No doubt many of you have seen Mr. Pat Robertson’s recent comments about RPGs and indeed have probably read those wonderfully illustrated comical pamphlets that were by Jack Chick. The Christian world seems to be divided into ‘we hate rpgs’ and ‘we like or accept rpgs’. So what’s the truth? Are rpgs and gaming in general evil? No more so than football or any other hobby. In fact, there is nothing in the world that was not created by God and therefore is neither good nor evil and in fact is only made so by what one does with it. To illustrate my point I will bring up that even Satan himself was not created as evil, he chose to be evil by trying to be like God. I can use religion as an example by quickly pointing out that people in power have used their position to perform vile and horrible acts against others.
They have a kickstarter (not kidding). Check it out, it’s a funny parody. There are several points that they bring up in their bullets though that were actually made back in the 80s and 90s by Chick and recently by Pat Robertson. Let’s address those right now as I am a long-time gamer and fan of fantasy and science fiction and have a bit of knowledge concerning the truth behind these things.
For starters I am a servant leader in my church and with our church group and have had the privilege of seeing many people accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. So many times have people come from broken, abandoned places and just dropped everything right there when confronted with the truth of His Grace! Whenever it is possible I participate in activities and events with the church including small group leadership, youth, and the men’s group. In short, I am a Christian and my faith walk has been amazing!
Points brought up by Chick:
“Playing RPGs can make you gain real-life magic abilities.”
Reality: I still cannot do that cool trick that Arwen did in Lord of the Rings even though I have read all the spells, know all the components, and have the words. I just keep ending up getting wet and my horses look more like mules than chargers. The ring wraiths constantly complain.
I do not have any power but the power I get from the Holy Spirit. My ‘magic’ is love and kindness and my ‘power’ is from the Lord.
“If you gain a high enough level you will be invited to a secret cult.”
Reality: I am in a cult. This one’s true. I admit it. Sundays are very busy for me and when I am caught up in the spirit and feel the energy in the room when giving Him praise, I feel the presence of life. Sadly, however, my cult of the Cheetos idea never took off and I was left the only one in a silly orange robe.
“Gamers whose character’s die are in danger of committing suicide.”
Reality: Sadly, this was portrayed in Mazes and Monsters the movie but the truth was that the person that is referenced in the story who did take their own life had a history of mental problems. People who are unable to separate reality from games should not play any (I repeat ANY) games and should instead get grounded in the real world. The reality is that people take their lives due to all kinds of horrible circumstances such as being bullied and feelings of abandonment and being alone. I am not a qualified grief counselor or person who is qualified to teach psychology so I will leave the deeper aspects of this alone and state simply that people have many hobbies and many of them are blamed on the suicide due to the need to blame something or someone for the loss.
“That DMs are vile temptresses (tempter) that are out to corrupt their players to the forces of evil.”
Reality: We do have non-Christian gamers in our group that are wonderful friends of ours. I am always talking with them about my faith and I try to live as an example with Jesus living through me when we do life together. These friends are always very appreciative of my thoughts and we have had some wonderful discussions that have led them to see many truths of the Gospel.
Now, in-game, I have used the agents of darkness to get their players into trouble but this is IN GAME. Without the bad guys the game would be called Strawberry Shortcake, no wait that has a bad guy. Ok, the game would be called Carebears – no there’s a bad guy there too. The game would be called Gi Joe? Nope. Veggie Tales? No. Narnia? No. See my point.