It started last night in trafalgar. The London Games Festival is on, cunningly placed for half-term – get those kiddies in to play! Free public gaming with EA in Trafalgar Square.
The festival fringe for the London Games Fringe is back too and has its usual treats in store, although I am only attending one of those treats this year. These include a real time, real space recreation of the great old 80s Atari classics around Spitalfields and what will undoubtedly be an educational talk by Six to Start about ARGS in as content for broadcasters etc.
No discussion of any spiritual dimensions to gaming and games of course. Not unexpected, but what I do notice is that we seem to be accepting the cut off of the spiritual from any involvement in life, education, fun and games. If we had a different spiritual approach to playing the financial markets perhaps we wouldn’t be in the pickle we are in now…just a thought.
Anyway, it appears i am not the only one who has noticed this. The composer James MacMillan the Sandford St Martin lecture for BBC Radio 4 and talks about the unique place classical music can occupy in a spiritual life and how there is an active ignorance within the media around religion and spirituality in general that looks to ignore and actively dismiss religious concerns from daily life.
At one point he mentions that 21% of people within the media environment are religious and that they feel discomfort in that environment to an extent. I can vouch for this having worked in a television channel.
Playful expressions – whether they are traditionally understood gaming or artistic expressions of self-actualisation or communal identity – need to be encouraged and highlighted by all those of religious persuasion, otherwise they will be simply cut out of our daily discourse.
You can hear how eloquently James expresses this on the BBC’s website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/religion/pip/8epa6/