Bill Pringle - Bill@BillPringle

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Video Games and the Gospel


I have been playing video games for years now. I mostly play Role Playing Games (RPGs) like Final Fantasy. I also often work with youth at church, and we often talk about video games. When teaching classes for teenage boys, I often incorporate video games into the lesson, using them to demonstrate a gospel principle.

After using video games in a couple of lessons, the youth would start coming up with their own analogies. What follows are some of the ways I would use video games to relate gospel principles:

You are of Royal Birth
In many of the games, the main character finds out that they of some royal descent.
Mormons believe that we are all children of God, which means we are all of royal birth.
Your Mission is to Save the World
The main character is tasked to save the world.
We also believe that our purpose in life is to save the world by proclaiming the gospel.
You Must Make Friends and Work Together
During your travels, you make friends and invite them to join your party. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses, and it helps if you work together, taking advantage of their strengths.
Likewise in real life, we need to learn to get along with others, especially those who are different than us.
You Must Do Good Works for Others
During your travels, any time you have an opportunity to do something good for others, you are usually rewarded. For example, you might enter a town and find out you need to exit by a certain gate. However, nobody knows where the key to that gate is located. Meanwhile, you encounter a young girl who is crying because her pet is lost in the dangerous woods. You search the woods, find and return the pet. To thank you, the young girl gives you something she found, which turns out to be the key you needed.
Mormons believe that you should do good whenever possible, and that you will receive blessings from those actions.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
Imagine you have been travelling through a dungeon, enter a room with a large, strange looking door, and a save area. What do you do? The answer, as most teenage boys can tell you, is to save your game because a difficult battle is coming up.
We believe that Mormons have The Gift of the Holy Ghost, which means they can receive promptings from the Holy Ghost, warning them of any dangers, and helping them to make good choices.
Perfection and the Atonement
In many games, you must perform a certain task. How well you perform it then affects your score, which in turn affects other parts of the game. For example, you might need to fly a plane to chase after an enemy. You can be scored on how much damage you do, how long it takes to destroy the enemy, etc. In some cases, your ship can be destroyed and you will be given another chance to accomplish the task. Another way you can be scored is if you take no damage. As soon as you are hit, you lose the chance to receive credit for that achievement.
Mormons believe that we have been commanded to be perfect. As soon as we sin, we have fallen short. However, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we have a way to "heal" and start over again.

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