In our Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) guild, Our Morning Song, we have an event where we get a group together to go virtual fishing. During this event, those who tag along to the fishing holes typically hang out in a Discord voice chat while they all watch to see who will get the most fish, who gets their special achievement fish, and just have a good time plunking their freshly baited hooks into the pixel seas. It is a great opportunity for these people, who are complete strangers IRL, to get to know one another and build relationships.
We have a few other events as well such as dungeons, material farming, and Skyshard hunting, and of course our community Discord server and the website where people can connect, hang out, chit chat and talk about all kinds of things. These are spaces and opportunities for some of us to "fish for people" in the gamerverse.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19 NIV
When we think about gaming, we don't always consider that it's a massive opportunity to do just as Christ called on us to do when we choose to follow him. We are placed precisely where we are, both in our physical day-to-day IRL as well as in our hobbies and extra-curricular, entertainment activities. We venture through vast digital landscapes, crossing paths with hundreds if not thousands of people every day, and none of this is by accident.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1 NIV
When I started playing video games regularly, I realized that I was not thrown into the wilderness of gaming for no reason; I was called there for His commission. I had been attacked viciously by the toxicity that can sometimes be so prevalent in the gamerverse but in that darkness I was brought into God's light and filled with His confidence. I began to seek fellowship in the games I played and started sharing God's word with other Gamers. This is incredibly intimidating sometimes, but once I recognized God's power in this space, it became an all-around amazing experience to bring Jesus into something I enjoyed so much. With Him, I was able to turn my gaming experiences from lonely, filled with hostility, anger and impatience into a time I feel inspired and get to spend time with friends. It is an opportunity to let Christ's light shine into an unexpected place.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Where I used to get upset at other players often, expressed a lot of unnecessary impatience, was often incredibly ungenerous I now find I am always seeking opportunities to be helpful, kind, and giving. I'm always striving to make others feel welcome and cared about in this space. It has become an arena I am not afraid or ashamed to share my testimony or my faith, and I find myself sharing the word of God and talking about my love for Jesus with non-believers on a regularly unexpected basis. There are people that God has placed in your path to bring His light to them, and some were brought to you to remind you to be more like Christ and less like the world. It all begins with growing and focusing on our relationship with Christ, and then letting Him guide our relationships in the gamerverse.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
This is what we are here for. This is what we are called to do. Christ wants us to meet people where they are, and he also wants to meet us where we are. The gamerverse is no exception! Never skip an opportunity to spread the light of Jesus with the people you game with. That little seed could grow into a full, blossoming tree that shares its own fruit. Go fishing for Jesus in this wide open sea of gamers.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9