Over the past few weeks we have devoted our posts to tackling issues that arise in gaming. In week one, we gave great attention to dealing with toxic gaming situations largely focused on responding to negativity in voice or text chat. Week two saw a focus on properly stewarding the time that we have in gaming with strong emphasis placed on utilizing our time in such a way to best represent Christ. Finally, last week sought to tackle the stigmas associated with being a Christian gamer in 2019 including the influence that even one’s screen name can have in attracting viewers. This week will be a culmination of those topics as we seek to present some of the best ideas from each of those posts for practical application as gamers devoted to God’s glory.
The world in which we live is full of toxic situations and the gaming environment is no different. In our first post the focus was put on the reality that the behavior of others is what it is. We have no control over the actions and words of those we are in game with but we do have full control over how we present ourselves and the image of God that we portray to others.
As tempting as it is to retaliate or lose our patience with people in game that are rough around the edges or trolling, the reality is that sometimes the Christ we present may be only image of Jesus that they will ever see. If our actions are no different from those of the world then the image of Christ that they gain is tarnished. The bottom line is, when it comes to toxicity in gaming, our practical piece of advice is to maintain self control and be that source of encouragement instead of toxic criticism.
One of the more difficult aspects of the Christian life for many is proper management of the resources that God has blessed us with. Focusing on stewardship, we concluded that the most important and limited resource we are given to manage is time. The reality is that we are limited in how much time we have here on earth and it is important to be aware of how we are spending it. When used inefficiently, gaming can be seen by some as a waste of time, and can even become potentially harmful to the gamer or those around them. This makes it crucial for Gamers to utilize their game time wisely and is even more important for Streamers.
If we were to sum up the importance of stewardship in the gaming realm and make it a practical application for us today it would be to make sure gaming is centered around developing healthy community. Whether its a solo adventure or a multiplayer realm, the important thing to focus on is building fruitful relationships that encourage and uplift while discussing the things of God.
Our final focus saw an emphasis on confronting and overcoming negative stigmas associated with gaming and Christians. It should come as no surprise that Christian’s alone have some negative stigmas associated with them and when you throw gaming into the mix it opens the door to a double dose of criticism from Christian and non-Christian sides of the coin. This is the reason why it is so important for us to rise above those and offer the best insight and examples we can into why it is not something to be ashamed of to claim the title of gamer or Christian.
The practical application here is to pray and focus largely on Paul’s example of being all things to all people. By embracing gaming and engaging in those communities we connect to so many people on a human level as they see us get wrapped up in the stories, experiences, and, yes, even frustrations while still providing opportunities to share our faith.
It is truly a blessing to be counted amongst the gaming communities and having the opportunity to truly reach out and share the gospel message in a largely untapped medium. Online gaming is a huge arena and we, as Christians, should not be ashamed of entering into it in order to further God’s kingdom. In doing so, however, we must be aware of the dangers and do our best, through the grace of God, to present ourselves as effective ambassadors of Christ.