'Video Games Are The Next Big Religion'

How do you feel about the idea of gaming as religion? I wouldn't blame anyone for feeling sceptical, and yet it's difficult to disagree with many of the points Andy Robertson makes in this talk that compares gaming and religion. These things have a lot more in common than you'd think!

I'm not sure I'm convinced though — maybe that's my aversion to religion — but I definitely feel a tad unsettled by the comparison, or the idea of "Church of the Latter Day Player". And yet, with this framework, a lot of the fervent love for games and how that can sometimes be expressed makes sense. Games aren't just a hobby for many people, they're an identity, after all — which can inform a lot of your lifestyle and values. Like religion.

And if nothing else, video games have begun to be incorporated into Sunday services in some places...

Geek Sermon: Join The Church Of The Gamer [FamilyGamerTV via Andy Robertson]


Comments

    This, and yet so few people realise Santa is a god...
    Commandments, woship, sacrificing cookies, decoratiing an altar/tree...

    I'm still happy to follow the spagetti god.

      BAM! I agree, can we just leave religion out of gaming? Thanks in advance

      I suppose it's time to gather 10,000 and get Jedi religious status officially recognised in Australia. Then we can have ordained Jedi's to marry us gamers ;)

      Last edited 02/08/13 8:43 pm

        Pastafarians unite. Also, can we agree to keep religion out of anything that directly effects an individual who doesn't have a say i.e. politics, law.

    So a bunch of people swarming to an event about games is akin to a religious gathering? Wouldn't this also apply to just about every other gathering possible such as a writing, music, art or film festival. So enjoying a form of fiction in a game which would also apply to Books, comics, anime, film and television and much more is in the same area as following a religion. It's almost as if this guy doesn't understand what a hobby is and how it differs from a belief system.

    So carry around gaming memorabilia is akin to possessing a holy symbol. To me carrying around something gaming related is closer to jewelry and fashion rather than a divine symbol. Insults all gaming related literature and music. Some of the music created for games has significantly more musical "Quality" then the mainstream Justin Bieber, One Direction and so on. The overall condescending and arrogant way he presents this is cringe worthy. He acts as if gaming is one giant coherent, cohesive community without any varying opinion or ideas.

      It was a stupid talk and shame on kotaku for relinking it. Religion and videogames aren't even remotely analogous. Until videogames are used as a crutch to explain natural phenomena, placate the fear of death or for spiritual fulfilment, this is a load of horseshit.

      Religion. You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means. I think the speaker took Neil Gaiman's American Gods a bit literally, but I may be giving him too much credit by assuming he reads.

        Uhh.. wut? Who *couldn't* compare religion and gaming. I really have no idea how all you guys can ignore the similarities. Lets start with the simplest of correlations. Fanboy = Religious fanatic. If you can't compare worship of any random game character, or developer with worship of a random holy dude.. you're not seeing things from an objective perspective.

        I mean damn.. go find a Halo forum for example and ask them who they have more faith in when it comes to saving us all... master chief or jesus.

        If you don't go to church.. the only spiritual fulfilment you get is when you send a horde of aliens to hell with a machine gun.

        Last edited 02/08/13 9:03 pm

          Fanboy's are people that lack critical thinking skills and the ability to be objective. They can be annoying, spam comment sections and only focus on the positives or negatives of a game/console. Religious fanatics have a habit of forcing the beliefs onto others that deny them rights (Abortion, Homosexual relationships/marriage and so on.) They often interfere with science and social progression. The particularly nasty ones have no qualms using violence to force their beliefs on others. A socially awkward guy/girl who posts too much rubbish on the internet about how a certain console sucks, isn't in the same league of fanaticism that the religious fundamentals are.

            You do realise that the 'fan' in fanboy comes from fanatic right? Which has the same definition as when applied to a religious dude. Can you not see the similarity in the way both might attempt to force their beliefs on others, one a god, one a console or game.. merely using different means, as is available to them? Obviously the worship that can be seen when speaking of ancient religion is going to be on a different level than what you find on a fansite.. but surely you can see that it's the same kind of mentality in action? What is the difference between spamming a forum to spread your gospel and standing on a corner crying it to the heavens?

            Who do you think are the people that make up the ranks of religious fanatics? They're not monsters.. It's those exact same kind of emotionally invested people that if they took a different path might have ended up on a forum spewing venom instead?

          Well to be fair to the hypothetical halo forums Master Chief has 4 games where he has done a fairly good job at saving humanity, while jesus just has some books and scriptures that depict events that most likely never happened anyway. Plus I'd have more faith in a soldier wearing bitching armor then some bearded guy wearing sandals myself too.

    Putting my aversion and distaste with religion in general aside. I can't really describe how much I disagree with everything he said especially when he relates storytelling in games to that of the bible...There's nothing unique about the bible, it's a fictional book like any other that employs all the same storytelling techniques used in any other book. All that aside what defines something as a religion is essentially the belief in and worship of a god...Unless I've been doing something wrong games dont have that.

      While i partly agree with you about religion I have more of an issue with religion as an institution rather than with religion itself. Religion as a whole is a positive thing, most religions will be teaching things like peace and love and what not, its when people try and twist it for their own needs that it becomes the horrible thing we have today. Also the bible is not entirely fictitous, there has been historical proof of some of the events of the bible, just not the stupid stuff like people coming back from the dead :P

    Have you heard about the Life-stream? The Jenova's Witnesses are spreading the word of Sephiroth! Will you be ready for Reunion?

    http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=199

    Sure it starts with gaming but the next thing you know we are all borg worshiping Particle 010!

    On the plus side, the object of a video game religion actually exists, so it has that advantage over deistic religions. But overall it's a rather silly concept.

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