Name: Michael Miller Jr. Age: 37 Location: Everett, Washington, USA
Why did you choose to become a Patreon of GUG?
I firmly believe in the power of using culture to help draw out the deeper truths of the Bible. We should never use culture – no matter how “pure” – in place of God’s Word, but sometimes culture can be an unwitting tool to aid in bringing about understanding. After all, we’re all too aware of the themes in comics, music, books, and movies. We’re deeply involved in the trends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the late MySpace. It’s possible to use these as illustrations to help make sense of the Bible’s message.
How has GUG impacted your life?
The GUG Community has been the source of many of my most delightful friendships. What makes it even better is the chance to share the utter joys of geekdom with fellow geeks without feeling like we’re boring each other. Even better is knowing we can show Christians are not out of touch with the world. We’re very much with the times and we get it – we simply subscribe to a higher calling.
How did you become a Christian?
Some time around when I was five…so, about 32 years ago. As I remember it, I was at a church my babysitter had taken me to and I was in the kids’ class. I have this recollection that one of the ladies had taken me aside and told me about Jesus and what He did for me on the cross. Though I was very young, it just seemed like it was a natural thing for me to do – to accept Christ. It made sense.
I didn’t really take my faith seriously until I was about 14, but I never doubted God was real before then. Once I was about 20, I further developed a keen interest in apologetics. I think the number one thing God is really trying to work on with me now, though, is to trust Him with everything and to let Him deeper into my heart so He can show me the love and acceptance I never felt from my dad.
What’s your favorite geek activity?
Oh, that’s easy: Video games…playing and making. Although playing is much easier. I’ve been addicted to games (for a time more literally than not) since I was first introduced to the original Pong console. Later, my mom bought my brothers and I the Atari 7800 system and I was utterly hooked. It wasn’t long before I was begging my parents for the Nintendo NES when I discovered it at a friend’s house.
When I got a bit older, I started coming up with ideas for video games of my own. Two ideas I remember was a Super Mario 64 + Donkey Kong Country super team-up game. Mario, DK, and the crew had to chase Bowser and K. Rool into Manhattan (which is arguably where Mario and Luigi are from) to stop them from turning the island into a demented Koopa-version of itself. All the team – from Mario to Peach, Toad, DK, Diddy, and Cranky – all had their own specialized skills and could be swapped out on the fly.
The second idea was a direct sequel to the SNES Zelda: A Link To The Past title. Zelda, herself, became a playable character and used a specialized bow that had a bladed edge to it so she could fight alongside Link. I had spent a lot of time developing maps, controls, and mini-games for the Mario+DK idea…not so much for my Zelda “4” idea.
Now I’m actively working in my free time to develop my own titles, but it has been a long struggle because of my naïveté in game design and lack of self-discipline. This is why Ephesians 7:8 has become my life verse: “Better is a patient finish than bragging about all the things you’ve begun.” It’s my dream to start a Christian game company that serves my employees as much as we strive to make meaningful and exciting titles.
If you had to choose a fictional character to compare yourself to, who would it be and why?
I have three I relate to:
Spider-Man – He faces normal difficulties like anyone, is almost always the first to rise to a challenge, and rarely feels he gets the credit he deserves. And yet, he does what needs to be done because he genuinely cares. Like Peter, I’ve made a ton of mistakes, but I want to take seriously that I still have to do what’s right because it’s the right thing to do. I want to lead because I want to be able to show anyone who is watching me the right way to go so they don’t have to suffer from my mistakes.
Captain America – Steve embodies what it means to live by your convictions regardless of the opposing or popular opinion. Not only does he stand firm by his convictions, but he strives to do what is good and true even at his own expense. It’s Cap’s dedication to the truth and justice that reminds me to keep doing the same in my life. There’s hardly anything worth living for if God is not at the center of it all.
Peter Pevensie – The eldest of his four siblings, Peter feels the heavy weight of taking care of his brother and sisters in the absence of their parents and he often muddles it up. He doubts himself a lot, but he never falters in how much he cares for them. Being the oldest of two younger brothers, I’ve often felt like I let my brothers down because I was usually too focused on my own interests or goals to really let them know I cared about them. I lost that tight bond brothers ought to have. I relate to Peter in that I hope to follow his example by always being there for my brothers. That, and I yearn for Aslan’s (Jesus’) call to me to go to battle…whatever that may look like.
Lexi Tucker wishes she had a more exciting story to tell about being saved, but she's been a Christian literally her whole life. She's a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif. with a bachelor's degree in English and minor in Asian Pacific Studies with a certificate in Journalism. She likes anime, manga, handheld games, cats, and boba.
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