Gaming and Religion

Back on June 6, 2005, I wrote a blog post called The Matisyahu of Gaming, in which I stated:

I am determined to become the gaming world’s Matisyahu. 

When I say I want to be the Matisyahu of gaming, I mean that I want to be a proud Jew who is not afraid nor ashamed of who he is, what he is, and goes on working in the real world, letting Torah go wherever it wants to go, and more importantly, wherever I can take it. If Torah wants to go out in the world as a reggae song, then so be it, and if Torah wants to go out into the world as a roleplaying game about Nephilim, then by all means let’s do it.

At the time I was still quite the observant Jew, and I had a passion for both Judaism and gaming that, had I also had the discipline to make something of it, could’ve taken this idea to fruition. The core point of the post, however, is one that has stayed with me through all the changes in my life: whatever I do, I want to strive to bring the divine into the mundane, ideally in an organic and enjoyable way.

Much like with Matisyahu, my life, and observance, has changed since 2005, but the fire of Judaism, of Torah, is still in my heart, and it still directs how I act and how I live, especially lately, when I’ve decided to do an in-depth exploration of God, faith, and religion (the existence of this blog is part of that quest).

Why am I referencing a post from 11 years ago, though? Because lately gaming has come back into my life, and it wasn’t long before this ideal awakened within me once more. I’m not setting out to write whole new games or supplements for commercial publication as I did back in ’05, but inevitably as I think of games to play and run, I can’t help but think of ways in which this bridging of divine and mundane can happen. So while I’m not going to write a whole game for publication, I’ve thought about adapting some of the Torah-based material I wrote long ago for newer game systems I might be interested in playing now. And as I think of games I’d like to play, a few of the ideas feature the exploration of faith and religion quite centrally.

I don’t want to be the Matisyahu of gaming anymore. I want to be Daniel, and explore what I find interesting and compelling in the intersection of gaming and religion. And if that resonates with others, then baruch Hashem, thank God.