, a
week, a month, a year, a billion years, whatever. It need not mean a
litteral six days that some Creationists insist Genesis chapter 1 is
talking about.

The other argument proposed by St. Augastine himself is that the
Genesis story is a Metaphorical myth to give you the truth that God
created the earth, Adam and Eve, etc but is not to be taken
litterally. People will probably argue over this until God returns,
but the fact is I myself agree with Augastine that Christians should
be careful in assuming a litteral six day creation, and have adopted a
more scientific and more open minded view about Genesis.

All I'm saying is I am a person who tries to see the world both
through science and Christianity. I feel by looking at both, comparing
them, can we get to the truth. I have had my fair share of Jehovah
Witnessesshow up on my door step telling me that the world is only
6,000 years old, and while they are welcome to their beliefs there is
nothing they can say or do to convince me that their unscientific
position is the correct one.

Finally, as I have said many times on this list I am a huge fan of
Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and Rogue Angel. All of these books,
movies, and games involve an archeologist looking for some lost
artifact and must end up going through some ancient tomb or something
to recover it. And yes, they involve a fair share of mythology and a
bit of the supernatural as part of the plot. As it is totally make
believe, all in good fun, it has nothing to do with what I personally
believe or how I worship. So in my mind creating an adventure game
like Mysteries of the Ancients, historical mythology and all, is
perfectly ok for me and others from a religious point of view. If you
don't like it simply don't play it.

Q: Justin, why must you have shooting In Pipe II Blast Chamber?

A: While I am not Justin I'm certain I can answer this one. the answer
is pretty simple. We do not all share the same beliefs. As you
probably know by now regardless if someone is aChristian or not no two
Christian churches agree on the exact same doctrine. I myself have no
problem with the violence in Pipe II where you apparently do. This is
just something you are going to have to accept and stop moaning about
the fact we don't all share the same beliefs here. I don't know what
Justin believes in, but like me apparently he doesn't see a problem
with the violence in the games he creates. That's why it is there in
the first place.

More over just because you have a problem with a game that is out
there doesn't mean the rest of us do. I'm sure you will find that most
of the people who have Pipe II are not bothered by the bonus rounds
etc. I'm certainly not, and like I said if you want games that aren't
violent you ar just going to have to create them yourself. Justin,
Liam, Philip, and I all create games simply for our own fun and
entertainment. Yeah, we sell them to you guys for a little extra
money, but we aren't hear to pander to one group of religious gamers
or another. Either you like the games as is or you don't. That's all
there is too it.

Q: why don't you make games like Popeye, Baloon fight, or Mario Brothers?

A: Excuse me if I missed something here, but wouldn't Mario Brothers
qualify as both violent and supernatural by the rules of your church?

I must say this took me by surprise because by definition Mario
Brothers would be a bit supernatural. He grabs various flowers and
plants to make him grow, shrink, shoot fireballs, become invincible,
etc. All of these things would be more or less like magic and thus
would be sinful in your opinion. That's not even including Bowser,
basically a dragon, which is a mythical creature. Sorry, Nicol we
can't create Mario Brothers because by your logic it is evil.

Oh, my personal favorite Popeye. Well, again we can't create that
because it is too violent. If you remember to rescue Olive Popeye has
to knock Bruno out, and he usually falls off into the water below.
Oops! That's violent!

You see, what I'm saying? Your logic is that games are too
supernatural, too violent, but when it comes down to it the two of the
very games you asked for have violence and supernatural stuff in them
anyway. You might as well face it this is a part of our culture and
most people don't agree with your religious theology regardless of how
well meant it may be.


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