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Life is Co-op

If you haven’t seen The Avengers yet, do. It’s smashing. Joss Whedon has once again done what he does best: thrown a team of weirdos with supernatural powers at a seemingly insurmountable problem so we can watch them tear it up.

Thor and Captain America

Man. That guy with the eyepatch was right about this teamwork thing.

I think stories like that — stories with a team of remarkable, unique people coming together to accomplish something incredible — appeal to us because we’re built for teamwork. God set life up to be co-op. It makes sense when you consider that God is inherently relational. He’s three people at once: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is a loving, perfect, cooperative relationship in the very nature of the Creator.

I think that’s one reason we get that certain thrill from getting a good party in WoW or plowing through grunts side by side in Halo. What’s better than having a good healer watching your back in an MMORPG?

By contrast, you ever try to solo as a healer? It’s awful. You can’t get anything done. As in roleplaying games, so in life: we’re made to work together as a party.

Unfortunately, as much as we need each other, we’re still broken people. Because we’re built for co-op, we have a lot of potential to mess each other up. Two illustrations come to mind: Adam and Eve, and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
-Genesis 3:6

Adam and Eve failed each other. God told them not to eat from one particular tree. Eve tempted Adam. Adam caved to Eve. If either had done their job — resisted temptation and helped the other do the same — our world would be a different place. Their choice had dramatic consequences for all of us. Because they did what they did, we’re all broken.

Green Link blows up Blue Link.

My bad, Blue. I thought you were a moblin. *snicker*

Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. It’s supposedly a co-op game. You’re supposed to team up with four of your friends to solve puzzles and defeat bad guys. However, Four Swords inevitably devolves into a game of find-a-new-way-to-troll-your-buddy. It turns out there are lots of ways: lob a bomb at him, pick him up and hurl him into the abyss, tug him along with a grappling hook, etc, etc.

The real-life version of that is less funny. People that were supposed to be looking out for us hurt us instead. We let down people that rely on us.

Whether you realize it or not, your choices affect others.

There’s another difficulty with this whole teamwork thing. It can be really hard to ask for help when you need it. It’s hard for some of us who have been burned before, or those of us that are shy or really self-reliant.

Nonetheless, we’re built to rely on one another. We’re made for teamwork. And that simple fact means that it’s okay to ask for help.

That’s a tough one for me. I like to do things myself. I’ve had to learn to accept input and correction gracefully. I’ve had to learn that I really do need help to accomplish what God has called me to do, and that that doesn’t mean I’m defective.

Being on a team means having people around you that know you and know God well — people that can encourage you and hold you accountable. Do you need a team? We’ve got some good people at Crossroads, and in Extra Life Ministries in particular. We’d be glad to party up with you.

I pray God will give you good friends to rally around you. May their gifts and yours work together to accomplish something amazing for Him. I hope you find a team.


Geeks Step Up

On 3/16, Bungie – creator of the Halo series –  announced a fundraiser for relief efforts in Japan. Japan quake relief wristbands are available for $5 through the Bungie Store and, with the proceeds going to the Red Cross.

So, a video game company tries to help out. Should generate a little money, right?

The wristbands were sold out within hours and quickly became the #1 bestseller in the Amazon clothing category. That made the Bungie’s Weekly Update.

Valve is jumping in, too. Team Fortress 2 players can now by in-game items, also to benefit the Red cross.

Let it never be said that geeks don’t care.


Anyone remember my rant on achievements? How I said they’re not to be taken seriously? How they’re not that big a deal?

I spent hours getting this:

Here’s what you have to do to get it:

It was really hard.

…don’t judge me.

Add to Friends List

I got the chance to play some Halo: Reach online yesterday. I do love me some shooty action, but playing online is always a mixed bag. There are some not-fun types out there that love nothing more than to cuss you out or – perhaps worse – scream nonsense into the mic until your ears bleed.*

Yesterday, though, I had the pleasure of playing with several people that just made my day.

The icecreamKi Gamertag A hilarious South-African-turned-Aussie.

Cruzon63 GamertagCruzona63 Gamertag

A brother and sister who play together.

Son of Attack Gamertag

killawat55 Gamertag And several other fun chaps.

In a world of griefers and sore losers, you guys stood out. Thank you for a good time. Stay awesome.

And a special thanks to Cruzona63 for the shoutout! That warmed my heart.


*I try to give people a chance before I mute them. I think I’m too generous, sometimes.