-Rev Melissa Fain-
Today I'm going to use Ready Player One as an example, but there are NO SPOILERS in this meditation.
Last Saturday we went to see Ready Player One as a family. My husband, son and myself had all read the book to varying amounts of enjoyment, so we were curious what Steven Spielberg would do in adaptation. A scene stuck out to me. IOI was wanting to know what they would do with control of the Oasis, or internet. Their solution? Sell add space.
Ready Player One aside, a couple of years ago on the show Survivor, Jeff Probst actually had to make a statement about in game ads. (Certain challenges or buildings are named after products.) He very bluntly told the fans, ads are how one gets a free product.
Then don't get me started on the gaming culture. I truly believe phone games intentionally make the ads annoying so you will pay $2.99 to get rid of them. The PC and console gaming can't put ads into their products because consumers bought the game first. Instead, they try to equal out with loot boxes, or in game content. I bet, if they began giving the option for in game commercials for new content, users would take it over paying $10-$20 for the new level.
Then we get to church. While we will live with ads in our games, movies, and television- most if not all will draw the line at our church. Why?
Ads are not evil, but they are surely not good in a church environment. Fig Tree doesn't do ads. That's why there wasn't an app last Advent. There was no way to do it without ads, so it was dropped. The website has NEVER EVER had ads. Sharing the content here will not put a cent in anyone's pocket. Fig Tree is about the message; not the bottom line.