What Will it Take to Plant The Gospel in World of Warcraft?

by Paul on April 25, 2009

World of Warcraft

Here is a bit from Wikipedia about World of Warcraft:

World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994.[5] World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, two years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard’s previous Warcraftrelease, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001.[6] The game was released on November 23, 2004, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise.

With more than 11.5 million monthly subscribers,[9] World of Warcraft is currently the world’s largest MMORPG in those terms,[8][10][11] and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG.[12] In April 2008, World of Warcraft was estimated to hold 62% of the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) market.[13]

The first expansion set of the game, The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007.[7] The second expansion set, Wrath of the Lich King, was released on November 13, 2008.[8]

 Obviously, WoW is a growing collection of communities that meet regularly online and offline to play the game or just hang out and have fun.  

My question is, “What will it take to plant the Gospel in World of Warcraft?”  That question is quickly followed by:  Is it possible to find persons of peace within the game?  Is it possible to engage in appropriate evangelism in an environment that is notably hostile to religious expression?  Can someone gain a reputation within the space for being a respected spiritual person without being ‘in-your-face religious’ and disrupting the game environment?  What would it look like for the Gospel to spread within the space?

I don’t have any answers, just questions.  I see a need, and I want to move forward and wrestle with the possibilities.

If you are interested, if you play WoW, if you are curious –  I’d like to talk with you.  I’m going to have a TokBox conversation on this topic this coming Monday (April 27, 2009) at 9pm CDT.  Let me know that you want to participate by commenting and I will make sure to invite you into the call.  I will limit the call to ten people, just to keep things from getting insane, so let me know if you want in as soon as possible.  (You will need to have a free TokBox account and be one of my contacts.  My TokBox link is http://www.tokbox.com/pauldwatson .)

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry April 25, 2009 at 9:12 am

I’m in. I’ve been in the WoW universe since December 2004 and have seen it change immensely over the past 4.5 years! I’m excited about your idea about planting the gospel in WoW.

Aaron Marshall April 26, 2009 at 5:01 am

This made me smile ear to ear when I read it. I played WoW for a month (the free month that came with it) and I was impressed with the ability to build relationships.

Your questions are dead on

“What will it take to plant the Gospel in World of Warcraft? That question is quickly followed by: Is it possible to find persons of peace within the game? Is it possible to engage in appropriate evangelism in an environment that is notably hostile to religious expression? Can someone gain a reputation within the space for being a respected spiritual person without being ‘in-your-face religious’ and disrupting the game environment? What would it look like for the Gospel to spread within the space?”

Thanks Paul!

dan April 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm

would love to be online for WoW chat, but don’t think i will be able to make it. great vision for evangelism though! added u on TokBox

Mark Brown April 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I love this idea Paul. Please let me know what comes out of this hook up.

JesusCourse April 28, 2009 at 1:02 am

Interesting question. I would guess that people who enjoy WoW might be quite open to the idea that there is something other than the material world we live in. Like most people they will be turned off by preachy Christians. Perhaps it’s a case of learning to listen again and finding points of commonality. For instance I once had an interesting conversation in a pub where someone starting talking about their god being the Sun (gives life etc) until a preachy Christian turned up and it went horribly wrong.

Perhaps if a Christian playing as Jesus won the WoW World Championships they would all convert anyway ;-) – only joking by the way.

Anglican Bible Study in Second Life April 30, 2009 at 11:48 am

a thread that might be interesting if you’re still thinking along this route: http://www.christianforums.com/t7361417/

John Doe June 1, 2009 at 2:07 am

The best way to not be a preachy christian…

1st: is to ask questions, make the person your talking with think through it themselves, this is what the LORD did.

2nd: Value the relationship more than the end goal of their salvation. Jesus also did this, he loved them no matter if they accepted him or not, he did not cut himself off from them, he still loved them and valued the relationship.

3rd: evangilise by example, show the fruits of. The spirit.

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