I was given a complimentary review copy of The Gamer’s Guide to the Kingdom of God by Michael J. King. He’s a Christian who got the God idea to write about RPG (Role Playing Game) concepts and how they are related to the Kingdom of God (biblical principles). As someone who wants to write a book about Christians and video games one day, I was excited to read it after reading a review on Geeks Under Grace. Michael provided me a copy and I am happy to write about it.
When you are really into a hobby, to the point it becomes a part of your everyday life, you tend to gravitate towards other media that pertain to it. For example, if you were into basketball, you may want to buy videogames, posters, jerseys, shoes, Funko pops, and other merchandise that relates to basketball.
For me, I enjoy purchasing books, music, figures, stickers (I have an Epoch sticker from Chrono Trigger on my laptop) and any other memorabilia I can get my hands on. Since I enjoy reading, I love finding books that are about videogames, and even more so when they combine videogames and faith. Since that’s what I write about, I was interested in reading this book from Michael J. King.
I had no idea what my experience would be with it, aside from reading the above review from Geeks Under Grace. I also want to apologize for the length of time it took me to finally sit down and write this review. I have no excuse except for procrastination, it’s a nasty little thing!
Michael combines his experience with role-playing games similar to Diablo, Ultima Online, and other top-down fantasy games. He uses each chapter to relate to an aspect of those games like leveling up, acquiring new skills, working as a team, grinding (fighting a lot of enemies to level up faster), and others to Christianity.
Now, when I say Christianity I mean a different stream than some are used to. I for one understood a lot of what he was talking about since I would fall under the Pentecostal/Charismatic category (I consider myself non-denominational but if I had to pick one, it would be those). If healing, miracles, deliverance, speaking in tongues or seeing visions from God is a lot to take in for you, hopefully, this book will open your eyes to a new way of experiencing your faith.
There are 18 chapters and over 280+ pages of gaming references to God’s Kingdom, which I thought was creative in its execution. Some terms used from the glossary like guilds, noob, party, buffs, area of effect, boss, and other role-playing vocabulary encouraged the reader to be a shining light for the gospel of Christ. This book is not about getting more head knowledge but about going out there and “doing the stuff”.
A few of the negatives for me were that the book was often predictable, especially the beginning. He describes a characteristic of an MMORPG like Everquest, Diablo, Baldur’s Gate, and Ultima Online among others with a biblical concept. For example, developing our spiritual senses can be like gaining levels in a game. I enjoyed seeing how he would put those two together, but I wanted to see more about the video game aspects instead.
Some of his testimonies about various experiences can seem a little unnecessary. There’s the one I would like to mention because I saw it years ago on Youtube of Christians practicing this. He mentions sticking things like coins to the wall or ceiling and that it was the power of God that made them stick there.
Honestly, it could have just been some heat from his hands that caused it, or something else I can’t explain because I’m no scientist. My gripe is not that I can’t believe God can do that, but it’s more what’s the point? Can God just do that because He wants to, of course! I just find that focusing on the supernatural without applying it to the real world (power evangelism, prophecy, words of knowledge) where it’s needed is somewhat a waste. Some Christians get obsessed with the supernatural and lose focus on why God has given us access to it in the first place.
As a gamer and a Christian who believes God does miracles, it’s refreshing to read a book from someone who shares that belief. God is still moving today all over the world, He has not stopped nor will He. Even in the gaming world, He is showing up in various ways and this is one of them.
The Gamer’s Guide To The Kingdom Of God is a book that will push your faith to new levels, believing for miracles, divine encounters, and even some gaming lingo as well. If you are not well versed in video games, some parts you might skim through but I recommend focusing on the application content in each chapter.
This may be a stretch for some, and you might not agree with everything, but you don’t have to. If you walk away with at least one or two revelations on what God has for your life then I believe the book accomplished what it set out to do.