I don’t usually advertise my faith in my professional interactions. Perhaps that’s a weakness of character, or maybe it’s just prudence. But though I do not bring it up, I also don’t hide that I am, in fact, a Christian. It seems to be an unpopular class here in Hollywood. I haven’t encountered any actual discrimination (and given my “white privilege,” I wouldn’t garner any useful sympathy if I did), but I have found myself swallowing a retort now and again when a coworker says something derogatory about my beliefs.
So those who frequent my social media channels (all two of you, by my last count) may have been surprised by the barrage of shares and likes I have given to the Christian Gamers Guild. I have, for the past twelve years, served as the web administrator and designer for the group, which formed to combat Christian prejudice against Dungeons & Dragons on the one side and to allow the gamer subculture to encounter a truer Christianity on the other. Unfortunately for them, I designed the web page before I went to art school, and so it was a horrid mess (much like this one).
Now, as a professional artist, the out-of-date format, terrible design and general lack of usability has been bothering me for quite some time. I decided to do something about that. I am probably still a couple of years behind the curve on web design philosophy and style, but that’s okay by me. I have never been a big fan of being on the bleeding edge.
Therefore, I have redesigned the CGG page, upgraded the branding, and moved it to WordPress so that I don’t have to be the only one who can update it. Ultimately, that’s why I’ve been sharing and liking: because it’s my own work, and I want people to see it.
Since I am living in WordPress land already, that project prompted me to refresh my personal site as well. It is my hope that the two projects will inform and reinforce one another, so I may occasionally offer some observations on the process of hosting and moderating a fan community. One of my goals in the redesign here is to document and showcase various side projects that I undertake. Since the CGG redesign is a pretty major personal side project, based on the number of hours it has and will occupy, I think it merits some consideration on this blog.
That’s a lot of words just to introduce the project. So allow me to at least say a little about that icon up there. Any roleplayer will immediately “get it,” but for those who aren’t familiar with D&D or other roleplaying games (RPGs): The cross is positioned on the 20 face: the highest possible result. A common reason to roll the die is to prevent your character from suffering a deleterious effect, like paralysis, poison, or even death. If you roll high enough, it’s called a “Save.” In many games, a roll of 20 is always successful, no matter how dire the attack. The Christian’s ultimate saving throw against death was made by Christ—the Cross is the best result, and it always Saves.
I’m afraid I can’t take credit for the logo design, although I did clean it up and make variations. I’m not sure who originally created the thing.
So if you’re a Christian gamer, I hope you’ll head over to www.christian-gamers-guild.org and check us out. If you’re a Christian who thinks gaming is a portal to occultism, please take the time to read a few of the Faith and Gaming articles; maybe you’ll change your mind about it. If you’re a gamer who thinks Christians are all about hate and hypocrisy, maybe we can help you see past the loudmouthed bigots to the real Christians—the ones that would like nothing more than to sit down at the table and slay some trolls with you.
And if you fit into none of those groups, I commend you for reading this far!