I have stated before that gamers are given a bad name due to people’s perspective of them. They are considered to be lazy people who would rather live in the dark basement playing games than in real life. How this could be a reason, it is not what all gamers are. Many definitely hold to stand by their responsibilities as men and woman with family, jobs, and human contact. The concern is for those who do use gaming to hide in their character. Is the proper response from Christians to protest against gaming as an addiction or a waste of time?
When you go look into researching Christian views on gaming you will most likely discover ALL the negatives behind gaming. Nothing really about community or impacting people. It will be all about the sciences, the mentality of people who play, the reasons they play, the waste of time, and how lazy many of these people are. At the same time you will find some groups out there who support gaming or provide help for gaming addiction. Lets be clear, gamers who have issues do not run to find help because gaming provides an alternative social life style that they may not have in real life. Others use gaming as a way to relax or just for entertainment. So the main question is, are hobbies wrong to have?
If we are going to bridge the bad name of gaming we must first discuss when a hobby becomes a problem. Hobbies require investment, time, commitment, and a form of love. Most people enjoy their hobby and make a profession living from it. Think about it: Fisherman, Game Testers, Football Players, Writers, and many more can take their hobby and make a living. The Gaming Community is full of professionals, youth, young adults, handicap, older people, lonely, lost, broken, hurt, and I can keep going. I have had people die, I have heard people cry because they found out they had cancer, and I have seen people find Christ. This was by Christians and myself who played our hobby with a purpose and mission. It is the mindset by which we play. If we only play to make ourselves feel better or feel worth it. We create our own identity in the game. The problem is our humanity. We are a natural sinner, and our sin of pride is really shown in how we play in many cases. Many people who play are not terribly shy about saying what is on their minds. Especially if they find out about us gamers who are Christian. If you play games in MMORPG’s you know how vulgar the community can get, but should we indulge or hide in the shadows?
The bridge is there already, and there are groups out there that do want to step up and hold to a Family-Friendly Community for those gamers who do not want to see or hear the inappropriate conversations that do go on on the Overvoice programs, websites, or guild chats. My Community is a mix of people who play to play/relax, and there are few of us who also see that ministry can be apart of the gaming mission field. The anti-gaming Christian mindset needs to realize that there are people who are willing to minister in their hobby just as many do in other hobbies. I hear many say that they played and found themselves engulfed into the game that they became “addicted”, but that does not mean that gaming is wrong or a waste. It is what you put into it as a person. Do you play to make yourself feel alive, powerful, to have control, to feel like a man/woman, and build an identity. As Christians our identity is Christ, and if we feel that playing the game is our identity we have reached a red flag. If you rather spend time playing the game over spending time with you kids or spouse then you have created your hobby as an idol. You see anti-gamers need to realize that we can impact people in the gaming community. At the same time as a Christian gamer we need to be careful how far we take gaming.