Failure Fun Night — A GameCell Recap

This essay was originally posted on Love Subverts, and has been re-posted with the author’s permission.

Grace is most apparent in failure, right? At least, that was my assumption going into Failure Fun Night. Our crew got together with four new guys to explore the idea of failure and how Jesus might want us to look at it.

Vince took charge as the dungeon discussion master while I pretended to be invisible as our video-taper of the evening. Alex played welcome-man. Greg took the great introducer role. Tyler was tonight’s teacher. And Garrett reprised his role as game master.

Our first special new-guy guest showed up right at 7pm. Welcome, Logan!

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We hooked Logan up with a gamer bible, laughed a good bit, building rapport, and then went into our questions for the evening.

Can you share your name and your favorite type of game?” Greg asked.

Logan said his all time favs were Super Nintendo games. Vince echoed this by going on generation older, citing NES games.

“Has anything ever made you feel like a failure?” Tyler asked.

Everybody had a story. It took us a little bit to get through them all.

Matt Car and his buddies David and Maneffaat (Maat) suddenly showed up! This brought the count to four new guys! Woohoo! Our crew hooked them up with Gamer Bibles and made them feel welcome. Greg re-asked the opener question, making sure everybody got a chance to respond. Vince mentioned the first question.

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“Do videogames (and their infinite lives) make you less afraid of failure in real life?”

David and Maat may have been new guys, but they both had great answers to this question straight out of the gate. The rest of our crew chimed in before Tyler taught for two minutes on the subject of failure

Tyler asked, “Did you know that the the Cross is the ultimate symbol of failure?” We heard some positive responses. Then elaborated that the cross was the way revolutionaries were executed when their violent uprising failed. David responded with affirmation that this historical data was in fact true.

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Tyler continued, “Jesus made the cross the symbol of everything he’s about. He chose to die on one.” And then he ended with a question, “Do you think maybe the cross is part of Jesus’ attempt to redefine failure? And teach us to be less afraid of it?”

Lots of positive responses. Then Vince passed the Text Master card to Matt Carr, who read the following:

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one fall is enough to overthrow the wicked. -Proverbs 24:16

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Matt did a phenomenal job of bringing the Text to life before we got to our final question:

“Can you think of ways that failure is a good thing? In games?”

Maat and Logan offered some fantastic examples of positivity in games. As did David and the rest of our crew. Then we prayed. Snack time.

Our crew had to pick from the following failure games:

  • Besiege
  • SumoPuckii
  • Mayan Death Robots
  • Oblitus
  • Helldivers
  • Hotline Miami
  • Counterspy

Matt Carr chose Counterspy, a stylish Cold War game about preventing nuclear war and mutually-assured-destruction.

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Halfway through his play time, Garret hit us with a game-question: “Can failing in a cartoony Cold War game teach you about the Cold War?”

Counterspy was a B+ game to watch Matt, Maat, and David play. 

Maat chose SumoPuckii and this got us into some of our greatest excitement for the evening. Such a simple game produced so much joy.

Garrett hit us with the response question: “Is failing a funny teacher?”

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SumoPuckii was an A+ two-player game that our whole group loved.

David got the next pick. His choice was Helldivers a game of punishingly hard mistakes.

It left us with the question, “Is making dumb mistakes hilarious and a good teacher?”

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Helldivers was a B+ four-player game that was funny to watch other stumble through, but it lacked a pick-up-and-play accessibility.

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Garrett booted-up Besiege just before Matt, David, Maat, and Logan had to leave. Everybody loved the hilarious nature of a game about failing to create a useful siege machine.

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Garrett asked, “Do you think this makes failure seem fun?”

Besiege was a B+ single player build-em-up.

The night was amazing as usual. Stay tuned for the upcoming video: “What’s a GameCell?”


M. Joshua gets a bunch of dudes together for videogames-and-discussion and calls it GameCell. The above entry chronicles what the crew did on Friday, April 17th, 2015.

If you want to read more of M. Joshua’s GameCell beyond this, check out lovesubverts.com.

About M. Joshua Cauller

M. Joshua is a missionary to his basement — where he leads a videogames-and-spiritaul-formation group called GameCell. He makes indie game trailers by day, which you can see at mjoshua.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.