Wizards Unite! Why the Church Ought to Care

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“Wizards Unite” is just not solely a enjoyable sport to play. Much like the unique seven Harry Potter books, the sport has deep and compelling Christian theology embedded within the sport design.

C.S. Lewis Would Have Cherished The New Harry Potter App “Wizards Unite.” Religion Formers Will Too

I hardly ever meet a Christian who hasn’t heard of C.S. Lewis’s 1952 well-known work of Christian apologetics, “Mere Christianity.” Curiously sufficient, few folks I meet have really learn it cover-to-cover. However most individuals know that the guide does an ideal job arguing for the existence of God, the legitimacy of the Bible and the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And that’s positively a superb stock of its genius. However in our present cultural second of the exploding digital capability and recognition of role-playing gaming, with digital and augmented actuality, it’s best to know that one of the essential elements of “Mere Christianity” is a brief, 3-page chapter close to the top of the guide entitled “Let’s Faux.” On this temporary and sensible chapter, C.S. Lewis explains and exalts the potential energy of role-playing video games of any type. For Lewis, pretending could be one of the highly effective methods to kind religion and uncover identification and vocation.

Right here
is Lewis’ definition and protection of role-playing video games:

What’s the good of pretending to be what you aren’t? Effectively, even on the human degree, you already know, there are two sorts of pretending. There’s a dangerous type, the place the pretense is there as a substitute of the actual factor; as when a person pretends he’s going that can assist you as a substitute of actually serving to you. However there’s additionally a superb type, the place the pretense leads as much as the actual factor. … Fairly often the one strategy to get a top quality in actuality is to start out behaving as in the event you had it already. That’s the reason kids’s video games are so essential. They’re all the time pretending to be grownups—enjoying troopers, enjoying store. However on a regular basis, they’re hardening their muscle groups and sharpening their wits in order that the pretense of being grown-up helps them to develop up in earnest… C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.187-189

Position-playing
video games can prepare us to see and expertise the world in new methods. Greater than merely
studying or watching a film, role-playing video games (particularly digital video games with
augmented or digital actuality) allow us to experiment with virtues and vices and play
out the results of our selections in a story actually unfolding round
us. For that reason, sport researchers like Jane McGonigal are creating
role-playing video games for coaching UN employees in Africa or support employees in war-torn
nations as a result of they’re infinitely more practical in instructing and coaching
than written or movie assets. McGonigal presents her work on making higher
video games that make higher folks in one of the watched TedTalks ever.

We study higher after we are enjoying video games. A lot analysis has documented the uncommon however actual problem of individuals being hooked on role-playing digital video games and being (maybe) desensitized to violence or evil. However this analysis additionally proves the parallel level that if the video games we play are structured to make us higher folks, they could in actual fact succeed. Analysis throughout Europe and the US has already established that even simply studying the Harry Potter tales improves barely however absolutely the virtues and sense of justice in readers.

So:
Is the brand new Harry Potter role-playing (wizard-playing) app “Wizards Unite” one
of these video games that may make us higher folks – particularly, deeper
disciples of Jesus? After enjoying the sport constantly since its launch and
processing the expertise with different lay and ordained religion formation leaders
within the church who’re additionally enjoying continually, I say YES!

I
know its summer season and in the event you care about religion formation, you’re in all probability
drowning proper now within the holy work of trip bible faculty, ‘grill and chill’
picnics at church, summer season camps, summer-friendly and family-friendly liturgies
and program planning for the fast-approaching fall. You’re busy, as all the time. Do
you actually have time to consider or play a sport in your sensible telephone?

Whether or not you’ve got time to play or not, it’s best to find out about “Wizards Unite.”  It’s at the moment essentially the most downloaded (free!) app on the App Retailer, with practically 1 million downloads within the first 24 hours of its launch on June 21st.

However
“Wizards Unite” is just not solely a enjoyable sport to play. Much like the unique seven
Harry Potter books, the sport has deep and compelling Christian theology
embedded within the sport design. When you arrange a profile, you enter the sport as a
wizard who has been referred to as on by the Ministry of Magic to affix a world effort
to battle “The Calamity,” which is an evil power that has emerged mysteriously
and is stealing, trapping and tormenting all that’s good on the planet. You
study and use spells and potions to free captives, collect vitality, acquire
helpful magical artifacts and assist The Ministry restore justice and freedom in
the world. The visible results are gorgeous, placing Hagrid in your kitchen or a
Dementor on the dashboard of your automotive, all whereas the unique soundtrack of the
movies and voices of the unique solid accompany you in your adventures.

In
Half Two of this sequence, I’ll clarify particularly how the sport works and its
Christian themes. In Half Three of this sequence of articles, we are going to discover the
evangelism potential of “Wizards Unite.”

For now, take pleasure in this trailer produced by the producers of “Wizards Unite.” There’s additionally a rookies information if you wish to start enjoying proper now.


Patricia Lyons lives and teaches at Virginia Theological Seminary with the Division of Lifelong Studying. Patricia additionally serves as a member of the Presiding Bishop’s Cupboard on Evangelism in addition to the Authors Working Group for the “Means of Love.” An honors graduate from Harvard Faculty within the Comparative Examine of Faith, Patricia holds a Grasp of Divinity diploma from the Harvard Divinity Faculty and obtained her doctorate from the Virginia Theological Seminary. She additionally serves as helping priest on the Church of St. Clement in Alexandria, Virginia.

Patricia is the writer of two acclaimed books on religion formation, “The Soul of Adolescence” and “Educating Religion with Harry Potter.Her subsequent guide, “What’s Evangelism?” can be launched by Church Publishing in November 2019.

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