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A (Not So) Horrible Controversy

A few weeks back, I heard a rumor that the Christian Children’s Fund had refused a donation from a benefit auction honoring Gary Gygax at this year’s Gen Con. I didn’t post anything about it at the time because it sounded a bit off-kilter. While the report understandably irritated some tabletop gamers, wiser heads (like those of Andy Chalk at the Escapist and Simon Rogers of Pelgrane Press) decided to investigate further.

Turns out the CCF isn’t all that Christian in the proselytizing sense (but certainly in the good works it undertakes) and that this was all a silly misunderstanding. Simon has the best report on it I’ve seen so far, and I applaud him taking the time to look for the truth behind the easy controversy.

Comments 4

  1. Leave it to Simon Rogers to the bottom of the story. Makes me even happier that I ordered one of the limited edition copies of “Mutant City Blues.” I can’t wait to see how Gumshoe handles supers. This is an example of what I was, mistakenly, trying to get at in the earlier ARG post. A lot of gamers seem to fall victim to the “Wizard’s First Rule” and “believe a lie because they ‘want’ to, or because they are afraid it’s true” when it comes to stories about Christianity and gaming.

    Certainly, they have ample cause for their knee jerk prejudice. I personally lost friends during the culture wars of the 80s thanks to people like Pat Robertson, Jack Chick, and Pat Pulling misinforming parents about the games my friends and I were playing.

    I think that this is a rift that needs to be healed in some way. I don’t mean that gamers need to become “people of faith,” rather we need to continue communicating what our games are all about in a positive manner. There are plenty of Christian gamers out there who can help us along the way as well. Certainly, there will be those who will never respect gaming — as there are those who regale against every film that isn’t “pure,” but we would do well to do the opposite of those how cry out against gaming and be inclusive and non-judgmental.

    Responsive? Certainly, but with a goal of sharing our hobby with anyone interested. I think a good model for this behavior is John Nephew who encountered negative attack ads during his foray into politics, but overcame them with grace, humor, and information.

  2. Leave it to Simon Rogers to the bottom of the story. Makes me even happier that I ordered one of the limited edition copies of “Mutant City Blues.” I can’t wait to see how Gumshoe handles supers. This is an example of what I was, mistakenly, trying to get at in the earlier ARG post. A lot of gamers seem to fall victim to the “Wizard’s First Rule” and “believe a lie because they ‘want’ to, or because they are afraid it’s true” when it comes to stories about Christianity and gaming.

    Certainly, they have ample cause for their knee jerk prejudice. I personally lost friends during the culture wars of the 80s thanks to people like Pat Robertson, Jack Chick, and Pat Pulling misinforming parents about the games my friends and I were playing.

    I think that this is a rift that needs to be healed in some way. I don’t mean that gamers need to become “people of faith,” rather we need to continue communicating what our games are all about in a positive manner. There are plenty of Christian gamers out there who can help us along the way as well. Certainly, there will be those who will never respect gaming — as there are those who regale against every film that isn’t “pure,” but we would do well to do the opposite of those how cry out against gaming and be inclusive and non-judgmental.

    Responsive? Certainly, but with a goal of sharing our hobby with anyone interested. I think a good model for this behavior is John Nephew who encountered negative attack ads during his foray into politics, but overcame them with grace, humor, and information.

  3. I agree. John’s one of the sharpest guys around, and he’s handled all of that as well as anyone.

    As for the rift, I think it’s mostly healed. Sure, we still get a lot of knee-jerk reactions like the ones you describe, but most folks on both sides are smart enough to know that it’s only fringe elements who really rail against tabletop games any more. It’s far more fashionable to target video games instead.

  4. Post
    Author

    I agree. John’s one of the sharpest guys around, and he’s handled all of that as well as anyone.

    As for the rift, I think it’s mostly healed. Sure, we still get a lot of knee-jerk reactions like the ones you describe, but most folks on both sides are smart enough to know that it’s only fringe elements who really rail against tabletop games any more. It’s far more fashionable to target video games instead.

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