Normally, I like to have a picture here with some technology, and talk about it. However, there are some times where I honestly can’t find something to talk about. Today, I have decided to bring up a subject that has been on my mind for a while, the subject of Role-Playing Games.
During the eighties and nineties, there was a push by Christians to show that various role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons were evil. I look at this belief now and regret going along with it.
In all honesty, I played Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing games. The reason why I game them up had nothing to do with me being born again. The truth of the matter is that I couldn’t find any friends to play them with, and that was about it. When church and Christian conservatives told me that these games were wrong, I threw them away, just like I throw away other toys that I no longer play with.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of role-playing games, these are games where there isn’t really a board. The players become essentially imagine themselves as other characters, and are thrown into a situation where they use their abilities to get through it. Dice is a big factor as characters often fight in these situations, and roll the dice to see if they hit the target.
The premise seems harmless enough, and most paper-and-pencil RPGs have become digital with MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) like World of Warcraft and such. I heard very little from Christian Conservatives about the digital RPGs in the last decade, but maybe it is because I haven’t really been listening.
I’m not certain what happened that swayed Christians against RPGs. I remember hearing things like RPGs were some gateway drug to satanism. I must have quit playing RPGs before they tried to recruit me. I believe that some cases were people got carried away with RPGs, and I heard there was a case where a kid killed himself after his PC (Player Character) died. It is tough to prove whether or not that suicide would have happened without the presence of RPGs, but I honestly think that we as Christians sort of over-reacted.
I remember going to a convention one time and seeing Wil Wheaton discuss how gamers of all types have a community. Wil stated that there are many parents that condemn their kids for not doing well in sports, but none that will bring their kids down for not doing well on video games. People who play RPGs have a fellowship that I honestly think is better than those that play sports together. In sports, trash-talking is encouraged and physical prowess praised, but RPGs teach players to think and work together.
Yes, there are people who over-do the whole fantasy thing, just like people who overdo the whole sports thing. Some of you might remember the movie Mazes and Monsters, which showed Tom Hanks going delusional over an RPG game. I can’t help but wonder if parents and other Christians just thought that every RPG player was delusional, just like many Christians in the nineties just assumed that homosexuals had AIDS.
Yeah, I don’t know how Christians got this way, and in all honesty, both the world and Christian Conservatives probably need to be more open-minded about stuff.