Hi guys and gals,
Today I wanted to bring up a five point defense of how Christian (or other religious) gamers feel in the tabletop community. As anyone can tell you, the growth of atheism or agnosticism has pushed (or at least made it feel that way!) religious gamers to the margins of gaming. Knowing that, in reality, gaming is a vast, complex, and diverse community, I feel the need to discuss how being religious can be challenging, and how the religious gamer can feel right at home:
(1). Ignore attacks or jokes
Ignore anyone who tries to attack your faith. I have been in Google Hangouts, games, or even at my FLGS when the jokes and hate start. “Christians (or the religious) are stupid! Let’s all laugh at them!”
This is hard to ignore, because how you worship is a personal issue. What you believe doesn’t have any (or rather, shouldn’t have) effect on your ability to game. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I avoid (as I have discussed before), but I don’t ever try to force that on others.
On the same side of this, don’t ever make attacks or jokes against another religion. If that would make you feel uncomfortable, then it is likely that it would do the same to others. Play by the rule: “Don’t do something to someone that you wouldn’t want done to you.”
(2). Be aware of what makes you uncomfortable
So, what makes a Christian uncomfortable? Well, in truth it varies from person to person. I, for example, will not play games like Nephilim or Demon: The Fallen. I have personal foibles with invoking demons. If you can do so, don’t let me stop you.
Being aware of what makes you uncomfortable makes it easier to discuss it with your table. It makes it easier to walk away from a table to is making you so. No one has to live by your standards (and you shouldn’t expect them to), but you should stick by your principles.
(3). Stand your ground
Do not let others chase you off of your hobby. If they want to attack or joke (with the intent to hurt or make you uncomfortable), then stand your ground. Know what you believe, and then defend it. If others can’t handle that, then you don’t need them in your life. There are plenty of gamers out there who will respect you no matter what.
(4). Find a Table that Respects you
This goes right together with the previous statement. Don’t stay at a table or in a group that hates you for being religious. They can make your life toxic, and can make you doubt things that they have no reason to doubt. Why does it matter to them if you follow the Flying Spaghetti Monster? People who respect you will give you a much better gaming experience.
(5). Be who and what you are!
Never stop being who you are. If you believe in God, then do so. If you don’t, then the same goes for you. Don’t stop being a Christian (or other religious person) because you feel it is the only way you will feel at home. Keep your principles at the front and center of your life. If someone demands that you change to meet their standards, they aren’t worth being around.
Guys, we welcome your comments. In this case, we will delete any comments that are directed at ANY faith or belief structure. These guidelines apply to other circumstances, but in the case of religious players, they apply double time. It does feel that many gamers are not religious. This is fine, and in fact I will never ask that you change (not that you should care what I think). With the onslaught of (or rise of) non-religion in our culture I felt this was important so that those who do believe in a God (or gods, or nothing) had a voice. They deserve to know that someone out there understands the issue. As always guys, don’t be a dick!