Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Church of Scientology vs World of Warcraft: An Interesting Prospective

Has anyone seen the new ads they have for the Church of Scientology? I'm a little perplexed because I, personally, have never seen a commercial for a religion before (and yes, I will denote it as what it is recognized as here in America - a religion). I didn't quite understand what I was watching until the Scientology logo came on my television. I just wonder how many scientologists there are in network television to warrant this kind of filtration into everyday commercials. From a catholic's perspective (not a very good practicing catholic - I might add), I just find it a little invasive to advertise in a country that is supposed to be "secular".

Anyways, back to the title of the blog. Now keep in mind that this is only my opinion and in no way identifies factual similarities between the two. So as I read my Wikipedia article on Scientology, I couldn't help but relate my experience with a very popular massive multi-player online role playing game called World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment. In order to become a member of Scientology, you must sign a legal waiver that outlines specific requirements that you must meet in order to practice. In order to complete your "Bridge to Total Freedom", you must complete a particular sequence of tasks in order to receive newer and higher levels within the church. In what's called the gradient system, if one person tries to skip levels and receive material which is too high, that person will endure physical harm. In essence, the higher your level, the easier these tasks will be for you.

Now, for those of you who have had the luxury of meeting one of the 12 million online gamers, this concept of raising your level to increase your ability to complete tasks is not new. The entire basis of the game is perform a particular sequence of tasks (or quests) in order to raise the level of your character (or avatar). If you try and complete a quest that is too high for your level, you will most likely die. Of course, there are several ways to ensure that your avatar is properly prepared to meet higher level tasks. You can either continue to slowly complete all of the necessary quests to level your character or you can spend money to buy specific gear that will allow your character go through the process a lot quicker than having to grind it out. Once you've reached the highest level, nothing can hurt you.

Anyways, hopefully I haven't offended to many scientologists out there but I found the similarities intriguing. Message me comments!