Guys and gals, we have been serious (as can be seen in the comments on facebook) and we have been goofy (I posted about the Henderson scale). This is going to be a serious post and I would like to keep it on an adult level with comments and statements. I think it is important for those who read a blog to know who is writing the blog. First and foremost, though, I think you deserve a chance to understand how I feel about the whole hobby, not some part of it.
I should preface this to say that I am a Bible believing Christian. I go to Church each Sunday (I even run our sound and computer set up) and am involved in almost everything the Church does. That does seem like I should have some conflict when it comes to RPGs. I don’t, not in general (I have posted about my qualms with things I find morally objectionable). I want to list about five questions that I have heard and give my answers to them. Feel free to ask away in the comments and I will try to answer you.
Question #1: Don’t you feel that RPGs generate a feeling of greed and selfish behavior?
Answer: No. I have found that most people who play RPGs are thoughtful and giving people. The games themselves do not impress one way or the other when it comes to these issues. If a GM decides to allow the game to degenerate into greedy and selfish behaviors then that is their choice. Players, in my experience, tend to form bonds of friendship (both in and out of game).
Question #2: Can you be a Christian and play RPGs? Aren’t they gateways into the occult?
Answer: While this questions seems out of the 1980s, I still deal with it. Yes you can be a Christian and be a role-player. Role-playing is not a gateway into anything. The second part of the question is like asking “Is drinking water going to lead me to drinking Vodka?”. You could become involved in the occult but it is more than likely not because you play Dungeons and Dragons. As far as being a Christian and being a role-player, the best way to maintain your testimony is to remove things from games that would damage it. I do this, and I know many other people who do as well.
Question #3: What about the pantheons in games like D&D?
Answer: This is a bit tougher than I like to admit. I do use the pantheons but at the same time I also feel a bit uncomfortable with them. Most times I rationalize it by comparing it to the religions across Earth today. I try to avoid things like conflicts with the gods or destroying them. In the end you can only use the pantheons in a way that you feel comfortable with.
Question #4: What about the panic in 1980s, wasn’t it justified?
Answer: No, no, no, no! The “panic” of the 1980s was caused by people like the woman who founded BADD (Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons). They blamed their children’s deaths on the gaming industry rather than looking at themselves. Many of those who committed suicide “due” to D&D had undisclosed or undiagnosed mental health issues. Micheal A. Stackpole has a great article out there about this (http://www.rpgstudies.net/stackpole/pulling_report.html).
Question #5: Do you really ever learn anything from RPGs?
Answer: Yes. I have learned good math skills, mental agility, social skills and a healthy appreciation for others. Just because it is a game doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from it.
That is it for now. If you want to know something in particular please ask, I will try to answer. Please keep the comments on target and off of my personal life (and don’t justify attacking me personally because I post something about myself). I love your responses! Guys and gals, again be adults about this. Thank you in advance. Let me know some stupid questions you’ve had to answer and how you answered them.