aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Roll your dice and move your mice


I had a phone interview with Derek White, a fellow UM pastor in Tennessee, who does a lot of ministry with the gaming community. No, not the gaming-as-in-gambling community -- the gaming-as-in-fantasy-role-playing-and-war-games community. You know, the people with the polyhedral dice, or who dress up in funny costumes at GenCon, or who do LARPing on your local college campus. To paraphrase John Wesley from the point of view of Dungeons & Dragons™, "the planes of existence are my parish."

Derek has been a reader of this blog for several years. He wanted to talk with me about the early days of D&D; specifically, the crazy days c. 1980, when I became, for a while, almost the only clergyman in America known to have said something nice about fantasy role-playing games. Derek was surprised to learn that our entire gaming group that began meeting in the late 1970s was made up of clergy/seminarians and their families. We didn't think we were doing anything odd.

Anyway, the relationship of religious people -- and religious leaders, specifically -- to the gaming hobbyists has been a fraught one over the years. But people are people, and people need Jesus. We who have been called to round up the strays find those strays everywhere we go, and we try to lead them home from wherever they are.

I haven't had much to do with the hobby for many years now, though my children continue to play many kinds of games, and I know other clergy gamers here and there. Fantasy games show up occasionally as topics on this here blog, and probably will continue to do so, along with theology and church politics, Scouting, language and literature, history, and general piffle. I will certainly continue blogging in retirement (this is to relieve those who have expressed concern that I'm going to drop off the face of the earth and never be heard from again).

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