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

The popular ABC game show  Wipeout reportedly gives contestants a 50-page release form to sign before they run out to be heartily pummeled by something that amounts to a crazy, wet and wild carnival ride—without seatbelts. And if you've watched this human-bashing and -catapulting show, you understand why the attorneys are so cautious.

But for those who'd like to get in on the action while avoiding all the paperwork and chiropractor bills, this is your chance. ABC has collaborated with Activision to create an Xbox 360 Kinect game called Wipeout: In the Zone.

Two things should be stressed about this game, though, right at the top: 1) This is a Kinect-required game. Only an Xbox 360 equipped with that sensor strip device can throw the running, jumping and somersaulting into gear. 2) This is one of the purest forms of a casual party game out there.

And that latter bit equates to both plusses and minuses.

Follow the Bouncing Ball
Like the frenetic and completely mindless TV show, there's really nothing deep or strategic about this game. You simply run in place, squat, jump and wave your arms around as a means to get your avatar moving through the gauntlet in the shortest time possible. The obstacles to that, of course, are obstacles. A giant (cushioned) hammer behind door No. 3. Landing headfirst on that enormous rubber ball. Taking a jab in the gut from the sucker punch wall. All such failures result in a mash-up with a muddy moat, but all you have to do is rub off the muck and do it again, hoping to shave a second or two from each attempt.

That can be fun if you're in the right frame of mind.

On the other hand, the weakness of this kind of straightforward party fare is that you're not going to get much out of it by playing alone—except maybe a little sweaty. When I was jumping and squatting my way through single mode, my thoughts were more focused on an old football-tweaked stiff knee then on the pleasure of the play. The real joy wasn't tapped until I gathered up the family for some semi-forced frivolity.

Here's Mud in Your … Everything
As you make it through Round 1, new and more difficult rounds and bopping challenges are unlocked. To be honest, however, the biggest challenge of the game is actually unintended. For all of the Kinect system's whizbang technology, its tracking mechanics are just enough out of sync to be annoying. So when you thrust your hands out in front of you, expecting your avatar to stop on a dime … she actually stops several dimes and a couple of quarters later—landing you in the drink. Or when you try to jump the sweeper or vault the pitchfork tumbler, you've got to initiate your move just a bit sooner than your eye would say is right.

That doesn't stop the game in its tracks, though. And neither does its "content." The most offensive bits on the TV show are the commentators' running gags, mocking commentary and sometimes sexually suggestive quips. Here, though, the talk isn't quite so cheap … or cheeky. "Good night and big balls" and "Wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am! More on the bam, less on the thank you" are the worst we hear. Not quite "side-splitting," as the game box promises, but nothing ear-stinging either. In fact, the E10+ rating is probably derived more from the painful-looking video clips culled from the live show than from anything in the actual game.

So if splatting, bouncing, guffawing and backwards somersaulting are all your cup of mud, then Wipeout: In the Zone wants to give you and your family several yards of it to tumble through. Just do one thing for me, will you? Grant Dad a little grace when he's grunting and grimacing his way past that Styrofoam-covered twirling thingamajig.

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!