Yesterday in my Gospel and Global Media Cultures class we did a fascinating exercise that our instructor, Mary Hess, describes in her book Engaging Technology in Theological Education (139-142). Called the “Video Reality Game,” the idea is to watch a series of 3 minute video clips and place each clip on an open ended “reality spectrum”. It is a generative tool to stimulate discussion about our perceptions of reality and what we consider “real.”
For our class yesterday, Mary used a series of clips about prayer. Some came from television shows, some came from news stories, some were videos of worship services, and some were short films. It was a great exercise that really challenged me to think about both prayer and my understanding of “reality.” What I found most interesting was the debriefing question about the criteria we used to place the clips on our spectra. I realized that my criteria shifted some during the exercise. Listening to the criteria and experiences of the other students also helped me reconsider some of my first impressions and the discourse each clip suggested for me.
Of all the clips, I found the following from American Idol to be the most challenging. I had a very strong first impression. After hearing other students describe quite different impressions, a whole new set of questions occurred to me.
In some ways, I think this clip might function as something of a Rorschach test that reveals what we think about worship. Take a look at this video and leave your impressions in the comments section. After others have had a chance to comment, I’ll post my own thoughts.