“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Yesterday Pacman turned 35. The video game icon was a world changer in its day taking in more quarters than any arcade video game in the history of gaming. Kids in the 80’s were pumping tokens into 293,000 machines in pizza parlors and skating rinks across the USA.
Compare that to today’s kids playing Grand Theft Auto in their own bedrooms on their own TV and gaming system. It’s a whole new world isn’t it? Everything has changed. Most obviously is the quality of the game. Technology has made incredible advancements. Less obvious is the economics of gaming. You used to pay per play. Today you buy the system and the game and play as often as you want. You used to have to go to a place that had the game, today Nielsen says that over 56% of households have their own game system. Pacman used a rollerball or joystick to move a 2d character through the repetitive maze. Todays games use wireless controls to investigate 3d worlds. In Pacman, one kid played while everyone else watched and waited their turn. Today kids play simultaneously from their own rooms communicating with friends from around the world as they complete missions together.
Everything has changed. The shift from Pacman to video games of the future says less about the gaming industry than it does about the changes in American culture over that time. Economics, education, play, hopes/dreams, and even what’s seen as ‘normal’ have moved from one place to another in the past 35 years. We live in a time of monumental change in many areas of life.
When I think about societal shifts like these I am torn between a nostalgia for the simplicity of the past, and an excitement about what new things we’ll experience in the future. I can see the benefits of both worlds, and I can see the curses. Change can be wonderful, and it can be incredibly difficult. Change happening at such a tremendous pace can be overwhelming for us. I honestly can’t even comprehend what might come next.
For many this type of change can be scary. If you’re one of those I offer a wonderful verse of Scripture for you today. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Jesus is unmoving in His love for you and this world. No matter what we experience today, and no matter what the future brings, there is confidence in Jesus!
Dear Jesus, thank you for being my constant! Amen.