SIOUX FALLS, SD (October 18, 2012) – Blake Craig says he knows some Christians believe churches should oppose role-playing games (RPGs), but the member of Prairie Hills Covenant Church is using them as a way to build bridges with people in the community.
In role-playing games, participants assume the role of a character that competes against others in a fictional world.
“There is a stigma that comes with role-playing games,” Craig says. “It is often thought that role-playing games and church cannot go together, both on the part of the church and on the part of the gamers. The reality is that this group of people needs the church as much as the mainstream fantasy football players do. This ministry has become an outreach to a group of people who might not fit in with other more traditional church outreach.”
Craig says he started a gaming group as an after-school activity at DaVinci Academy in Elgin, Illinois, where he used to teach. “When my wife (Jill) and I moved to Sioux Falls to answer her call to youth ministry, I wanted to continue playing and teaching kids how to play the games.”
That was the beginning of what now is named the Wayfarer’s Guild. “At first it was just me and another adult playing Pathfinder RPG with youth group kids,” Craig says. “Over the past two years the Guild started to grow. We began to gain kids from the community, college students as well as other adults who had never played before.” In addition to Pathfinder, the group also plays HeroClix, Craig says.
Craig says he hopes that as gamers – “who would not otherwise darken the doors of the church” – and church members interact, they will see what each has to offer the other.