a Christian podcast about tabletop RPGs and collaborative storytelling

A Gamer Gives Thanks

From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.
 -Jeremiah 30:19 (NIV)

My favorite holiday approaches rapidly. I know, I know. Most people like Christmas (or maybe Halloween) but I like Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite because it is one holiday where the celebration itself hasn’t been horrendously commercialized (and almost 2 decades of experience in retail drove home just how important that was throughout my adult life). There’s just a nice get-together with one’s family (and maybe some friends) and an enjoyable meal, hopefully with a bit of quiet contemplation thrown in. It’s low-friction and low-pressure, and I like both my family of origin and my in-laws, so there’s no additional stress there.

It’s fairly common around this time of year to make lists of things one is thankful for, and I like that tradition; I’ve recently started praying a version of the traditional Examen prayer (this one specifically, if you’re curious) in the evenings (or trying to remember to, at any rate) and that includes an element of thanksgiving which I have found helps with my perspective at the very least.

However, there are tons of lists of gratitude around the web this time of year, so rather than just running down a list of personal blessings, here are some things I’m thankful for as a Christian gamer, specifically.

  • Gaming has never been better: Tabletop RPG design is benefiting both from the contributions of experienced professionals and a vibrant indie game scene, and both of these groups get along and cross-pollinate. Crowdfunding and e-publishing have taken a lot of the financial risk on the producer’s side and the financial barrier to entry on the consumer’s side down,meaning that…
  • Gaming has never been more accessible: The same internet and e-publishing have also made our hobby easier to research and get into than ever before, and there are a great multitude of helpful sites out there devoted to all aspects of gaming, including…
  • The RPG podcast community: Whether it’s veteran stalwarts like Fear the Boot or other niche podcasts like our dear friends over at the Gameable Podcast, the RPG podcasting sphere is healthy, vibrant, welcoming, and full of interesting people. In addition, thanks to some of those people…
  • The idea that gaming is not just harmless, but beneficial is gaining traction: We’ve (mostly) put the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 1990s behind us, and the pendulum has started to swing in the other direction. You need look no farther than Game to Grow, Wheelhouse Workshop, and The Bodhana Group to see evidence of that. And thanks in part to those efforts…
  • Christians are not only showing up at the gaming table, they’re setting it: When I was first getting into gaming, the specifically Christian resources for gamers were limited mostly to a few things¬† on the Christian Gamer’s Guild website. Now, not only are they still around, but we have access to The Geekpreacher, Geekdom House, Gamechurch, The Dice Steeple, and our good friends at Innroads Ministries, just to name a few.

There is much to be thankful for as a Christian gamer. As always, we’d love to hear what you’re thankful for in the comments below.

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