Tuesday, January 23, 2001

It’s 2:44 a.m. Any sane person would be fast asleep right now but no, Brennen and I have just spent the past three hours installing, configuring, and ultimately playing Quake2 deathmatch against each other.

It took forever to work out a way where we could connect, what with inconsistencies in maps and unsupported network configurations. Once we actually did, we had to run the server off my 56k dial-up connection, which meant that I was running at about 2 frames per second at best.

And I loved every minute of it. :-) Brennen showed me a great time, and I can’t wait for the next time that we play.

Update at 3:20 p.m.

OK, I need to rant here.

Last year, in the AWANA program I help out at, I offered to get the kids Pokemon merchandise (cards, posters; whatever) if they memorized their verses. The kids got really motivated and did a lot of memorization.

But with the Pokemon craze growing, a lot of kids had started playing Pokemon during choir practice, and just generally disturbing the peace. One of the commanders explained to me that the church had decided that Pokemon stuff would have to stay outside the building, for organizational rather than spiritual reasons.

Unfortunate, but understandable. I agreed to stop providing Pokemon stuff to the kids.

But a few weeks back I had a brain storm: Why not order the Pokemon merchandise, and have it shipped directly to the kid who wanted it? The merchandise need never touch the church building. I e-mailed one of the commanders, and this was her reply:

the short answer is no, and here's why. In the past we've had some rather upset parents over the Pokemon issue. It's just an area we would rather stay out of altogether.

She then went on to suggest some other things that I could try, particularly a Christian collectible card game (and because it’s Christian, it must be OK). A pleasant exchange overall, but this has me furious.

What she’s basically saying is that some parents were upset over Pokemon, and so the leadership decided to just abandon the whole issue. We can’t upset parents, after all.

I want to know what these parents are upset about. I can understand them not wanting their kids collecting Pokemon, if those kids are getting obssessive. But that’s not cause for complaining to us for selling the stuff.

I’m betting that they believe Pokemon Is Evil. I did some research today, and sure enough there are all sorts of odd opinions in the “Christian” community that purport that Pokemon is occult. No, it doesn’t have any occult terminology or imagery, nor do you act out any occult practices, but it’s occult, because it’s made by a company that bought the company that made D&D. And maybe kids will start thinking that Pokemon are real, and that they can exert power over them. Huh? This is marketed to 12-year-olds, not 2-year-olds.

That whole debate is infuriating enough, but what I think really frustrates me is the reaction of the commanders. They’ve decided that we won’t provide Pokemon, for political reasons instead of spiritual ones. It just makes things easier that way.

Please, tell me who has trouble with this. Let me talk with them. If they don’t like Pokemon, that’s fine; I won’t give it to their kids. I am very spiritually sure that Pokemon is OK, and I can see how much of an incentive it is for these kids. I don’t like being told that I can’t provide it, especially when…

…OK, the leadership is caving to special-interest groups. That’s the problem.

I think I’ve run out of steam. I’ll e-mail the commander later today, once I’ve calmed down enough to write a kind, rational message.

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