Hello, and welcome back to “Should Christians Play RPG’s?” or “Is Isaac Going to Hell Because He Went LARP-ing Once?”
What? It’s becoming a legitimate concern.
…I probably shouldn’t bring up the chain-maille shirt in my dresser, the cloak in my closet, or the bag of dice on my desk, then.
Wait. Whoops. Changing the subject!
Having defined what an RPG is, I’m going to be focusing mainly on tabletop RPG’s, or “tabletops” for this argument.
Misconception #2: Tabletop RPG’s are cool and addicting.
Even in this day and age of video games becoming more prevalent and video game RPG’s tagging along for the ride, people who go out and specifically play RPG’s aren’t seen as the cool kids. One person could call a tabletop gamer a nerd while having clocked several hours into Skyrim.
And, sure, while sales of tabletop RPG’s have been going quite well, the groups still operate underground, playing in basements and in dorm rooms. They hardly play in public places, unless they are pre-designated places for doing tabletop RPG’s, like comic book or tabletop RPG shops.
Are they addicting? That depends. I didn’t get into LARP or tabletop games after trying each of them once. Maybe I went in with too much skepticism, or maybe it wasn’t for me. From my observations, tabletop RPG’s are for improv actors and fiction writers more than anyone else, and LARP is for the physically fit people in the above categories.
I can, however, see why some people could get addicted to them.
There is still a certain allure to RPG’s, tabletop or otherwise. Why is that exactly?
Misconception #3: RPG’s are Satan’s way of pulling people into occultism; they’re alluring because the prince of deception is involved.
This is perfectly fair. If Satan were responsible for all temptation (I attribute it to inward sin nature), then RPG’s would be easy to use. As would anything. A bag of chips could lead one to gluttony, being in the same classroom as that one cute girl/guy could lead one to lust, and having a blog could lead one to pride. That said, you could make this argument for any role-playing game—heck, any game.
The reason why they’re alluring is not because it leads them to occultism; it’s because the players get the chance to do things that they normally cannot in the real world. To me, at least, Dungeons & Dragons has the same allure as, say, Call of Duty.
Now, of course, this does have it’s problems. Without going into too much detail regarding catharsis theory and total abandonment of reality for a fantasy/digital world…actually, I think I just summarized the only problems. This is where and why the games become addicting.
To counter this, there is such a thing as playing games in moderation. Tabletop groups often meet only once a week. I have personal boundaries set that I only play games at night, if I’m not doing anything else.
Some of you may be thinking, “What about the kids? Kids are playing these games.” Well, as I mentioned in my Pokémon Go post, I believe that nothing is truly kid friendly, and I can defend that statement. Ironically, tabletop RPG’s are probably the safest form of RPG, as they allow for customization. Don’t like the official D&D guides? Write your own.
And that’s the other thing. The quality or content of the RPG depends heavily upon the people with whom you play. The only times I played RPG’s with others were with friends. The strangers at the table/in the woods were my biggest concern.
Of course, these are not the only problems people have with RPG’s. Come back next week for Misconception #4. And if there is anything you’d like to add, feel free and drop a comment below.