Quick Night — A Gamecell Recap

“Can we do a night with quick games?” Greg asked.

It got me thinking: what does the Bible say about the word quick? In old english, Quick was another term for being alive, like heart throbbing halfway out of your chest alive. In the old King James version of the Bible, there’s this verse in Peter about God judging the quick and the dead. So that became our theme for the evening: How does one truly become quick?

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Tim Russell turned into the Discussion Master for the first time ever. And he did a phenomenal job leading the discussion cards and starting with this intro question:

“What games make you come alive?” Tim asked.

Roberto, Alex Carter, Vince, Tyler, and I responded with games ranging from Devil May Cry to Hotline Miami. Then Tim followed-up:

What besides games makes you come alive?

Roberto shared ways that working out really invigorates him. Vince shared about getting outside with his wife and kids adds a ton of joy. And I shared about how I loved feeling like I’m needed in helping others like when my wife called me earlier in the day needing me to come fix her flat tire.

Tim handed had Tyler ask the next question:

“What comes to mind when you hear the words eternal life?”

Alex talked about Dragon Ball and how characters from that show are always looking for ways to live forever. Roberto mentioned how living forever might seem appealing but becomes really drab and boring. Answers really veered towards a deathless life. So I shared about how the word in the Bible is Aeon Zoe and how it’s like this wild substantive reality that Jesus was all about invading the here and the now.

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“Is that coming alive for you? Tyler asked as a follow-up.

Tim needed a little clarity on the question so I explained that I wanted to know if coming alive and Eternal Life seemed like similar things. I think most of the guys felt a little confused by the idea.

Tyler took on the the Text Master role and read John 5:24:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Tyler pointed out: they have already passed from death into life. And he asked, “Did you know that there’s this clear and present component to Eternal Life that’s for today?” We had a few blank stares.

Vince got the next question:

“What part of yourself do you need to ‘pass from death into life?'”

Vince and I both talked about fear of starting a business and how that fear needed to die so my business could come alive. Alex told us that we should start a business together. I’m still not sure if I think that we’re both brave enough to do that. But he has a point. The other guys talked about areas they don’t like that need new life.

“Did you know Jesus is all about bringing life there? In those dead-feeling areas?” Vince asked.

Tyler taught for a couple seconds: “Did you know that another term for living and being alive is to be Quick?” And he asked, “Ever hear the term, The Quick and the Dead?”

Then I think Roberto found the dictionary definition:

Quick. noun. living persons: the quick and the dead.

Tyler closed by saying, “May you find a quickening in your spirit a hunger a passion and fullness that makes your eyes light up.” Alex prayed over our understanding of the idea of coming alive in a deep way. Then we snacked. And next it was game time.

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Game Time

We picked from this lot:

  • Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
  • BANG BANG BANG
  • Westerado: Double Barelled
  • Mayan Death Robots (beta)
  • Lethal League
  • Samurai Gunn
  • Towerfall

Alex stepped-up as Game Master for the evening making sure we all knew what each game was about. Roberto got to pick since he was the newest guy still. And we all agreed that he couldn’t pick his own game, Guilty Gear Xrd so he picked Mayan Death Robots, the GameCell classic and perhaps reigning favorite.

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Vince lost to Roberto in the first round. But everybody was into it. The mutual-turn-based action kept things intense. And I know Tyler and Tim seemed to especially love it. In the middle of play, Greg got back from his school dance. He was happy to show everybody how dapper he looked in his bow tie.

Mayan Death Robots went on for a little longer than most games usually do as rounds were tense, but not short.

Mayan Death Robots is presently in open beta and is fantastic 2-player versus.

Next, Alex picked what we played next, which was his favorite, Lethal League. Nobody complained.

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Roberto loved how Lethal League only gets faster and faster as each round goes on and requires a high level of reading other players. The idea of being quick, alive, and focused became very clear to everybody with this game.

Lethal League is an A+ four-player versus game.

BANG BANG BANG was next.

It fit our theme of The Quick and the Dead as perfect as any game could as it was all just Mexican standoffs and super-quick four-player shoot-outs. Rounds were over in five seconds. And they were even longer than usual because we had to reload six bullets when everybody was ready.

Tim took right to it and showed us all up as the Oil Baron. Kid was just quick to the draw. The rest of the players didn’t quite understand how the game worked and a shootout was often over before players could move. I jumped in on a few rounds and tried to show Tim what’s up. But I never lasted long enough to win. Five successes of last-man-standing turn into total victory.

Most of our crew didn’t seem to like the game as they never got their footing even though Tim and I loved it.

BANG BANG BANG was C+ four-player versus for our crew (even though I thought it was an A-).

We had a few minutes left for Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-.

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Roberto hadn’t practiced too much at this game, so Alex, Vince, Greg and I stood an actual chance against him. Each one-on-one fighting match turned into a crazy approximation of “what in the world is going on?” and watching for the other player’s tells. Fantastic character art design and extremely fast fighting-game action kept the game focused. And it was a great way to end the night.

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- is a two-player fighting game that has some awkward innuendo and creepy imagery but with our crew, I’d say it’s an A- game.

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The smaller crew meant we could connect more with one another. Overall, it was another fantastic evening.

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

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.