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."


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!"


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.

Game Review

The antihero union must be having a party. For we live in a day and age when even comic book superheroes can be edgy, dark and powder keg dangerous. Sure, you don't mind that black-clad tough guy foiling the felons, but you wouldn't want him renting your spare room. Cole MacGrath, the main character in Sony Computer Entertainment's new video game inFAMOUS, is that kind of guy.

Once upon a time, he was just an average bike courier. He spent his days wheeling between sidewalks and stalled traffic, chewing out lousy drivers in a place called Empire City. But then one day he finds himself regaining consciousness in the middle of a blast zone. As he staggers to his feet he realizes he's been mysteriously transformed into something akin to a human lightning rod. Was it a terrorist attack? A science experiment gone wrong? Cole finds it all pretty scary and confusing, but in some ways, mucho cool.

Shock to the Senses
The dazed messenger can now heal his wounds (and the wounds of others) by absorbing electricity from nearby light poles or fuse boxes. His body also stores a charge that he can use in a variety of ways—such as lightning bolt blasts or enemy-repelling shock waves. Not only that, but these high voltage pick-me-ups also allow him to quickly scale any skyscraper and skate along power lines and railroad tracks.

But then there's the downside. Since Cole is an electrically powered superdude in a crippled, quarantined city, there are lots of folks pleading for his help, and gangs of gun-toting baddies who consider him a threat and want to punch his lights out. And, to be honest, the whole bunch of 'em kinda tick Cole off.

That's when gamers get to slip into Cole's tattered leather coat and decide what side of the street he'll tread. Will he skim, jump and zap his way through the game's open world as a benevolent (if reluctant) champion? Or will he be a totally self-focused powerhouse who's willing to let the innocent suffer if it makes his day a bit easier?

A City Full of Ethical Challenges
inFAMOUS contains dozens and dozens of quests—spread out over three large island boroughs—designed to answer those questions. A sizable number of the tasks weave together in a story that chases down the truth behind the midtown blast and the lightning powers that Cole now employs. The tale crackles its way around government officials, scores of deadly street gang members and a few other bosses with their own science lab-bred superpowers. Mixed in, there are also quite a few unrelated side quests that do little more than level up Cole's powers while tossing him new moral choices to make.

And those moral decisions almost always influence how the game plays out. For one thing, they draw you into the story and make you think about what Spider-Man called the great responsibility that comes with great power. Will you shoot at police from the midst of a crowd and cause a riot that lets you slip by unscathed, but kills the innocent? Or will you step forward and draw all fire in your direction to protect the masses?

The higher your hero status goes the more apt people are to adore you and even join in to fight bad guys by your side. If the game's Karmic Meter begins to point to the dark side, though, the crowds, and even those closest to you, will turn their backs in disgust. That might not sound tempting right off the bat, but just as in real life, a wicked choice is often the easiest path to take—at first.

All of that makes this a supercharged adventure that's far more high-flying and sometimes thought provoking than your average action/shooter. But it doesn't mean inFAMOUS is free of voltage spikes. The game is rated as acceptable for teens by the ESRB, but it's a pretty hard T. There's some sleeping-around sexual innuendo that pops up in conversations. And one villainous female character wears an open top that reveals cleavage and the underside of her breasts.

The constant battles include numerous thunderbolt deaths of hooded junkies and thugs as well as average Joes and Janes. Blood sprays as baddies shoot Cole, and as he weakens, blood spatter borders the screen. Probably most jarring is Cole's use of profanities during these difficult encounters. "H---" and "d--n" are most frequent, but the s-word, "a--," "b--tard" and "b--ch" show up, as well. (Cole's friend, Zeke, makes a crude remark about donkey genitals.)

These kinds of short circuits may not seem all that shocking when compared to so many other games these days. But they do serve as specific examples of the "anti" that's inevitably included in today's brand of heroic entertainment.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes



Readability Age Range







Record Label


PlayStation 3




On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose Trent Hoose