When you read your fantasy books, how many of you wished you could be the Hero of the story? I know I have and still do, but when does living in the virtual world to escape the real world cross the line? Many gamers have faced the point where gaming was more real that the real world. They rather spend the time in a world where they have control, where they can make a difference, and where they are not alone. Many see the story of their character in their heads, and they want to become something great. Many become the best in PvP (Player vs Player), they learn the market to make the money, or they find the rarest item in the game to stand out. Once again it is about them being in control and becoming something great. I will say it plainly that it all comes down to pride, fear, and longing. I have been here before even as a Christian I have felt out of place in the real world that I played an MMORPG to have control of my dull life. You see when you can create a character that you can win with where in the real world you feel useless it is very easy to be taken in by these opportunities.
I am not a big Anime watcher, but I had recently watched a show called Sword Art Online. It actually impacted me a lot on how I care for the gaming community and the open door to minister in it. Kazuto is a young boy who used the gaming world to escape, but this time he escaped into a game that went from virtual to virtual reality. The players were not able to leave the game, and if they died they also died in real life. The whole story is about Kazuto growing into a leader, falling in love, and becoming the Hero. My focus also has to go towards the creator of the game in the story, Akihiko Kayaba. He created this world based off his imagination, and he became so obsessed about his world he wanted everyone to be stuck in it so he can be the villain. He also wanted to have control and power.
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Gal 6:7-8 (ESV)
When we take control we mock God as we are made in His image. We hold on to the pride that Adam and Eve wanted after she ate the forbidden fruit. It is what Satan held to when he sinned against God after trying to rebel against Him. As gamers we need to ask ourselves, do we play because we want control and power? Then we have sinned against God. We need to understand that we have a purpose even if it hard, not seen, or even believed to be real. God gives us hope, He sent his son to die for us to give us freedom.
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. Heb. 2:14-15 (ESV)
We become free in Christ, but if we continue to chase after our heart’s desire for power and control we will be bound to that sin. We would not be able to escape our world, and eventually we would be stuck in our sorrows and lonely. In Christ we find a peace, joy, and hope that can pull you out of your dark world. Then you can enter the gaming world with a new perspective. You can become an impact on other peoples’ lives instead of you lost in yours.