thread: 2011-07-11 : Hooray for Religion

On 2011-07-12, C Luke Mula wrote:

I've heard only snippets of it. I'd like to go see it. I like pretty much everything those guys have done, and they're always very funny when they talk about Mormonism.

I haven't seen the musical myself, but I have listened to the entire soundtrack via YouTube. Well, well worth it. Probably one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard for anything, ever.

Right now I'm inspired by Ron Edwards' three games about religion. His games reject belief as the core of religion, placing practice there instead, and I think that's both correct and compelling.

Yes, he has quite strong insights into religion. Rejecting belief as the core of religion, though, is like rejecting SIS as a core of roleplaying games. No, the actual content might not be the most important thing, but the components of belief and their relation to the practices are extremely important. You need both to really understand religion.

What I like about Ron's approach to making these games is that he's most interested in the disconnects between layers of religion (culture, institution, belief, observance), and his games are about constantly pitting two of these layers against each other. Compelling stuff indeed.

What about you, Luke? You're a kind of religious guy, yes? Do you deal with religion in your roleplaying?

Honestly, I've played about twenty hours' worth of video games in my entire life. I don't consider myself a gamer by any means. However, I'm extreeeeemely interested in game design and game theory (of all stripes), as it correlates directly with my main interest and field of study: faith design and faith theory.

As far as I'm concerned, "faith" is the equivalent of "roleplaying," but expressed through living instead of playing. Faith is about truly believing and engaging in religious beliefs and putting them into practice (the same way that the dice and clouds interact). The model of faith that I work from has so far been taken almost whole cloth from the Big Model, though I've systematically been repurposing it to be applicable to religion (and editing it where it breaks when applied to religion).

(And not to advertise, but if you want an idea of what I'm talking about, you can head here.)

As far as being religious, I don't have any emotional commitments to any particular religion. I love most of them, and I really enjoy practicing them when I get a chance.


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