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How do you generally think about the concept of "religion"?

Like a noun: only use in relation to God/Spirituality
Like an adjective: applies to other things too, including video games
Like an adjective: applies to other things too, but not video games

Religion is not really a noun; it's an adjective.  It describes a noun.  In other words, it's about personality because that's what adjectives are.  It's not about Jesus, or Ganesha (The 10-armed Elephant guy), it's about worshiping those guys.  When you do something religiously you do it with discipline.  You do it everyday, every week, every month, every year.  That's how important it is to you.

I'll make it really simple.  It's about passion, and the cosmos and aethereal entities happen to be widley held passions so that is why those things are associated with religion and not pancakes, football, or Super Mario.  Those things are too specific and don't reside within the imagination of the masses even though they may be just as, or more, important to some people.  But the mystery of the cosmos and life does reach everyone's imagination.

Cutting to the chase, here's the article that made want to post about all this.  It shows the conceptual similarities between sports and religion without using science, and then talks about identifying the actual psychological connections between the two (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/200911/is-sport-religion). Here are some useful chunks:

Consider the vocabulary associated with both: faith, devotion, worship, ritual, dedication, sacrifice, commitment, spirit, prayer, suffering, festival, and celebration...prior to mass communications, religious ceremonies were a source of entertainment for ordinary people who rarely attended a theater or traveled to a sporting event....Sports stadia and arenas resemble “cathedrals where followers gather to worship their heroes and pray for their successes…fans are highly committed...in a way that gives focus and meaning to their daily lives. In addition, sports spectatorship is a transformative experience through which fans escape their humdrum lives, just as religious experiences help the faithful to transcend their everyday existence…Face painting, hair tinting, and distinctive costumes are thought to satisfy specific religious goals including identification with the team, escape from everyday limitations and disappointments, and establishing a community of fans.

Again, simple stuff, right?  Aren't we just describing what it means to be passionate about something?  Furthermore, the words "passion" and "love" are interchangeable.  We can all relate to the kind of love for something or someone that creates a religious/spiritual attitude within us.  One that may even drive us towards irrationality or blindness.

 

I'm posting this in the gaming discussion section because I think sports and video games are interchangeable, and we can all relate to the die-hardness of video games especially with the cult-like series like Smash (Melee forsure), Halo, Call of Duty, WoW, etc.  These are all franchises where the love/passion for them has driven us towards irrational religious behavior that seems so odd to outsiders like we are wasting our time staring at some Holy "imaginary" screen.

So, does this "gaming" perspective give you a more empathetic view of religion?  Does it accurately apply to videogames?  I'm honestly more interested in everyone else's opinions and seeing where the discussion will go, but if you want a more singular/deeper take on it I tried to go much further here (my own blog, don't click if you don't want to).



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I didn't read all of it, but I just want to point out religion IS a noun (as in a religion, or five religions), while religious is an adjective (as in he is religious), and religiously is an adverb (as in he ......insert a verb that fits cuz I can't come up with one............religiously).

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Teeqoz said:
I didn't read all of it, but I just want to point out religion IS a noun (as in a religion, or five religions), while religious is an adjective (as in he is religious), and religiously is an adverb (as in he ......insert a verb that fits cuz I can't come up with one............religiously).


I don't want this to become a flame war over language so I'm glad this was the first post so everyone can see it (I'm not angry).

Of course "religion" is a noun, "religious" is an adjective, and "religiously" is an adverb.  I'm asking about how the word should really be understood as a concept.  Any word can be broken up into different parts of speech but there is usually a lens in which it's generally understood by society, and then it is used in that manner in the world.

I think the concept of religion needs to be understood more in terms of being an adjective.  But that's not the point of the thread it's mainly the last two questions I asked.  Does this gaming perspective make you more empathitic, or should it even relate to gaming at all?



Deconstruction of Play

I don't think they are at all close. Religion is about believing something regardless of proof. While sports, or video games in this example are tangible things that can be seen and experienced. Also I'd say religion can be a lot stronger, sure you get some dedicated sports fans or video gamers but not to the same degree as really religious people. Religion can also go on the other side, it can still be there for people that couldn't really be described as religious. Sports and games are much more in or out than religion which is a bit of a mix.

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I am not a religious person in that official sense of the word. But I am not religious in gaming either.
I consider video game my hobby, a past-time, entertainment, just as movies and sports are.
They are here to entertain me, provide me with some enjoyment, fun and relaxation. To me, they are also disposable. I play a game, finish it, delete it (or sell it) and move on. There are games and franchises I prefer, but if they are not available, there is always something else.

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Yep. Definitely no difference between sports fanatics and religious fanatics.
And that's not even sarcasm.

Problem is though that there is a divide between "real" religions and modern ones.

 I don't think that way, I just type that way.

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Ka-pi96 said:
I don't think they are at all close. Religion is about believing something regardless of proof. While sports, or video games in this example are tangible things that can be seen and experienced. Also I'd say religion can be a lot stronger, sure you get some dedicated sports fans or video gamers but not to the same degree as really religious people. Religion can also go on the other side, it can still be there for people that couldn't really be described as religious. Sports and games are much more in or out than religion which is a bit of a mix.


Is religion really about proof?  When we talk about proof with religion we are generally talking about proving that something is real.  But religion is submitting to some kind of fictional universe for the sake of revealing new ideas about the world (usually morals if we are talking about traditional religion).  Most religious people, meaning not the pundits,talking heads, or terrorists, aren't concerned with proving themselves to others.  Religion is generally about themselves.

With games you are appealling to some kind of fictional universe for the sake of finding purpose, usually just fun and not morals.  Mario is definitely just a "fun" game but other games can go deeper and the meaning one finds within the games goes beyond just the "fun" factor.

And think of video game cravings like those found in MMO games and card games like Magic the Gathering.  I think people tend to like these imaginary worlds cloud their judgement on the real world and they simply don't spend enough time in the real world.

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vivster said:
Yep. Definitely no difference between sports fanatics and religious fanatics.
And that's not even sarcasm.

Problem is though that there is a divide between "real" religions and modern ones.

For some reason sports draw the parallel much better than videogames, and I think being physically tangible just makes the fantasy become that much more tangible.  But nonetheless it can trickle down to the more mentally-based mediums like videogames or card and board games.  My only question though is I don't quite understand what you mean between real and modern religions.  Do you mean like Scientology vs. Catholicism or something like that?



Deconstruction of Play

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