It Only Smells Evil

It seems an odd thing to have to say, but being a Christian does not preclude taking part in roleplaying games. If Christians can sit down and play Monopoly, a board game designed to encourage players to embrace wholeheartedly the love of money, then they can certainly be trusted to pretend they are gnomes trying to rescue a princess. In fact, a clever game-master can create a story in which an unlikely band of stalwart adventurers go through many hardships to defend virtue and uphold all things good and decent. There must be an acknowledgement that wickedness never goes unpunished, even if the punishment doesn’t seem to fit the transgression. Villainy may seem to get the upper hand during the course of the tale, but ultimately, it will be defeated. That is the heart of Christianity’s glorious hope.

To be honest, roleplaying games do get a pretty bad reputation among people of a more conservative nature. I get it. It does have a tendency to come across as escapism. Keeping things in moderation is key to maintaining a balance between the reality we must live in, and the daydreams that keep us happily distracted. Moderation has by no means always been my forte, as anyone from my college gaming days can attest, but things have a way of righting themselves if you put your faith in the right place. In my case, it was not in the roll of a twenty-sided dice, but on a much higher power that got me into equilibrium.

Parents should be concerned if their kids indulge themselves to excess in distractions and fantasy. It doesn’t matter if it is roleplaying, video games, karaoke, football, or the ill-fated campaign of Bernie Sanders. Sooner or later, young and old people alike must get down to the business of living, and not just playing. If you do get a chance to play, then play nicely, and pick good people to spend that time with. I was blessed to have had some extraordinary gaming buddies, without whom there would never have been a Slothjemia. For that, I am truly thankful. Not every character in my stories is an uplifting persona, of course, but if you pay close attention, you will find that acts of evil always have consequences. So do acts of kindness, for that matter. A person simply does not go around lobbing folks off of a tower and suffer no consequences (although you might have to wait for the second book to find out what they are).

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