Introduction to World of Warcraft
Note: Title was changed from A Christian View of World of Warcraft to A Christian’s View of World of Warcraft because I don’t represent all Christians.
If you haven’t heard of the World of Warcraft game, you or your children will. The popularity of this game is mind blowing–over 11 million people are playing worldwide, undertaking role playing adventures for a fee of about $15 a month. World of Warcraft is a MMORPG (massively multi-player online role-playing 3-D game).
I evaluated this game and decided I don’t want my children (boys ages 9 and 11) playing it. Many may disagree. This is the decision I have made for my family for the reasons below:
Evil Character and Quests
You begin the game by creating a character choosing from ten races and nine classes. The classes in World of Warcraft are Warriors, Mages, Druids, Hunters, Warlocks, Priests, Paladins, Rogues, and Shaman. Races are divided by Horde or the Alliance. The Alliance includes Humans, Night Elves, Dwarfs, Gnomes and Draenei. The Horde includes Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls and Blood Elves. Male and female sexes are available in all races.
View this video from the creator to get an idea of the of the characters game.
Clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Maressa Orzack believes 40% of World of Warcraft subscribers are addicted to the game. Said the doctor: “I think there needs to be warning labels on MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, similar to warning labels on cigarettes.
Characters take on “quests” or assignments that include traveling through terrains and fighting different kinds of monsters. Players climb and improve skill as they perform the quests. At times a player may need the help of other players. These are called dungeons which can be two to five players or groups of 30 to 40. It can take several weeks or months in order to pass the dungeon depending on the skill and the playing style of the player.
Many of the quests involve violence. Much of the game is spent fighting a diverse and sometimes frightening assortment of computer-controlled creatures gone bad-wild boars, wolves, rogues, undead creatures, dragons, thieves, etc. that include graphic depictions of blood during combat with appropriate sound effects.
Players control an avatar (character) in the world inside the game. They explore the landscape, perform all activities and perfect skills while winning items. Items include things like herbs, manna, and gold. These items, along with different weapons and armor, are a focus of the game as they improve various attack or defense skills.
Subscribers advance through levels one to80 a 70 [ediupdated]. But level 80 does not mean the game ends. It’s a bit complicated to explain but once a player makes it to level 80 for most this is the real start of the game. Many users have different characters at a level.
Casting Spells, Witchcraft, Ghosts, Violence
Players fight by casting spells. More correctly – they pretend to cast spells. Different spells have different effects on other players or monsters. Players earn the ability to cast spells by visiting trainers and by receiving items dropped by monsters, found through quests, or sold by other players. The strength of the spells depends on the players’ level and earned items. Spells can improve or weaken friends and enemy troops. Other spells do direct damage to enemies or heal allies.
When a player dies, they receive a dialog box to “Release Spirit.” By pressing this button their character is transported to the nearest graveyard as a ghost. Priests, shamans, paladins, druids, and warlocks all have the power to bring other characters back from the dead. The method and frequency with which they can do so varies by class.
World of Warcraft is rated “T” for Teen with warnings of blood, suggestive themes, use of alcohol, and violence. WoW is a place where thousands of people communicate in an unmonitored environment. Foul language is used consistently. Alcohol is occasionally referenced. Players can buy and consume alcohol in taverns and pubs to the point of getting drunk.
Women characters are dressed scantly. Promoting lust. Players can “flirt” with one another while some females are scantily clad. (A teenage girl suggested I add this red flag, her words dressed whorish and horrible!)
A Christian View
God says “Abstain from all appearances of evil. I didn’t write it God did.
The Bible is clear that casting spells is an abomination to God. Those who practice witchcraft (sorcery) will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:20-21). These practices are anti-God and are in rebellion against Him. Also see Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 27:9; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24, Ezekiel 21:21; Isaiah 19:3; 1 Samuel 28, 1 Chronicles 10:13-14.
Do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, | or cast spells or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. (Deut 18:10-11 NLT)
“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD…”-Deuteronomy 18:9-12a
Some Christians play WoW and feel it is harmless. I have talked to some of them that look at me like I’m off my rocker for even considering there is something wrong with this game.
What Does God say about the Appearance of Evil?
Various message boards have threads of discussion about Christians playing WoW. Players say they even use the game to be a witness and lead other to Christ. They defend the right to play this game because it is not really evil but only a game.
OK, its only a game–Lets say it is not evil for arguments sake. Does it appear evil?
Is it OK to play a game about casting spells? Gamers aren’t really casting spells. They are only humans, not priest or warlocks, and they only direct the character that they have chosen to go through an adventure casting spells.
Pretending to cast spells is not the same as casting spells but I don’t want my children to pretend to cast spells.
These are my children and this is my decision. Why are people so angry (deleted over 200 F…U. comments so far) for stopping MY children from playing this game?
The Real Spiritual Battle
We are in a battle daily–not a virtual battle–a real battle! The Christian walk is a battle against our sin nature or our flesh. “The flesh” refers to the fallen nature still with the believer. In Romans 6, Paul says the old man has been crucified and that we can overcome the flesh by reckoning ourselves dead to sin and by yielding ourselves to God. God’s Holy Spirit assists us in our battle against the flesh.
God wants to transform us into Christ’s likeness (2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:29 and 12:1–2). If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit (allowing the Spirit to control our lives). Walking in the Spirit is the daily experience of the believer who feeds on the Word, prays, and obeys what the Bible says.
Will You Lose Your Salvation Over a Game?
Playing WoW is NOT going to make one lose his salvation. You won’t lose your salvation over murder. God loves each of us even in our sin. Does that make it right? But is it pleasing to Him?
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Rom 6:1-2
Christians are to live lives of holiness by the grace of God. The Bible explains we are to prepare for battle by putting on the armor of God:
Satan is a strong enemy, so Paul exhorts us to be strong. Paul knows that the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38) and that we can overcome only in Christ’s power. The very power of God is available to us through the indwelling Spirit (3:14–21).
We must sit before we can walk, and we must walk before we can stand. We must understand our spiritual position before we can have spiritual power. We must beware of the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11) which means his strategies, devices (2 Cor. 2:11) and snares (1 Tim. 3:7). He is the ruler of darkness and uses darkness (ignorance and lies) to further his cause (2 Cor. 4:1ff; Luke 22:53).(Wiersbe’s Expository)
People are like tofu. We take on or absorb the things we are surrounded by. Read this passage from Galatians and ask yourself what fruit is produced by playing WoW? Gal 5:19-6
How We Spend our Time
Even secular parents voice concerns over the addictiveness of the game, and the creation of a sedentary, non-communicative, non-social existence. Wikipedia explains the high level of addiction in WoW:
Stories of game addiction are a common source of criticism of WoW, earning it the nickname “World of Warcrack”. In June 2005 it was reported that a child had died due to neglect by her World of Warcraft-addicted parents in South Korea. …
Dr. Maressa Orzack, a clinical psychologist, was interviewed August 8, 2006, stating that of the 6 million subscribers “I’d say that 40 percent of the players are addicted.” The 40% figure was not derived from a scientific study overseen by Orzack, but rather came from “a forum that Nick Yee runs.” She added in an August 2006 interview that “even if the percentage is 5 to 10 percent which is standard for most addictive behaviors, it is a huge number of people who are out of control.” Also, according to Dr. John Grohol, a colleague of Orzack’s, “Dr. Orzack is not claiming that up to 40 percent of World of Warcraft gamers are addicted based upon any actual evidence or surveys of players. This is just her opinion, based upon her own experience and observation of the problem.”
This video is an interview of a family with a teenager playing WoW up to 12 hours a day.
“It matters to God how we use our time. It is something which He has given us. We don’t own it. We are responsible to manage it for Him. It doesn’t mean we must always work. Part of our time should be used in recreation and rest, the development and enjoyment of relationships. But we must be aware of how we use our time, and use it wisely” (Max, Anders 30 Days to Understanding the Bible).
Anything we spend time doing to the point of putting aside Bible study and prayer should be a signal to us that there is a problem. It is like recognizing hunger pain as a signal to eat. Time is limited. It is like a bandwith. Use it well.
“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2).
Think on These Things (Not Evil)
Thoughts are powerful; “as he thinketh, so he is” (Prov. 23:7). Where we focus or thoughts can lead to either unrest and discouragement, or spiritual thinking and peace.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phil 4:8).
Paul encourages us to press toward the goal, to live a life that would honor God and kept his focus on eternity, not the things that this earth can give:
…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Phil 3:13b – 21)
How do we set the captives free?
Twenty years ago Christians would be livid about this game, but after years of this desensitization WOW slips under our spiritual radar. World of Warcraft is one of the many tools used to captivate and desensitize many concerning the Occult and divination (They appear to be sheep, but they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Beware, as Christ warned, for they are everywhere.)
But God can set the captives free, once a captive turns their eyes toward Jesus. The way back from any captivity is first acknowledging that one is a captive and seeking God.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16
When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:1-2
Change comes by incrementally by transforming the mind (Romans 12:1-2) –by grace, Scripture, prayer, Christian fellowship– in putting off the old man and putting on the new man in Christ (Ephesians 4:20-32). Then you are set free to live and think in a manner that is pleasing to God. (Matthew 28:20; 2 Timothy 3:10).
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. Rom 14:19
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