Late last year (2002 at the time of this writing), on what I hope I may be excused for calling an inauspicious day, someone known to me only by an Internet screen name, somewhere else in these United States, was persecuted for being a gamer. Read more
A short time ago someone writing to thank the Christian Gamers Guild for this Faith and Gaming series asked a question which had not been addressed, and which perhaps should have been recognized and addressed long before this, given the thoughts in our Preliminaries: how, in practical terms, do we integrate our faith into our gaming? That is, when we are in the middle of playing a game, how do we bring our faith to bear? I have addressed the question briefly elsewhere before, but if we’re speaking of integrating faith and gaming, this would seem to be close to the heart of the matter. So we will consider some ideas of how to bring faith into games. Read more
First, let me address the matter of the question. When talking about a designing a role-playing game and the role that magic in the role-playing game will take, we must first decide on what questions we are asking ourselves. Several questions come to my mind. First, what is magic? What is it, not only in fantasy and reality, but also in the role-playing sub-culture? What will it be in my game world or system? The second question is “Why do I want it in the game system?” Why do I need or want magic in the game I’m designing? Third, how does it work in my game system? How do I want it to work in my game? Read more
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
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