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Christian Role-Playing Games? 28 April 2006

Posted by Dr Moose in Uncategorized.
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(Category: life, faith, role-playing games, d’uh!)

My sitemeter has a handy feature – it enables me to find out something about who visits the site, and what brings them here. Every so often there comes up a search for “Christian Role-Playing Games” – et viola!

Well, I don’t have time for a developed post on this at present – I’m spending too much time on the Role-Playing Games and not enough on the vocation as it is, and this (blogging) is interesting, but peripheral to the dog-collar.

But a thought has struck me this morning. Why do people want to know about Christian Role-Playing Games, and what is being meant by the search phrase in the first place?

Are they (you?) looking for a “safe” and potentially sanitised sub-culture version that you or your kids can play without being “tainted?” (Sorry, that’s not quite the right word, but I’m in a hurry, and if this comes across as being aggressive, please accept my apologies – maybe it’s just born of personal passion).

If so, please consider this question. Why? Ancient Judaism might have held onto the principle that the touch of the “unclean” spoiled the holy and took away the specialness. In Christ we see the classic example of the opposite – the holy coming into the midst of the normal to render it blessed. To make the mundane a place where God is. The call to all Christians is to be salt and light. To purify and illumine the places where we are and we go, not to retreat into ghettos and sub-cultures.

That’s not comfortable, it means taking risks. But that’s the call and the pattern of Jesus. It led him to the Cross, and in the light of Easter think what that meant for the world. Risky sacrifice as key to eternal life. And we have the benefit of the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, don’t we?

I don’t use my role-playing as an evangelistic tool. I do wonder sometimes how I could and what would be the right approach. I allow people to know me as a person, and trust that God’s Spirit will give me the wisdom to see the doors open and know how to respond rightly and at the right time. (I’m going to be trying a little more of that approach this summer on offereing a seminar on understanding spirituality and faith in a particular Game-world, in fact).

For a more pro-active, in-game approach, you could play a Christian character (if the setting allowed it), or in a manner which displays Christian values and virtues (which makes me think of Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, showing courage, love, self-sacrifice and so forth).

If you and I are serious about our faith and the well-being of those under our care we would do far better by equipping them to live out their Christian faith in all spheres of life. (Surely this comes under the much-neglected “love the Lord your God with all your mind” which must include the imaginitive and creative urge within in each one of us, if we are truly made in the image of God.)

Take Christian faith into the game, and not the game into the ghetto.

[end “passionate” mode]

… and if that qualifies as a “rant”, then please accept my apologies!

Later addition: Of course, the subversive potential for writing a Role-Playing Game that is implicitly Christian and a potential part of the mission process is a tantalising challenge. Except to do so would do exactly what many Christians accuse RPGs of doing, being channels of indoctrination and contact with the “spiritual” under false pretenses. (Or is that being “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves”? – although given the context of the quote – Mt 10 – I think it’s a misapplication).

(I really must do some “work”!)

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