Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Christian Role-Player

Christians and role-playing games have a complicated history. From the early beginnings of table top gaming, Christians have been leery of and quick to denounce such games as evil.

While images such as the above are comical, they do exist and such is a very common thought. Ironically, what I find humorous is the fact that similar video games aren't spoken out against near to the same degree, but I digress.

Honestly, I can see where such fears arose. I have played and do pay my fair share of rpgs. AD&D, AD&D 2.0, D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, D&D 5.0. Yeah, I've played a few. There's magic, fictional gods, fictional demons, non-human races, and a whole lot more, and yet, I would argue that it's not inherently evil.

Now, don't get me wrong, you have the freedom to make an evil character, but that, as in video games like the Fable, or Elder Scrolls series, is all up to the player.

Okay, so, what about the magic? The bible speaks out against magic.

True, but I would say you must consider two factors. 1) Are you trying to cast said magic in real life? 2) In-game, what is the source of the magic? (why I personally will never play a warlock)

Well, what about the other gods? What if you want to play a cleric?

Well, yes, clerics tend to have a god they worship. Now, again, you have a few choices. You can choose not to play a cleric, find a way to incorporate God as an in-game deity, pick a deity with characteristics that follow along with God, or you can remember that this is pure fiction.

So, what then are your tips for Christian gamers?

I'm glad you asked.

  1. Consider the setting. Is your character good or evil? If playing with others, ate they good or evil? What about your source of magic or deity? Personally, I stick to good or neutral characters and parties.
  2. What type of content is present? If you're playing a table-top, ask the DM. If it's a video game, check the rating and find some good review sites that talk about the content.
  3. Is it edifying? If you find yourself being drained, addicted, or are otherwise experiencing some negative effect, then stop. If it's getting in the way of you and God, then stop.
So, that's it from me. In a nutshell, I would say that most games are not evil. While certain ones may be (GTA, for example), majority leave it up to the player. 

As a Christian, though, if you're playing a game in an evil manner, we should definitely do some talking, as often times individuals allow themselves to be freer and expose the state of their hearts.