Monday, October 8, 2007

Role-playing Games: Threat or Menace?

Okay, neither one, really--at least not inherently. I played D&D in high school, and I did eventually quit the regular pen-and-paper RPGs for spiritual reasons. But those reasons may no longer hold, and I'll spend the week examining the matter.

In case you somehow don't know what RPGs are, check here. I think we're at last beyond the stage where "Dungeon Master" or "Game Master" is treated as a kind of rank, like 33rd-degree Mason (some of the early anti-RPG writing made claims like that), and I hope we can pursue more important points.

To simplify matters, I'll ignore genre, so I won't spend any time on whether Christians may play wizards or psychics. It's a complex matter involving the distinction between literary and occult magic.

But there are two aspects of RPGs that do trouble me. I don't think they're inherent problems--in one case, I'll give an alternative. Nor do I think I have the final answers; in fact, I'm hoping for some helpful, informed opinions. But I do want to ask some questions that will make people squirm. Fair warning. Also, given my personal schedule, my posting this week may be erratic, so please be patient.

Tomorrow, we'll look at randomness and the presence of God.

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