Richard Bartle has written a new book, “Theology of Games: Rules for the Game of Life and How to Play It.” This is the first time someone from within the gaming industry has attempted such a feat. The debate over whether games are an art form or not can be solved by re-evaluating what constitutes art in general and then applying that definition to gaming.

Richard Bartle’s new book is a fascinating intersection of theological thought and MMORPG design. The author seeks to explore the impact that games can have on people’s lives, and how they can be used as tools for evangelism. Read more in detail here: mmorpg meaning.

Richard Bartle’s new book seeks to intersect theological thought and MMORPG design


If you’re new to our genre, first and foremost, welcome. Second, you should be familiar with Dr. Richard A. Bartle, a pioneer who assisted in the development of MUD1, created the gamer type test that bears his name, and has written about the design and creation of MMOs on several occasions, the most important of which was made available for free last year.

Dr. Bartle’s latest book isn’t free, but it’s sure to pique the interest of fans, armchair developers, and real developers alike: It’s called How to Be a God: A Guide for Would-Be Deities, and it aims to bring MMORPG design and theological concerns together at a unique confluence, since he believes that virtual world builders are functionally gods who must address questions that have been debated for years.

“Philosophers and theologians dispute the nature of reality in which we live in great detail, but they’ve never had to construct and execute one.” Designers of MMOs have. […] This puts them in a position to help address some of the long-standing concerns that have plagued Metaphysics students — and to annoy them even more with questions they haven’t considered. This is primarily what this book aims to do.”

Raph Koster, another grandfather of the MMORPG genre, has apparently read a draft and grants it high marks, calling it a “provocative” read, while the book itself has one glowing Amazon review that notes its impressive subject matter and Bartle’s easy to read writing style. All told, this tome may be another important book to devs around our universe. For more on Bartle, make sure to check out some of the stories in the list below.


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