Thursday, September 14, 2006

An Idea I have . . .

I don't really have time to be doing this. I presently have 50+ pages left to read this afternoon. In addition to that I need to read an additional 130 pages and write a paper about said pages by next Tuesday, and that is just one book for one class. So let's call this harmless little blog post, badly needed study break.

So I had an idea a while ago, and it is one that I keep coming back to in my thoughts. I want to create a website. As you can no doubt guess the main topic of this website would be video games. While that is not a shock, I believe that this hypothetical site will fulfill a niche that is not actually available on the internet (several niches actually).

The meat of my site will be video game reviews. The unique element is that for each game there will be two reviews: A parent review and a gamer review. There are practically zero resources for non-gaming parents who buy games for their kids. These reviews would attempt to tell the parents what they want to know: Mainly will my kid like the game, is it apporpriate for them, and is it worth the money. The gamer review would then be the more traditional game reviews that can be found elsewhere, but people read reviews for informed opinions so adding one more informed (and hopefully well written) opinion to the Internet would not be a bad thing. The second main element of my website would be a deposit of ways to use games in education. This would of course include both secular education and religious education. Nearly all published resources for using video games in ministry (and there are despertly few) are awful, as gaming becomes more and more mainstream in teenager culture (especially for guys) there is a need for a website of this nature. The last element of my website would be a community aspect, and this would not focus on the forums that most communities huttle around (though there would be forums to support these other aspects I am about to describe). The first community aspect my site would have is a collection of well written, regularly updated blogs. There are numerous popular video game blogs that focus on items in video games such as game news, games in politics, or game development. These blogs would all focus on the experience of being a gamer and playing games. There would be four blogs a Xbox focused one, a Playstation focused one, a Nintendo focused one, and a parent focused one. The other community element my site would have is a collection of creativity. My site would allow people to submit and host their works of fan art and fan fiction. While this is done other places I would work to better organize it and try to find ways to give away monthly prizes to foster community. Along with this would be a treasry of new game ideas that people have had and submitted to the site. Now ideally, upon creating this mythical site I would at least be able to get google ads, or some form of advertising. I would not expect the site to be a financial source, but it would be nice if it could pay for a subscription to gamefly (game rental service) and any prizes to give away.

Of course there are multiple problems with this whole idea. First, I need a server to host a website on, and that requires money that is not in the budget (because remember kids, the budget is law!). Second, even I had a server, I do not know anything about building a website. My HTML knowledge does not expand beyond like five tags, so I would have a TON to learn. Which leads into the third problem, my complete lack of time! With going to Seminary full time and working part time, I do not have a lot of time left over. Not enough to learn how to create a website anyway. Updating the site regularly would not be as hard because there are enough game journalism enthusist who would contribute to the site (reviews, blogs, etc) even without financial any sort of financial compensation. So I guess really all I would have to do is find someone who thinks my site sounds like a good idea, and has the technical know how to put it together (and if they had an extra server laying around to host it on, well that would be nice too). While it would be nice to magically bump into someone like that, this idea will have to stay just that an idea. Maybe in three years after I finish seminary I can come back to it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Next 4 months of my life . . .

Yes I did completely steal the title, so what?

I have not posted in the past, what three weeks is it now. . . for several reasons. First and formost, because I was playing Oblivion like a crackfiend. I really wanted to "beat" it before seminary started. I would go on at some leangth at the awesomeness of that game, but I already did that here. I was also busy with a youth group trip to go camping and white water rafting in North Carolina. I also have been busy, with starting seminary. My first week of classes is over so I am for sure a graduate student. I am just full time at 9 hours, but here is my schedule such as it is:

Tuesday and Thursday 10:45-Noon: Introduction to Theology. I think this class is going to fully encapsulate everything I had hoped seminary would be and everything I feared it would be. The class today was by far the fastest 75 minute class I have ever sat in. It was a fascinating exchange of ideas, with a professor who had an almost Keating like way of pulling the best thoughts out of students. On the flip side, to me the study of Systematic Theology is quickly beginning to look like something that will make me uneasy. It is as if the discipline takes a faith as a whole, removes all of the faith, and then over-analyzes what is left. Despite, some concerns I do think the class will be interesting.

Tuesday 2:15-5:00: Introduction to New Testment: I think this class is going to be very good, and the professor seems excellent. He puts a rather big emphasis on pastoral ministry, which is cool because that keeps everything from being academic, the down side is there is A LOT of reading for this class (actually a lot of reading over all I have over 22 books to read this semester!)

Wednesday 8:30-11:15 Spiritual Autobiography and Christian Ministry. This is a required class for everyone and it's main idea is to examine spirituality and spiritual practices. I think it is a cool concept, esepcially when everything else is so academic. I also like the fact that entire class is based around small groups.

Mondays are exclusivly for working at church. I also get church work done on Tuesday morning (I am there early for Younglife and Staff Meatings), Wedensday afternoons, and Thursday mornings. Hopefully I will be able to get everything done in that time frame.

Then on Fridays I will probably do some of that dreaded substitute teaching crap. I hate doing it, but it is an easy $55 a day to help pay for seminary and there is time in the day that I can do some of my reading.