Month: May 2016

Faith and Gaming: Settings

The following article was originally published in July 2001 on the Christian Gamers Guild’s website. The entire series remains available at its original URL.

I’m going to challenge you today with a question that maybe you have never asked yourself, and yet you have probably answered—and further, that you have probably answered both yes and no in different situations.

Is it wrong for us as Christians to imagine a world that is different from the one God created for us?

I suspect that you have probably just now reacted with, “No, of course not,” maybe even so strong as “That’s ridiculous.” Yet I also wonder if that’s what you really think. But perhaps you don’t see the problem Read more

Faith and Gaming: Mechanics

The following article was originally published in June 2001 on the Christian Gamers Guild’s website. The entire series remains available at its original URL.

When I was working my way back toward the fundamentals of our game experience last month, just before I reached the point of discussing social interaction I mentioned mechanics. Mechanics are the stuff that makes games work, that makes games games. In a sense, it is game mechanics that separate games from all other forms of social interaction. That is, a game has rules. It has objectives which are to be sought, methods which are legitimate approaches, and penalties for breach. Like a story, it has conflict and resolution; unlike a story, the conflict is defined and resolved by specific limited tools, the rules of the game, the mechanics.

And if our faith is to infiltrate our lives completely, we may need to ask ourselves how it affects our regard for the mechanics within games.

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In discussing the mechanics specifically of role playing games, three broad concepts of resolution systems have been identified. These have been labeled drama, fortune, and karma. And if we understand these concepts aright, we realize that they are present in all games in one form or another. We also begin to see that each of these concepts has aspects which fit our faith well, but each has aspects which are problematic for our faith. We’ll look at them individually. Read more

Chaplain’s Bible Study

bible-839093_640In addition to our main discussion list, the Christian Gamers Guild also maintains a second list devoted to scriptural and devotional study under the direction of its chaplain, M. J. Young. In February 2006 this study began focusing daily on a college-level examination of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, with a lighter presentation on weekends. In October of 2007 the study transitioned to I Corinthians, and on to II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, and I Peter. Unless M. J. takes a radically unexpected turn, you can expect II Peter to begin next week. The weekend study is currently posting “Musing”: thoughts on various subjects.

To subscribe to the Bible study list, send an email to study-subscribe@christian-gamers-guild.org. As with the main list, if you wish to manage your subscription settings, you can do so at the Yahoo! Groups portal, for which you will need a Yahoo! account.

Faith and Gaming: Fundamentals

The following article was originally published in May 2001 on the Christian Gamers Guild’s website. The entire series remains available at its original URL.

As I pondered where to begin our discussion of faith and gaming, I wanted to address the most fundamental aspect of our games; but I then had to debate with myself exactly what part of a role playing game is that most fundamental aspect. I decided immediately that it wasn’t the worlds in which we played; as basic as these are to the make-believe play of our youth, these are rather a layer on top of the basics. Characters, similarly, are part of the game, but an added part. Did that mean that mechanics were the fundamental aspect? After all, all games have mechanics; role playing games are most defined as games because of mechanics. And so I was preparing to write a page about Christianity and game mechanics.

And then it occurred to me that I was looking in the wrong place. Read more

Welcome to the Christian Gamers Guild!

You may have seen our booth or attended a worship service at Gen Con. You may have come across our Facebook page or seen something from us on Twitter. You may have encountered one of us talking about the Guild at Fans for Christ or heard us mentioned by the Geek Preacher. Maybe you were curious about us or wanted to connect, so you looked up our old web page.

I am dreadfully sorry.

I’m sure you thought we were just a dying remnant of a community with no outlook for the future. Based on the appearance of that page, you could certainly be forgiven for thinking so! But a new day has dawned, and God willing, this new page will help us to expand the scope of the Guild’s activities. Already the response to the redesign has exceeded my expectations, which tells me that you have been eager to see us do more than we have been.

So let’s start by talking about what the Christian Gamers Guild (CGG) is all about. Read more

Faith and Gaming: Preliminaries

The following article was originally published in April 2001 on the Christian Gamers Guild’s website. The entire series remains available at its original URL.

In 1978 I had the benefit of receiving a bachelors degree from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. I arrived there in 1975, brought with me an associates degree from a small Lutheran Bible college, and studied many subjects in a new but ancient light. Gordon was a member of The Christian College Consortium, a confederation of Christian undergraduate and graduate schools who were serious about both Christianity and education. In those days at Gordon there was a lot of emphasis on an idea incorporated in this phrase: the integration of faith and learning.

What this meant was that being Christian was a total commitment, a complete identity of person with something which, although much more, was at least in part a philosophy, a set of ideas and ideals, a world view which should permeate our approach to every part of life. We were to learn in a way that reflected our faith; and we understood things from the perspective of our faith. Read more