This is Faith in Play #36: Thanks, for November 2020.
Later this month Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving, a secular holiday established for religious people to give thanks to God. Canadians did the same in the middle of last month. Most cultures and nations historically have had a harvest festival celebration to express gratitude for the food; indeed, Pentecost was originally such a celebration.
I’m not going to ask why we don’t have these in our games; as holidays go, this is an obvious one, and I’d wager many of my readers have had an in-game harvest celebration at some point in their gaming calendars. Nor does it make much sense to discuss cultural details, as feasting and frolicking are the obvious choices. Rather, I would raise the fundamental point and address gratitude.
Years ago we ran a miniseries on Faith and Gaming about how to express faith within the game; it began with playing the Good Guys and ran through quite a few very different ideas over the course of eight articles. To those perhaps we can add having your character express gratitude to his deity for good things, from food on his plate to the outcomes of battles or adventures. Such thankfulness ought to be natural in those who believe that a god is involved in their lives, and a natural expression of it within the game world makes perfect sense.
Further, as we said of a number of those other ways to express faith in the game, what is true of your character ought also to be true of you. Express your real-world gratitude in real-world ways. Let your fellow players recognize that you are grateful to God for the good things that come, and that you know that all things which come to you come from God and are good.
I trust you all will have, or have had, a happy Thanksgiving filled with gratitude for all God’s good gifts.
On a related subject, let me express our gratitude to you for reading, encouraging, and supporting this ministry. Some of you have promoted our efforts by purchasing what our webmaster calls “swag” from our Christian Gamers Guild store.* Many of you have registered for and attended our worship services at various conventions. Apart from support of the guild, I would thank those of you who have supported me (I may be chaplain of the guild, but I am a volunteer in all I do here) both by encouraging posts and by support through Patreon or PayPal.me. These contributions keep me online and writing, and are greatly appreciated.
So thank you.
*Editor’s note, for the purposes of transparency: The purpose of the store is to provide branded materials to members in order to advertise the Guild. Most items are priced at just a little bit over cost. We do make a small amount on each purchase, but so far the account hasn’t earned enough for Cafe Press to send us a check.