Book Reviews Are A-Comin’

11 05 2009

Well, you speak and I listen. (Except for the one person who said they don’t want to read reviews of books. Sorry, dude. Feel free to disregard this and future book posts.)

So yeah, while I didn’t get a very impressive turnout for the poll, (I get 70+ unique pageviews a day, yet less than 10 people responded? Huh?) the results are encouraging enough for me to say that I will occasionally (as I read books I find interesting enough to write about) do book reviews.

UnChristian - Kinnaman and Lyons

UnChristian - Kinnaman and Lyons

 

 

First up, will be “UnChristian” by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. This book, created by and with the vast and reliable research power of The Barna Group, takes an honest look at the modern church, and more importantly, the image problem that it has as a representation of Christ. I’ve only begun this book, but I’m quite excited about it.

 

 

 

 

Another book I’m reading currently, that I plan on writing about, is “Crazy Love”.

Crazy Love - Francis Chan

Crazy Love - Francis Chan

The author, Francis Chan, presents a view of Christianity, or really, of God, that makes us reexamine how we live our lives. Are we really recognizing the one true God? The creator of the universe? (As Chan puts it on the back cover: “The God of the Universe-the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies, and E-minor” (I love that quote.)

 

Are we truly living while keeping in mind that it is THAT God who created us, THAT God who loves us, and THAT God who deserves everything from us? Do we do this daily?

What’s great, is that while I wasn’t planning it at all (I really didn’t know too much about both books prior to getting them), both books really converse well with each other, and really converge in a purpose-questioning, life-changing way.

Anyway, I’m sure you can tell I’m enjoying both books. In fact, if you’re the type who ISN’T planning on reading the book reviews, let this be the review for you: Get both books. You will not regret it. One takes a hard, honest look at the current problem, and one takes a hard, honest look at the solution.

Again, I’ll have more detail when I finish the books, but I’m encouraged by what I’ve read thus far.

Down the line, I’ll be reviewing a couple books by an old friend of mine, David A. Zimmerman, starting with “Comic Book Character” and “Deliver Us From Me-Ville”.  And hopefully more.  (I’m open to suggestions, if you’ve got a book that you’ve been interested in reading, but weren’t sure if it was worth it…I’ll be happy to take that plunge for you!)

So, look forward to that in the coming weeks. In other future news, I will be reviewing Mega Man 9 as well. Keep your eyes peeled! (What does that even mean?)

I’ll leave you with a quote from the first chapter of “Crazy Love”, not from Francis Chan, but a quote he uses by A.W. Tozer, (and one I find quite true, and humbling if one meditates upon it):

 

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing to us…. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.

 

 

 

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Book Reviews Are A-Comin'

11 05 2009

Well, you speak and I listen. (Except for the one person who said they don’t want to read reviews of books. Sorry, dude. Feel free to disregard this and future book posts.)

So yeah, while I didn’t get a very impressive turnout for the poll, (I get 70+ unique pageviews a day, yet less than 10 people responded? Huh?) the results are encouraging enough for me to say that I will occasionally (as I read books I find interesting enough to write about) do book reviews.

UnChristian - Kinnaman and Lyons

UnChristian - Kinnaman and Lyons

 

 

First up, will be “UnChristian” by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. This book, created by and with the vast and reliable research power of The Barna Group, takes an honest look at the modern church, and more importantly, the image problem that it has as a representation of Christ. I’ve only begun this book, but I’m quite excited about it.

 

 

 

 

Another book I’m reading currently, that I plan on writing about, is “Crazy Love”.

Crazy Love - Francis Chan

Crazy Love - Francis Chan

The author, Francis Chan, presents a view of Christianity, or really, of God, that makes us reexamine how we live our lives. Are we really recognizing the one true God? The creator of the universe? (As Chan puts it on the back cover: “The God of the Universe-the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies, and E-minor” (I love that quote.)

 

Are we truly living while keeping in mind that it is THAT God who created us, THAT God who loves us, and THAT God who deserves everything from us? Do we do this daily?

What’s great, is that while I wasn’t planning it at all (I really didn’t know too much about both books prior to getting them), both books really converse well with each other, and really converge in a purpose-questioning, life-changing way.

Anyway, I’m sure you can tell I’m enjoying both books. In fact, if you’re the type who ISN’T planning on reading the book reviews, let this be the review for you: Get both books. You will not regret it. One takes a hard, honest look at the current problem, and one takes a hard, honest look at the solution.

Again, I’ll have more detail when I finish the books, but I’m encouraged by what I’ve read thus far.

Down the line, I’ll be reviewing a couple books by an old friend of mine, David A. Zimmerman, starting with “Comic Book Character” and “Deliver Us From Me-Ville”.  And hopefully more.  (I’m open to suggestions, if you’ve got a book that you’ve been interested in reading, but weren’t sure if it was worth it…I’ll be happy to take that plunge for you!)

So, look forward to that in the coming weeks. In other future news, I will be reviewing Mega Man 9 as well. Keep your eyes peeled! (What does that even mean?)

I’ll leave you with a quote from the first chapter of “Crazy Love”, not from Francis Chan, but a quote he uses by A.W. Tozer, (and one I find quite true, and humbling if one meditates upon it):

 

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing to us…. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.

 

 

 





Boom Blox Review

19 02 2009

(This article, and my reivew for Bioshock can both be found at TerrorTube.  Check it out, and vote it up, please!)

 

Boom Blox

Boom Blox

BOOM BLOX – Nintendo Wii – Developer/Producer: Electronic Arts – ESRB Rating:”E”

Let’s face it, the world is changing. Everywhere around us new technology abounds, people are doing new and interesting things, and yes, even gaming is hitting the mainstream thanks to the runaway success of Nintendo’s Wii console.

While as a reviewer and a longtime lover of video games, I tend to have tastes that trend towards the hardcore market, it’s worth noting that as a father of two and as a fan of games of all sorts, I am interested in what’s out there for the casual market.

This is what led me to Boom Blox. Boom Blox was created by Steven Spielberg (yes, that Spielberg), and developed by Electronic Arts for the Wii. Spielberg originally wanted to create a game that his kids could play with him, and one that really leaned on basic fun elements. Thus, a game where one throws balls at towers of blocks was created! Yes, in its essence, Boom Blox is about usnig the Wii Remote to throw a ball at the right point in a tower, to knock it over in the most destructive way possible with as few throws as possible. It’s a simple concept and one any child can grasp (especially boys). However, what bogs Boom Blox down, and keeps it from staying within that box of “simple fun”, is its need to expand the gameplay using all sorts of extra elements like special blocks (a bomb block explodes, chemical blocks need to be combined to, erm, explode, and disappearing blocks, well…they disappear.) And throughout the game, you’re introduced to other mechanics as well. There’s a ray gun that lets you zap blocks (or blocky animal enemies) for quick effect. There’s a sticky hand that works like one of those gummy hands you’d buy from a machine in a store for a quarter, inside an acorn of plastic…you simply place it on a block, and then use the “string” to pull it out.
Read the rest of this entry »





My First “Real” Game Review Is Now Live!

29 01 2009

As you may remember, I am beginning to write reviews and commentary for an upcoming site.  The site isn’t yet live, but my first professional review (For Bioshock) is being posted at the upcoming gaming site’s sister site, TerrorTube.  I’m not a horror fan, actually, so it’s funny that I was chosen to write there (Thanks, Heather!) but I’m happy to find a home for my reviews and I’m excited for the opportunity to write in a more professional manner.  It would mean a lot to me if you would check it out (and tell your friends, especially those into horror film, I suppose)!  Click the jump for an excerpt and a link to the full article! Read the rest of this entry »





My First "Real" Game Review Is Now Live!

29 01 2009

As you may remember, I am beginning to write reviews and commentary for an upcoming site.  The site isn’t yet live, but my first professional review (For Bioshock) is being posted at the upcoming gaming site’s sister site, TerrorTube.  I’m not a horror fan, actually, so it’s funny that I was chosen to write there (Thanks, Heather!) but I’m happy to find a home for my reviews and I’m excited for the opportunity to write in a more professional manner.  It would mean a lot to me if you would check it out (and tell your friends, especially those into horror film, I suppose)!  Click the jump for an excerpt and a link to the full article! Read the rest of this entry »





OtakuDad Gets Around. Film at 11.

20 11 2008
Okay, not really, but I can dream, right?

Okay, not really, but I can dream, right?

So, as of about one hour ago or so, I’ve been approached by a longtime friend who is an editor for a site (which will remain unnamed for now, until things are finalized), to write game reviews as well as cover general news in the industry, as they are looking to expand their coverage.

I’m very excited about the possibility, and while I cannot be specific about a lot until things get finalized, I can definitely say that if this ends up happening, I will be able to cover a lot more topics than I previously could as I should have access to some hardware that at the moment, is too next-gen for OtakuDad’s pocketbook.  (That almost rhymes internally by the way…OtakuDad Pocketbook. Us nerds gotta keep track of that stuff.  I could shorten it to OtakuPocket.  Or PokeTaku?)

And to be clear, the picture adorning this story is a joke, as the position would not be paid (at least at the time of writing).  But I’m excited for the opportunity to write in a professional-fashion again, and let me assure you loyal readers that the the quality/quantity of posts here shouldn’t change anytime soon.  This remains my personal site, where I’ll give more opinionated and more open-ended stories that appeal to me, rather than what a specific readership of an established site would be interested in.

I’ll be sure to keep you OtakuPeeps updated as soon as more details emerge.  If you are the praying sort (and why wouldn’t you be?) would you pray for this opportunity for me?  Thanks!





How OtakuDad Approaches Reviews

15 11 2008

 

No reason...just funny

No reason...just funny

After writing my first review for this site, I think it’s important to take some time to discuss what the purpose of this site is, and how I will approach reviews.

 

First things first, however.  It’s important to know that all opinions and thoughts from this site are my own, and should not necessarily be yours as well.  I am at a specific point in my walk with Christ, my gaming preferences, and my stage as a parent of two young children.  Some of this may apply to you, some of it may not.  The point is to take my perspective into view when reading my reviews.

That being said, my ultimate goal is to talk about gaming and the things I like and think you, the reader, would be interested in reading about.  But that’s something a lot of sites already do.  So why go to me, when I have no resources to meet with industry movers and shakers?  Why read OtakuDad when he can’t even go to E3 or the Tokyo Game Show or something? 

Because the Christian perspective is important, and that’s what I’ll attempt to add.  I have no interest in avoiding games simply because their content is not stereotypically Christian.  But if I see something (like the violence in Left 4 Dead) that I think is worth noting, I will do so, because it’s important for all of us, as Christians, to examine what we are putting into our heads and our hearts, daily.  We need to be sure that we are taking steps to encounter Christ, on his terms.  This doesn’t mean we have to be cloistered in some mountaintop monastery or something, but it does mean that we must not delude ourselves into accepting what we should not accept. Read the rest of this entry »