1. Nicholas Tieman says:

    My first thought when encountering this issue is, why am I constantly encountering this issue? Why does it so often feel as though the only choices are anti-Christian entertainment or no entertainment at all?

    That question could be its own blog series, but I’d like to focus on one aspect of this question that I don’t usually see covered: how community affects choice. We’re all aware of how interesting and dynamic fan communities can be, and how they can make or break the experience, or even be an experience unto themselves, largely independent from the original work itself. But, I think it goes even further than that, into defining, even for people who do not participate in these communities, what constitutes acceptable choices in entertainment.

    The best modern example is Game of Thrones. I made a personal decision not to participate in Game of Thrones, and over the years I was constantly reminded of the various conversations and cultures I was excluded from. It became quite apparent that a fan of Game of Thrones could expect to take part in a community and conversation with depth, breadth, and prestige far beyond what a fan of any other fantasy work could expect. While it didn’t ultimately persuade me to abandon my standards, it did make me reconsider, because I could see that it offered real benefits beyond the merits of the work itself. Dr. Who also participates in this–a strong story further elevated by its far-reaching and passionate community.

    The flip side of this is, telling someone that if they don’t like it, they can just watch something else is something of a hollow comfort. It is true that we are living in a golden age of entertainment, with everyone from the big Hollywood players all the way down to the indies being more prolific than ever. But, even with all those out there, only a few things ever reach the level of generally accessible conversation. Sure, any GoT conscientious objectors can go read The Breaking of Jandaria or any of the other thousands of less objectionable fantasy titles out there, but they’ll be doing it by themselves, in a vacuum. It’s just not the same when nobody knows what you’re talking about!

    • notleia says:

      Heck, bring on that blog series! It’s a topic worth discussing, how much a community (or lack thereof) contributes to enjoying a thing. It’s more or less the point of this site, to build a community, yeah?
      But I think most Christians who like not-typically-Christian things will fill the vacuum by participating in a secular community, whether something taboo like GoT or something like My Little Pony. People go where the community is at.
      For example, I don’t talk about my yarn hobby here, but I have a Pinterest and a Ravelry account (I don’t have anyone convenient IRL to blather about yarn with, so I do it online). Through those I can find a porpskillion mommyblogs about knitting and crochet and Tunisian crochet. Or find half a dozen charts with the legends in Russian or Japanese that are still intelligible because we all understand the symbols.
      (BTW I will totally blather on about my yarn if you ask.)

What do you think?