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World of Warcraft FAQs for Christians: Negative and positive aspects?

World of Warcraft FAQs for ChristiansWhat are the positive aspects of MMOs?

  • As a Christian, there a tons of ministry opportunities in these games! I’ve even blogged in the past about some of the ministry opportunities I’ve had in Guild Wars. It is an incredible way to meet unsaved people and share the gospel. I’ve lost count of how many opportunities I’ve had to talk with people about tough real-life situations and share the difference Christ could make in their lives. One person I know is even actively involved in church now because of it.
  • It provides a great sense of release, especially during stressful times in life.
  • Highly entertaining.
  • Community is valued and interaction therein is required for success.
  • It requires reading, strategy, critical thinking and puzzle solving. (Compare to movies and TV, which are both very passive forms of entertainment.)
  • It provides a mental and emotional escape from reality that we all need from time to time. (Again, TV and movies also provide this escape.)

What are the negative aspects of MMOs?

  • It provides a mental and emotional escape from reality, which is very dangerous in excess.
  • They have the potential to become all-consuming, replacing everything else and becoming the #1 priority in our lives.
  • In rare cases, reality and fantasy become confused.
  • It’s easy to spend more time developing a virtual character than our own personal character.
  • Self-worth may become wrapped in the identity of a virtual world rather than in our real world.
  • There may be a lot of foul language by other players in the game. (Usually chat can be turned off.)
  • People who do not have a strong personal identity, healthy relationships, sense of purpose and appropriate ways of exerting power in the real world will instead form them in a virtual world, usually with harmful results on real-life self-identity and social interaction.

People who do not have a strong personal identity, healthy relationships, sense of purpose and appropriate ways of exerting power in the real world will instead form them in a virtual world, usually with harmful results on real-life self-identity and social interaction.

Real-Life story of the negative affects of World of Warcraft and MMOs
Here’s a story from a guy who was at the “top of World of Warcraft greatness.” He was a council member on what is now one of the oldest guilds in the world, the type of position coveted by many of the 7 million people who play the game today, but which only a few ever get. What follows in his story is a cautionary tale about the pull an escape from reality can have and why he ultimately quit the game altogether.

[ Read other “World of Warcraft FAQs for Christians” in this series ]

[tags]World of Warcraft, MMORPG, MMO, spirituality[/tags]


Posted on January 24, 2007

  • The sheer amount of controversy over this game in “christiandom” is a good sign of “negative” aspects.

    Are we over-reacting?
    I don’t think so….in my opinion this might be a good tell tell that maybe we should listen to.

    Are we helping our students to discern good from evil by arguing whether or not we should play games that have traces of dark imagery, magical abilities, and demons looking characters in them?

    Does speaking out on our “right” to do things that are permissable helping to win the battle over the hearts of teens?

    If we are not careful and unite on common grounds,i.e the Bible (and grounds that are say alittle more conservative would not hurt, we can not go wrong being more conservative in an increasingly liberal world), this will spread over in to other areas and we as youth pastor will have a harder time trying to convince teens that the music, movies, and games, books and other materials they are spending hundreds of hours weekly partaking of is wring or unheathly for them. All of this kinda seems like a battle for absolutes against relativity!

  • John Antony

    As an avid player or world of warcraft and a strong christian, attending youth meetings every week and not disgaurding my real life, I am one of those players that just enjoy the social community as well as the leveling based one, in my opinion World of warcraft is like a book, it takes shape over time, as are the roleplay realm of one I play on(Darkmoon faire)(EU), I have both a warlock and a priest as well as one of the many other classes, to get a better understanding of how they work , so I can relate to the others of that class and share my knowledge about them, personally I don't think World of warcraft is typicly "evil" even though some may say so, same goes for the .game "Diablo", though not an mmo like World of warcraft it is still just a game and those of us with the knowledge will only see it/them as a game, nothing else

  • BinPlayin

    Anything that gets between you and God is sin period brothers and sisters? The question is: Does Wow keep you from God's Word? Do you wake up seeking to honor the Lord and obey His commandments or do we meditate on shiny non-existent baubles that will never satisfy?

    If you can in good conscience steer clear of the obvious lust of the game and still keep God first… then go for it and be salt and light to the lost (which is 99% of the game :( ) If you can't then you need to at least take a break and put it before the Lord IMHO.

  • Wife of wow player

    My husband is in a "Christen Guild". He is an officer in Eternity Matters yet he has clearly told me he doesn't love me and wants a divorce. He stopped going to church and doesn't read his bible or listen to worship music. The only time he talks about God or cracks open his bible is when he is on wow and they are doing devotions. How can you be in such sin as to abandon you family and actually think this lines up with the Word of God. What about the wife of your youth,loving one another and putting God first. If this is the caliber of christian guilds that they have no discernment and allow members to be actively putting the game before anyone or anything including God there is NOTHING christian about it. If it doesn't line up with the Word of God its not from Him!

    • BinPlayin

      I will pray that the Lord will convict your husband of his sin. I am so sorry to see such deception rule his heart. Prayerfully consider bringing this to the attention of a lay leader or the pastor of your church.

  • Araella

    WoW is just a game… Sure it can be harmful if you play it too much, but if the people playing it know that it is fantasy, and just that, I have absolutely no problem with that. I think everyone condemning popular recreational activities such as gaming, movies, books (especially Harry Potter!!!) and music need to chill out! Yeah, call me a sinner if you want. God has done nothing for me, but these things, like WoW have taught me countless lessons.

  • Adino the Eznite

    I’m a Senior Pastor, and yes, also a gamer. I grew up playing video games, it was what my generation did.
    This is how I solve the “spending to much time on a game” dilemma:
    Every half hour I spend praying or reading the Word, I allow myself a hour and a half playing a game. Agree with me or not, that’s what I do.

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