By Justin Arnold Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — Youth Pastor Josh Webb wants to build relationships with teenagers — one dead alien at a time.
Video games such as “Grand Theft Auto” have often caused concern for parents and religious leaders. But teenagers still occupy their time playing these games.
Webb, who is youth pastor at Marysville First Assembly, wants to use the medium as a way to reach teenagers by creating a gaming ministry. He’s started an all-night “Halo 3” tournament at the church. Here’s a conversation with Webb:
Q: How did you get the idea to start a gaming ministry?
A: It just evolved out of a general discussion: What are students into that we can participate in? What are they into that we can host that will introduce us to them? The common mediums that we found were music, video games, and skating. You ask any student on a high-school campus and they play video games. “Halo 2” and 3 are the most popular games out there, alongside “Guitar Hero.”
Q: How are the leaders involved?
A: Our worship leader works at a GameStop so he gets the games when they come out, so being in a band and a band culture plus working in the gamer culture is huge. He’s a good example of someone who can bridge the gap successfully.
Q: How does “Halo” go over with parents?
A: For the most part, we have been blessed as most parents don’t have a problem with it. “Halo” is about harming aliens, not people. It’s not a gory game. We wouldn’t play a game that would be like that. But for the most part the students who come are already high school and college students who own an Xbox and the game, so they have parents who are already OK with it.
Reporter Justin Arnold: 425-339-3432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.