WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

Are you a fan of management simulators? You know, games that cast you as a kingpin with the wherewithal to build bustling sim cities, thriving banana republics or, say, a multi-attraction zoo? If so, then you may have been thinking about picking up a game called Prison Architect. It's gotten good reviews. And it certainly has an interesting look.

But wait, why does this prison-building simulation earn an M-rating?

Well, let's find out.

Maximum Security, Maximum Responsibility

Prison Architect is a complicated, challenging game that gives players the responsibility of building and running a self-reliant prison complex. This sim uses a 2-D, top-down layout where the prison cells and facilities must be built, the water must be kept running, the floors must be mopped, the riots must be quelled and the murderers must be dealt with.

You're responsible for taking care of the prisoners' recreation and hygiene, as well as hiring and assigning staff members such as the warden, guards and doctors. Those things and much, much more all fall to you. And every detail matters.

In addition to building and hiring, you've got to balance the limited funds (thanks to a budget-cutting bureaucracy). And if all that isn't difficult enough, you've also got to strive for actually turning a profit with your facility. So do you spend a few extra bucks on buying that license plate printer or getting new TVs to placate a grumbling prison populace? Should you pony up for that new electric chair that the governor really wants up and humming?

Quite frankly, if you simply jump into this game with both work boots, you'll be floundering about wondering what to do and overwhelmed with prisoner riots in no time. That's why the game tutors you slowly through a five-part campaign story mode.

Things Ain't Pretty Behind Bars

This campaign is also where you start to realize that Prison Architect is more than just a keep-the-trains-running-on-time simulator. As it eases you into the minutia of prison management, the game provides story details about your prisoners and their world.

We meet a former teacher early on, for instance, who's on death row for murdering his wife after catching her with another man. The game shows us a sketched out, partially nude snapshot of the cheating pair in bed and lets us listen to their moaning passions. It also catches the red splotches of blood as the teacher draws his gun and fires away.

On the other hand, we're asked to consider the teacher's repentant actions afterward as he stumbles into his local church and breaks down in admission of his guilt. "God will forgive your sins," the priest tells the man, "But you must face up to your crimes." Other criminal stories involve mob bosses, cocaine sales, arson, and bloody murders in prison bathrooms. Snapshots of these narratives depict dripping head wounds, torture and stabbings.

Prison language is predictably foul. We hear f- and s-words as well as other profanities. And even though the in-game characters are like blocky construction paper cut-outs that your 5-year-old might craft, a secreted-away blade or gun will still splatter the prison walls with the red goop of carnage.

Now, it could be said that all of this nastiness is the game's attempt to encourage gamers to consider the moral complexities of managing those who've made tragically immoral choices. Prison Architect pulls no punches, giving players grim insight into prison life, even as they build walls and take thoughtful steps to keep the rest of the world safe.

But amid all of this prison simulation's would-be moralizing, players still must muddle through a lot of messy, M-rated material.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!