Quakers and the Quest to Reclaim Azeroth


Quakerism and especially Quaker meeting for worship are a lot like video games, particularly, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) like World of Warcraft.

Warcraft and Quakers???? Although I am a novice at World of Warcraft, I see many similarities between the Quaker world and the quest to drive out evil from the mythical land of Azeroth (mythical to most but more real than this world for many).

In MMORPG games like World of Warcraft, players log onto the internet and then enter an alternate reality. At first they begin to move around in that world, discovering it and exploring it for themselves. Once they know their way around, they pick up tools, gifts, abilities, roles and most importantly of all, they make friends.

These are not imaginary friends, but real-life people, perhaps thousands of miles away (or right next door), who also have entered the game. These friends join up to form groups and then their groups grow. Finally together with their shared resources, knowledge, gifts and abilities, they face challenges, quests and evils greater than any one of them could face alone. (I know this is a VERY basic simplistic view of the game. For those of you gamers out there reading this forgive me for the generalizations)

In meeting for worship yesterday in Dunblane (Western Scotland Monthly Meeting), the regular attenders and members grieved over the news that one of their long-term Dunblane Friends, a woman in her 80’s who was on holiday in southern England, had a terrible accident and now lies paralyzed in hospital.

In response, the children wrote cards, the members recorded a tape with greetings from each one child and adult present, they made plans to visit, to send cards to the hospital staff and to enter into silent worship with this dear Friend so many miles away now restricted to a bed, perhaps for the rest of her life.

Quakers face many challenges and “evils” both global and personal–poverty, racism, wars, loneliness, fear, feelings of inadequacy. Most are too great to take on ourselves, and even too much for discussion initially, but we can enter an alternative universe, a place of quiet, of stillness, of contemplation. Regardless our nearness or distant, we can come together in our mystic communion and face the challenges together that would crush us alone.

This post has 5 Comments

  1. Anonymous on December 18, 2006 at 10:45 am Reply

    Thank You…this simplistic comparison to a online game was a much needed read this morning, and I feel something to reflect upon the remainder of the day. Sometimes the simple things need spelled our for us in this manner for us to re-affirm ourselves and our beliefs.

  2. Anna HP on December 18, 2006 at 4:29 pm Reply

    I love your comparison, Peterson and it warms my heart that there are good-hearted people like that in the world in times like this.

  3. alex resare on December 18, 2006 at 6:30 pm Reply

    I have been a part of a few groups/communitys/churches that has the same care for each other. It is nice to feel a part of something beyond friendship. But it is that nice feeling and special atmosphere people want and the individuals doesn’t matter, just the feeling. As soon as anyone question the ways or are different in the wrong way they aren’t welcome any more. I would like to find a place with more of a family structure where you just had to find ways to work out the problems.

    But I guess that my wish falls right from the start, far from every family work with their problems and far from everyone find ways to stand each other just because they are related.

    Bahh, I miss the idea of heaven. Maybe I have to pick that up again soon.

  4. Heath on December 18, 2006 at 6:39 pm Reply

    Nice analogy 😉

    Be careful with World of Warcraft, Peterson! And I say that because I love you- WoW is a slippery slope!! My roommate is a HARDCORE addict… and we’ve seen where that’s led him 😛

    I seriously think his WoW addiction should be the focus of an afterschool special… or at least a Lifetime movie. 🙂

  5. dragonfly183 on December 21, 2006 at 3:29 pm Reply

    that was very interesting. My son play the world of warcraft game daily. I tried to paly it but unfortunately when i tried to explore the worlds these monsters kept coming out and killing me. At least that doesn’t happen in real life. most of the time.

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