Mike Bourgeois
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http://www.geocities.com/suresthope/GWTestimony.htm

Just follow the link and read about a man's perceived drop into sin and his attempt to move back into the light. This is kinda interesting.
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Eric Jome
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Link broken for maintenance?

I have heard this tale before - someone feeling that the subject matter of games they were playing conflicted with their Christian values. It always seems very odd to me ... playing board games with other people is just about the most Christian hobby you can have, other than perhaps charity work and studying the Bible. Let's be real here and admit that those two things are not in the cards for everyone all the time. Board games are a good way to share fellowship with others... pretty sure that's a part of loving thy neighbor anyway.
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Magic Pink
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It sounds really, really, really stupid.
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James Palmer
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While Yahoo gets the site back up and running, here's another similar example, this time with Dungeons & Dragons:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp

For those unfamiliar, Chick Tracts are essentially Christian Hate Literature.

Just remember that this kind of opinion is very much in a minority among Christians. You will find MANY Christians on BGG, including myself, and my favourite game reviewer, Tom Vasel, just also happens to work as a missionary in Korea.

Of course, there's some really weird Christian board games out there too:
http://www.ship-of-fools.com/gadgets/toys_pets_games/160.htm...
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Mick Weitz
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That chic track is a classic! You've got to be a stupid mother fucker to believe that purile propaganda...

Good Gaming~! Mick
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Felkor wrote:
While Yahoo gets the site back up and running, here's another similar example, this time with Dungeons & Dragons:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp



I always knew that this chick tract was bogus. I mean what D&D group has a female DM and that many female players?:D
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nedpatrick wrote:


I always knew that this chick tract was bogus. I mean what D&D group has a female DM and that many female players?


Most RPGers I've known have been female. They were usually more interested in vampire RPGs than D&D though, and were often big into LARPing.
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I don't think it's an invalid argument to make...values and ideals permeate someone's life, after all, so why not their hobbies as well? One RPG group I had just did not want to play D&D because their parents had instilled in them the idea that it was evil. Rather than get too into it, we just played a different set of rules. We still had fantasy elements, without having to ostracize a member of the group.

Where such arguments veer off into crazy land is when they get blamed for being the thing that's corrupting a person. A game no more has the power to corrupt someone than any other compilation of information does. It's not like alcohol or cigarettes, which have addictive substances in them.
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I have a lot of respect for that guy. When I was a kid I was obsessed with collecting G.I. Joes. At one point it started to feel like burden, something I was doing because I had to, not because it was fun. I got so sick and tired of that oppressive feeling that I gave my G.I. Joes to my friends. I never attributed any religious meaning to the action. But I did feel really good afterward getting that monkey off my back and making my friends happy at the same time. It's healthy to recognize when a hobby has become a destructive obsession.

As much as I like games, I don't want to be known as "the guy who plays board games". There are much more important things in this world than board games, like helping other people and making the world a better place. Don't get me wrong, I think board games are good and can help things get better. But being a board game enthusiast is probably pretty low in priority on the list of things that can be done. I don't think gaming is inherently any better than playing sports, making music or any of a number of wonderful hobbies. As far as hobbies are concerned I could probably sell all my games, invest the money in mountain biking and not miss gaming for years.

As much as I like board games I never want to get to the point where it would be hard to part with them. I certainly don't want them to be the defining element of my life.
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kingbobb wrote:
I don't think it's an invalid argument to make...values and ideals permeate someone's life, after all, so why not their hobbies as well? One RPG group I had just did not want to play D&D because their parents had instilled in them the idea that it was evil. Rather than get too into it, we just played a different set of rules. We still had fantasy elements, without having to ostracize a member of the group.

Where such arguments veer off into crazy land is when they get blamed for being the thing that's corrupting a person. A game no more has the power to corrupt someone than any other compilation of information does. It's not like alcohol or cigarettes, which have addictive substances in them.


I think just about anything can be "bad" for the right person. Someone who really has trouble separating fantasy from reality should possibly not play certain (or maybe any) role-playing games. Or someone with an addictive nature needs to avoid games that feed that addictive nature to an unhealthy level (I'm mainly thinking of many World of Warcraft players that I know, but I'm sure other board games and RPGs fit that category for some people.)
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I struggle all the time with the disconnect between the violent games I play and the anti-violence message that I am trying to teach my son.
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Archilochus wrote:
That chic track is a classic! You've got to be a stupid mother fucker to believe that purile propaganda...

Good Gaming~! Mick


Whenever someone tries to lay that Chick Tract stuff on me, I just send them here:

http://www.humpin.org/mst3kdd/
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Gary Gygax was a Jehovah's Witness. Talk about conflicts there. I still have his letter to me explaining why he was quitting wargaming. I work with a religion teacher who's convinced that D+D is devil worship.

First, D+D really got its impetus from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings is actually very Christian themed with good triumphant! Playing wargames got a lot of flack back in the late sixties, early seventies. When I worked the Games Committee booth at UIC, I was called a war monger! The attacks on wargames and D+D come from ignorance.

Second, how you approach your gaming makes all the difference. I use my games (military miniatures) as a teaching tool as well as for its intrinsic entertainment and fellowship. I like that people have an idea what the very real men (and women) went through when disagreements or greed got out of hand. You might remind your Christian objector that playing a wargame would be an excellent time for them to remember those who died and suffered, to pray for them and their families, and to pray for peace. The wargames would give them ample focus for prayer!

Personally, I teach at a Catholic School, sing in a choir, cantor otherwise (that's lead the singing not running like a racehorse!), and give Communion.
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cosine wrote:
playing board games with other people is just about the most Christian hobby you can have, other than perhaps charity work and studying the Bible.


And studying the Bible is only worthwhile if it leads to action. (Check that: The right kind of action - too many people have used the Bible to justify the wrong kind of action).

As other have commented, playing games shouldn't be inherently seen as a bad thing, but if the games lead you to other issues: unhealthy obsession with the games, poor use of your time/resources, or if the subject matter of the games affects you adversely, then it's a good decision to set them aside.
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James Palmer
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berserkley wrote:

Whenever someone tries to lay that on me, I just send them here:

http://www.humpin.org/mst3kdd/


Although I find that article quite entertaining, I have a feeling if someone is seriously showing you a chick tract, they probably will not get it at all.
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Quote:
Whenever someone tries to lay that on me, I just send them here:

http://www.humpin.org/mst3kdd/


Funny!!! As a Catholic, I may as well play wargames and fantasy since they're convinced I'm going to hell anywaydevil

Personally, I bet Jesus as a kid at Nazareth played the local equivalent of wargames!
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One of the biggest misconceptions I've encountered in life, is the belief that evil comes from somewhere outside of us - like it's someone else's responsibility or fault that we do the things that we do.

Mankind has become quite proficient at evil on his own. He doesn't require the services of any outside agency in this regard. (Whether it be figurative or literal) devil

Video games, role playing games, and board games, are some of the modern era's "bogey men". They are but a few of the many supposed "devils" of the modern age. They're part of a long list of excuses as to why people can't be held accountable for what they've done. Why they aren't responsible for their own actions and decisions. As if a man's desire to do evil could be somehow curtailed by the removal of certain elements of society or media. laugh

Excuse me - that's rubbish. The worse stuff comes from inside of us. It doesn't need to be conjured up from some other place. Change the heart, and fix the mind - that's the ticket to change. Oh - and 100% responsibility and accountability for our own actions.



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Wargamer204 wrote:
Gary Gygax was a Jehovah's Witness. Talk about conflicts there. I still have his letter to me explaining why he was quitting wargaming.


Care to elaborate? I had not heard that he ever quit gaming.
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falloutfan wrote:
=As if a man's desire to do evil could be somehow curtailed by the removal of certain elements of society or media. laugh


While I agree that evil generally comes internally, I cannot agree that society and the media have no influence. In fact, I would argue the opposite. If a parent consistently teaches their child to do evil, that child will ultimately desire to do evil and will in fact do evil. Removal of that parent would almost certainly curtail that effect.

I myself find that people whom I hang out with affect my attitudes. Removal of those people from my circle thus affects my attitudes as well.

As has been famously said, "Man is not an island." We interact with each other, and we affect each other, and we should not try to pretend otherwise.
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Quote:
: Christianity and Games Workshop. This is unusual but interesting.
Wargamer204 wrote:
Gary Gygax was a Jehovah's Witness. Talk about conflicts there. I still have his letter to me explaining why he was quitting wargaming.



Care to elaborate? I had not heard that he ever quit gaming.



I'd have to look up the letter (it's somewhere in a box of old letters), but it was I believe just before D+D His then wife, Mary, was on his case about the wargames (she was a very devout Jehovah's Witness). Some of her congregation had not felt it right about Gary's gaming. Gary sent announcements out that he was quitting a lot of the game related things he did and that he was cutting back drastically. He would finish his play by mail Diplomacy games, but not start any new ones. The IFW was still around at that time so I was concerned that I would lose a great contributor to the International Wargamer (the 'zine I edited). It didn't last long. Gary, being Gary, got back somehow. I wasn't privy to it as he lived in Lake Genea WI while I lived in Chicago. He and Dave Arneson wound up with the Chainmail fantasy supplement, then D+D. D+D brought in the money (by this time Gary had lost his job at Fireman's Fund insurance in Chicago, yeah, a REAL commute!). Mary didn't mind D+D quite so much as it was Gary's real job. That's it in a nutshell. If Paul Stormberg ever writes his book, he'll have it spelled out more accuately and with a time line!
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I think wargames can be an excellent way to help people remember those who fought the battle/war in question. For this reason I always read aloud the scenario historical blurbs prior to beginning a historical wargame.

RPGs, similarly, are rather like moral playgrounds. They let you explore actions and the consequences of those actions. For many, I think RPGs are also cathartic, letting people blow off steam and kick some rear end without doing so for real.

If people are going to have problems, the fact that they play games is probably coincidental. It could just as easily be sitting alone playing video games or spending too much time at the sports bar (or worse things).
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Quote:
If a parent consistently teaches their child to do evil, that child will ultimately desire to do evil and will in fact do evil. Removal of that parent would almost certainly curtail that effect.

Wait...what?!?



Surely you don't actually think any parent intentionally does or would do that. If anything, it's lack of parental influence to teach children the difference between right and wrong that could cause them to drift towards trouble.

Regardless, if someone sees a hobby as an addiction and feels it negatively impacts their lives, then by all means they should cease participation; but if others who share said hobby can manage to live meaningful and balanced lives outside of it, there's no reason said hobby should be condemned overall. Again, as others are saying, it comes down to the individual, not the perceived source of the problem.




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chindent wrote:
Quote:
If a parent consistently teaches their child to do evil, that child will ultimately desire to do evil and will in fact do evil. Removal of that parent would almost certainly curtail that effect.

Wait...what?!?



Surely you don't actually think any parent intentionally does or would do that. If anything, it's lack of parental influence to teach children the difference between right and wrong that could cause them to drift towards trouble.


No, I don't believe a parent intentionally does that. I was giving an example - an extreme example in particular, to prove a point. I suppose another example (that perhaps is more in line with the wargame theme at hand) would be Hitler. If Hitler didn't exist, would the German populous commit less evil? Assuming no equivalent source of propaganda replaced him, I would say yes, they would commit less evil.

Quote:
Again, as others are saying, it comes down to the individual, not the perceived source of the problem.


Agreed (and I think I'm even one of the "others" you're referring to.)

My main disagreement was with the idea that we are not affected by the society we are in. Cultural values are different in different areas of the world precisely because we are, in fact, affected a lot by the people around us.

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I would much rather be know as "the guy who plays board games" than "the guy who always yells at us to keep off his lawn", "the giy with no friends","the guy who keeps a million cats", "the guy who peers out through the blinds", "the drunk guy", or even "the in-your-face bible-thumper".
As "the guy who plays board games" I can make friends and meet lots of different people. As "the guy who plays board games" I can share my values, in subtle ways, with family, friends, and people I've just met. As "the guy who plays board games" I can bring joy into people's lives and let them forget their problems for a few minutes or a few hours while playing a great game. As "the guy who plays board games" I can teach people about economics, history, society, human nature, probability, and many other things - without giving a single lecture.

If I really stepped up my game, I could even be "the guy who plays board games" with lonely people in hospitals or neglected children in shelters.

There's nothing wrong with being known for your hobby. Depending on how you use your hobby in your life, it can be a very fulfilling part of your spiritual works.



rayito2702 wrote:
I have a lot of respect for that guy. When I was a kid I was obsessed with collecting G.I. Joes. At one point it started to feel like burden, something I was doing because I had to, not because it was fun. I got so sick and tired of that oppressive feeling that I gave my G.I. Joes to my friends. I never attributed any religious meaning to the action. But I did feel really good afterward getting that monkey off my back and making my friends happy at the same time. It's healthy to recognize when a hobby has become a destructive obsession.

As much as I like games, I don't want to be known as "the guy who plays board games". There are much more important things in this world than board games, like helping other people and making the world a better place. Don't get me wrong, I think board games are good and can help things get better. But being a board game enthusiast is probably pretty low in priority on the list of things that can be done. I don't think gaming is inherently any better than playing sports, making music or any of a number of wonderful hobbies. As far as hobbies are concerned I could probably sell all my games, invest the money in mountain biking and not miss gaming for years.

As much as I like board games I never want to get to the point where it would be hard to part with them. I certainly don't want them to be the defining element of my life.
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joedogboy wrote:
I would much rather be know as "the guy who plays board games" than "the guy who always yells at us to keep off his lawn", "the giy with no friends","the guy who keeps a million cats", "the guy who peers out through the blinds", "the drunk guy", or even "the in-your-face bible-thumper".

I totally agree. And I don't think board games are bad. But I want board gaming to add a bit of flavor to my life rather than be the meat and potatoes.
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