Reviewed on PC


Reviewed By: Mark Adam Proctor

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: 989 Studios
Official Web site: Sony
Price Range: $10
Learning curve time: Over 2 hrs.
Age level: 13+
ESRB Rating: Teen
Patches / Upgrades: Ruins of Kunark, Scars of Velios, Shadows of Luclin
System Requirements: Win98, DX 8.1, P400 or better, 128 MB system RAM, Direct 3D graphics Card with 16 mb RAM,28.8k Internet Connection,4X speed CD-ROM, 450 MB HD Space

Genre: Role Playing Game (RPG)
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 2 of 5

"Everquest" is what is known as a Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game, or MMORPG. The game is completely online only exempting the training tutorial to learn the basics. Similar to the “Dungeons and Dragons” series of games, character development through magic and might as well as entertaining social interaction are the goals. Because of its interactive dynamic nature, use of the “Everquest” servers membership in the “Sony Station” costs $12.95 per month for a basic payment plan.

The original game “Everquest”, with no upgrades is in stores for as low as $5. This may be a bit deceiving because after a first complimentary month free the game does cost over ten dollars a month. Verant Interactive and Sony 989 Studios, the creators of “Everquest” designed it to be the most addictive game, and because of its use of non-local servers, one is forced to pay a monthly fee. Note: What I'm saying here is that the game is made to be, and is highly addictive to anyone susceptible. Know that you aren't just out to please yourself and have fun when playing this game. We are called to be stewards of our gifts given to us, to multiply them and use them for Christ. Ask whether it is your place to use monies for a game, and how it will benefit the Cause.

Inside “Everquest”: To begin with, one starts on the Choose Character screen after doing some electronic paperwork to set up an account. The choices are to create a character or to play a previously created role. Upon creation a person has such options as pre drawn facial models, name, race (elf, human, dwarf, etc), class (warrior, mage, cleric, monk, etc.) playing statistics (strength, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, etc.), diety or agnostic, among others. After creation you would start in or near a home city with characters similar in race and class to yours, and be on your quest to personal improvement or public charity whichever you so desire. You go on doing favors for Non-Player Characters, known as quests, or killing animals and monsters that are seemingly everywhere in the world of “Norrath”. Both events give you experience, which in turn increase your level away from one, up until 60. Each level giving new abilities and opening new avenues of play. The quests and places to “hunt” are constantly being redeveloped and improved to make the game true to the name “Everquest”. In this land that is almost a reproduction of real life (you must eat and drink, you get tired after physical activity as well as mental, and it takes hours to walk across zones that split the huge area of the world into parts that your hardware can actually handle) Sony boasts "you're in our world now".

Because I am up in the air about this game, even after playing off and on for over three years I have given you the facts, and now I will give you my Worldview as a Christian.

Screenshot from 'Everquest' - Ruins of Kunark“Everquest” is definitely addictive, but so is alcohol. There are benefits to both, In “Everquest” the harvest is plenty but the workers are few as Christ said. There are many people on the game who do not know the gospel, and who sometimes have nothing better to do than to walk around and socialize, while they are waiting for friends or whatever.

There are clear lines of Good and Evil in this game. The dieties go from worshippers of life, tranquility and justice, to disease pestilence and chaos. One can also choose to remain agnostic, which from a Christian perspective would be the easiest choice. Paul mentioned the philosophers worshipping an unknown God, which he now declares to them. We can take forth our God, even in a fantasy world… because the people there aren't just fantasies, they are people with souls.

Use of magic cannot be avoided. I say this because many of the class choices use magic, and if you don't as a character you will come into contact with an enemy that does, and will be forced to fight or die. Personally I play a monk as my favored class, because monks are healers and can remain agnostic which lets you show the servanthood of Christians without requiring the name of a false god. On the other hand, one might argue that it is only a game… that a mature adult can “play” even as an evil character and show the nature of real life in a way. As a note, don't deceive yourself and say that magic does not exist. There are forces and powers in our world that are not physical, and a Bible-believing Christian must recognize the danger and respond accordingly be it in school, work, or play.

There are some sexual references. Skimpy clothing, extramarital affairs in quests, and the obvious real human part that can say what they like, even though there is a chat filter. I see it this way though: which of these do we not also have in real life? Missionaries must go to people that don't wear clothes at all. And to be honest, one who plays this game without wearing armor (there is a minimal of what would be short shorts and a sports bra for women, and briefs for men) won't live long. Armor is a must for survival in the game:) We as Christians must run from temptation yes, and also know that we must fight every thought that sets itself up against the Truth of God. These offenses are all witnessing opportunities.

On the plus side. “Everquest” is a great place to preach the gospel. A simple zone wide chat message will attract many to ask questions about Jesus, or about Christianity.

Doing good works is awarded. By helping people, especially those aligned with “good” you move forward in the game. The good races outnumber the evil, and anyone who is known to human players as charitable or nice gets benefits in trade deals and group activities. Trustworthiness and responsibility are sought, and wise words are heard.

About the mind: The game will teach you much about the nature of people, not only the good but the bad, in a practical sense. Your typing skills and multi tasking abilities will improve because of the sheer volume of tasks you must do to survive as time goes on. You will learn patience, as with most Role-Playing Games, and tell you more about where you are spiritually as being a witness often does. Even when we are bad witnesses going into the world of wolves as sheep will tell us that. It is truly about self improvement and human interactivity, so be careful of vanity but be hopeful of positive change, in yourself and others.

Finally, the game is obviously fun, otherwise there would not be so many people playing it. But as mentioned, drinking and abuse of drugs is fun to many who are deceived. Used in moderation this game could be a great benefit to Christ's cause, as long as we have the shield of faith to put out the many arrows of the Evil One. The occult and sexual references can be avoided to a large extent if one does not pursue actually being considered a “powerful” character. The use of real money for play should be looked at the same as buying a nice car, or even a special bible. If used to God's glory, these things are "very good", like nice tasting fruit in the garden. :)

Go with God, if you choose to play “EQ” then remember your mission as a Christian. Have fun and be well.

Year of Release—1998

In it's present form (and it has been this way for a while), on most servers, pvp options are defaulted off, and turning them on requires finding a specific person and handing them a specific item. Even then, you can only PvP against others who have done the same thing (though you can duel if your opponent accepts the challenge.) There are some servers where this is not the rule, and they are labeled as such.
   —Adam Borgeson

…Considering that everybody who plays the game is totally anonymous (no way to find out the real identity of the players) I found it amazing how well people behaved! Games of this sort would actually be great to examine ethical behaviour. …When faced with the choice to either help or ignore a fellow player, almost EVERYONE choses to help! And this even though there is absolutely no punishment for rude behaviour. My Ratings: [4/4]
   —Susse Sahneschnitte, age 27

Players have the option of turning ON PvP on most of the servers. It is OFF by default (except on the 3 servers that are designated specifically for PvP, and they have the fewest participants on them). …there is NO blood in EverQuest. …There is a chat filter that is enabled by default that filters out swear words. Which is better than most of the public forums that people can access with their computers that don't even have that option…
   —Joe, age 30, non-Christian

I played everquest for over a year. The game is highly addictive, and I tried to overlook all the confrontations it created with being a Christian. After awhile I realized I was only fooling myself, I got in the game, gave everything I had to friends, cancelled my account and dumped the game. We as Christians shouldn't even touch games like these. I love the action, and graphic violence is really minimal, but the obvious sexism is bordering on perversion on part of the game designers and the fact that 90% of the characters you generate HAVE to choose a “god” is flat out the absolute worse thing in the game from this Christians perspective. The magic while colorful and one of the more fun things in the game, is still nothing less than occultism which Christians should not dabble with, not even in a game. As far as the in game chat, you have the option of completely ignoring up to 20 people, I was always advocating to get more ignore slots for the players, because if you are a Christian, you will fill 20 slots up incredibly fast. The out of game chat, is actually monitored at least 75% of the time, this is the only disagreement I have of your review, I suppose the threat you proposed is real in this area, but IMO only minimal. Anyways, when I look back at this game, I feel you may as well be playing D&D, because they are in essence the same thing. My Ratings: [1/5]
   —Don Kelsay, age 30

The males start off just as naked as the females. And as a fantasy game, the females are portrayed with these characteristics as the males are portrayed with huge muscles and great abs. I have seen fully clothed women in the game, full plate armour and such. Violence compared to games like quake is nil. In quake you see bloody chunks flying around while this game has no blood while fighting. This game is one of the more tamer games out there, and is one of the more suitable ones for Christians to play. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Christopher Clark, age 18

Having played EQ for 14+ months I can give come correction of what's in the game. Although there is PVP (player killing) it's limited mostly to 3 servers (there's well over 25 game servers each hold upto 2000-2300 at peak times), where people knowingly go to participate in this killing, as its more challenging and fun (for them) not being that type I did not participate on PVP servers, so I stuck to the blue (as PVP server users call them) servers which has pvp set on a switch which can be activated by a small quest, the “blue” servers pretty much consist of human players hunting against NPC (computer controlled players) which range from Skeletons through Orcs, Drakes, most of the actual creatures can be found in Dungeons and Dragons (if you find D&D offensive you won't like this or most other RPG's), This game uses a lot of similar properties, but with their own twist. While there are “gods” in this game, the choice isn't gonna give you more power, it really decides how NPC factions (groups) in the game respond to your character. Other than that there is no difference between “gods”, though some race/class configurations limit your choices (for instance Dark Elfs who are evil, are limited mostly to Bertoxxulous and Innoruuk, both Evil gods). However there are “good” gods who are more about honor, peace, love etc, and even a nature loving one, which is a good cross section of “secular” religions, not very original. There is a heavy presence of magic in this game, although I personally hold no belief or interest in it in a real world sense if you are sensitive to it I suggest not bothering with Role playing games entirely, as they all use differing forms of magic. I played this game for a very long time and liked it for its social content. Also profanity is filtered (swear words appear as garbled text), and that filter can be removed, also there is a ignore command which lets you ignore anyone who should harrass you, or you can just report them to the Game Masters who represent the creators of the game, and have no tolerance for any harrassment. This game is addictive and can take a lot of your time (which is by design), it's very controlling for that reason, I've recently left this game. So for any Christians who may not want the temptation steer clear of this game. My Ratings: [3/3]
   —Paul Haines, age 20

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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