By Amy Toman
Cohousing has been around for a while, but is something that has only recently crossed my path. For those of you who don’t know, Cohousing is defined as “is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space” according to Wikipedia. Cohousing is what I would describe as the new way of having a village, a community. In a world full of social media, constant relocation, and seclusion, people are searching for ways to live in community, one of which is cohousing.
Since having kids, I have come to appreciate and understand the need for a village more than I ever did before. In the past, the village that helped you during times and trails and celebrated joys with you was the church. Recently, however, many young adults have left the church, and although they don’t believe in God, they are still searching for a village. Cohousing is one such way in which individuals have found a community, a village without the religious beliefs. But what does this have to do with Gospel and Gaming? Why would I be talking about Cohousing, and community on a Christian gaming site?
Believe it or not, G&G’s online gaming community is the digital equivalent of cohousing. Gospel and Gaming sets up digital communities through voice communication services. When Gospel and Gaming first started, the main community was built around a game called League of Legends; this was our basic hub, the living room if you’d like. Multiple times a week, upwards of 80 different gamers would meet in the “living room” of our main server to play a video game. Playing this single video game led to people splitting up into different rooms within the server to play other games and get to know each other better. This is the equivalent of community areas within co housing: the kitchen, the cul de sac, the playground, the garden.
As relationships formed, gamers wanted to have their own spaces in which they could have private conversations and control who was and was not allowed in their space. This is where Gospel and Gaming allowed rooms which were password protected in which closer relationships could be formed. These private rooms are much like the individual houses congregated together in cohousing. Many Gospel conversations occurred within these spaces where gamers could be vulnerable with Jacob and other Christians about struggles in their lives.
Gospel and Gaming is so much more than getting together to play some silly video games: it uses gaming (both video games and board games) as a way to connect and create communities with gamers. Everyone is looking for somewhere to belong. Everyone needs people they can trust to help them through the tough times and celebrate with them during the good. Where would you turn if you didn’t trust your family? If you didn’t have a church community to lean on? If you were alone, except for your gamer friends online?
Relationships created through gaming last for years. Some of our greatest friends are gamers that we have known for many years and others for only a short time. We have seen Christians reach out and evangelize to others through gaming, and gamers who denied God are now followers of the one and only TRUE God. Gamers are just like everyone else: they are individuals searching for a community to belong too. A place to be themselves and to have support in life.