Faith & Online Gaming – My Internship Project

At my seminary – and perhaps at all the Lutheran seminaries – interns are required to develop some sort of ministry project.  From the internship manual:

The purposes of the internship project are twofold: (1) to provide each intern with an opportunity to initiate and to organize a program new to the life of a congregation or agency, and (2) to encourage each student to develop additional expertise in a specific area of ministry.

Projects are to be conducted in one of five areas of ministry: lay ministry, evangelism, social ministry, ecumenism, or stewardship.  They also provide an other box.  That’s the one I checked, though my project could easily fit into the rubrics of evangelism or lay ministry.  Here’s a brief description:

Real Faith in a Virtual Reality: Exploring
the Intersection of Faith and Online Gaming

Through a series of events at church and in members’ homes, this project fosters a conversation between the church and the world of online gaming

  1. to introduce the church to the phenomenon of online gaming; and, more importantly,
  2. to help Christians who are online gaming fans reflect on this hobby in terms of their faith, for the purposes of critically integrating online gaming and faith, tearing down the wall that too often segregates our experience of faith from our experience of fun.

For the entire Internship Project Proposal, click here.

The thing is, I don’t know much about online gaming.  I don’t own an XBox, a Nintendo, or even an Atari or an Intellivision.  This is new territory for me, but I’m sure that the church should be involved with this phenomenon.  And I’m blessed with a congregation that has many members – youth and adult – who are gaming fanatics.

This should be fun.  I begin the project in earnest after the New Year.  I’ll keep you updated.

PS.  I still intend to post notes about my Dark Side of Luther class, and some past sermons.  I’ll get to it.  Soon.  I hope.

About Chris Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. National Guardsman. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.
This entry was posted in Faith & the Church, Internship, Lutheran, Society. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Faith & Online Gaming – My Internship Project

  1. Mary Sue says:

    Oooh! This sounds fascinating!
    I’m not terribly big on gaming now, working two jobs kind of sucks your time like a giant sucky thing, but I still burn turns on the Kingdom of Loathing when I remember to.
    A really good way, imo, to see how people interact outside the game (which often has you locked into certain roles and speech patterns) is to go to online bulletin boards and forums. KoL, being smallish in gaming community terms, has an official forum and several dozen offshoots run by clans.
    But ANYWAY I could blather on about this for hours and I’ll watch eagerly for more news on your project!

  2. papajoemc says:

    That sounds like a great project. A paper that I was going to do for one of my classes (which I never got too) was about virtual religion. I was going to look at how the church itersects with websites like myspace and facebook and a site called “Second Life”
    I don’t know if “second life” would fall into your classification of Gaming- but people are addicted to it and some do consider it a game. I can pass on anything I have on it if you would be interested.

  3. Chris says:

    My interest in this intersection of faith and virtual reality was first inspired by Second Life, but since my church has so many gamers I decided to go in that direction, instead. However, any insights you can share would be great . . .
    Thanks!

  4. LookUpward says:

    You may wish to also incorporate virtual reality faith activity in your research / paper. Lifechurch.tv has set up a virtual church at Secondlife.com (see http://www.lifechurch.tv/secondlife/what.php).

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