Life is an RPG

Oversimplification? Of course. Now don’t worry, I may have wasted a good few hours playing through FF XIII-2 but I’m no more than a casual gamer. I haven’t quite reached the point where one will find me drawing parallels between current politics and the Fall of Coccoon, or some such act of otakuist folly.

Still, I know enough of gaming – and just enough about Pokémon – to draw a good deal of entertainment from this post by an 18-year-old blogger.

Not the sort of thing I normally post about here, but it is Sunday after all. (^_^)

The conclusion sums everything up quite nicely:

There is a delight in this order, the delight of stacking up blocks to make a building. There is a sense of peace granted by the Church, a peaceful fascination, a joyful obsession, the knowledge that life is both a game and a mission. This is the childishness the world has grown out of. I am not arguing that the Church is a lot like the Pokemon world. (Alright, I am.) But more than that: The natural cry of the human heart — as best shown in the desires of children — is answered by the life of the Church. In her sacraments (Power-ups), her catechesis (+HP), her sacramentals (Items), her abundance of spiritualities (fighting styles), her challenges (Bosses), in confession (restart at last saved point), and in her call to of us to win this race (game). I hold with all my heart that if ever a man wants to understand why the Catholic delights in the ritual and rule of his Church, he must first understand why children play Pokemon.

And as one who attends the Traditional Mass almost exclusively these days, I also found another paragraph (much higher up in his post) of particular interest:

Anyone who claims a child longs to be wild, unconfined and free is lying to you. Children live for confinement. They live for rules, categories and lines drawn in the sand. A child doesn’t want a life uninhibited, he wants a structure. Think back to the fantastic games of youth — there lie the most dogmatic rituals known to man. It is true that the Latin Mass has a strictness to it, with well-defined motions and sternly enforced rules, but so does a game of hopscotch. And if some well-intentioned modern were to run towards the hopscotching child screaming, “I will liberate you! Forget the rules! Do whatever you like!” he would only have ruined the game. In fact, so innate is the heart’s cry for rules that, if there are none available, the child will make his own. He will step on every crack, he will hop on one leg, he will force himself to walk on the curb, and with all the solemnity of a priest about his ritual. Oddly enough, these self-restricting and dogmatic creatures are happy — it’s their liberated parents who have learned to groan in the morning.

Mm. So since I prefer the strictly regulated solemnity of the tried-and-true Mass that my grandparents knew to the happy-clappy kumbayah version most parishes (sadly) offer in my own generation, this makes me a child? Normally I’d be insulted, but then Matthew 18:3 comes to mind, and then it doesn’t seem so bad.

Cheerio.

One Response

  1. Until now, I didn’t know he existed. For this, I thank you. While he irreverently compares Church to Pokémon, what he’s written is insightful. The question is not whether they both tap the same drums inherent to every human mind (they do), but whether one can still further judge another man’s drum beating, given this commonality.

    All I can say is that I’ll be less judgmental of religious folks, given our commonality. Is this a good thing?

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