Manic Mondays: Loving a Digital Gamer

By Amy Toman

I wanted to let you all know how much we appreciate your prayers last week as the stomach bug swept through 3 out of 4 of us. I'm so excited to be back to Manic Mondays posts!

Last time we talked about support and the challenge of loving the gamers God has placed in your life. This week we will talk about some practical ways that you can love the digital gamers you meet.

First we must define what we mean by digital gamer. A digital gamer, for our purposes, is defined as anyone who plays games on PC (personal computer) or console (such as PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, or handheld devices such as Nintendo DS). This is a broad definition of a digital gamer and ecompasses all ages, backgrounds and gameplay. Now there are many different types of digital gamers, and I’m sure you’ve heard some of these words thrown around before; casual, RPG, MMO, MMORPG, MOBA and FPS.

Wait a minute…. How am I supposed to love someone when I don’t understand these letters? What do I talk to this millennial about? How do I relate to someone who plays something I don’t understand? Forming and creating a relationship with someone who is different then you can be a scaring, difficult thing. It is important to remember to think about the other person and ways in which you can help them I hope that I can give you a few tips to help you reach out to someone in your church, neighborhood, or friend who plays digital games.

  1. Don’t be scared! One of the most important things to remember is that gamers are people too. Just because you may not know what they're talking about doesn't mean that you should not approach them. Take a chance and walk up to a digital gamer and say hi.
  2. Ask Questions. The digital gamer you know may not seem very chatty, but take the time to ask them what an MMORPG is. Ask them about their favorite game, device, controller and why. Once you step into their world, even the most loner gamer will open up about their favorite digital game.
  3. Enter their world with yours. Give their world a chance. Once you've asked some basic questions, find out what else they enjoy. Do they love gameplay, art, stories? What intrigues them about the games that the are playing. Do they play alone or in a group?  Can you relate to any of the topics they start mentioning?
  4. Play with them. After spending time entering their world and learning about their interests, ask if you can play with them. If playing the game isn't possible, ask if you can watch and follow through! Spend time watching them play and getting to know them through the game they play.

These tips are just a start to loving a digital gamer in your life. Loving anyone takes work, but loving a gamer may take an extra few steps on educating yourself first. God has called us to love those he has placed in our lives, and I’m going to bet that there is a gamer he has already placed in your life; you just need to find him/her. As we approach Valentine's Day, take the time to pray that God would show you a digital gamer in your life that you can love. Maybe even send them some chocolate on Valentine's Day to let them know that God loves him and so does God’s people.