If you have ever played a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game, then you will understand that there is a desperate need for unity. For those of you who no clue, do not fret.

A Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) consists of 10-12 players who are locked in combat against each other. The objectives can be different: take out the players, take out the towers, protect the base, etc. You are put in a group of five or six people and, for lack of a better term, forced to play with these people.* Once the game commences, you play as a hero/character that is entirely unique to the game and has better focus in specific areas than others.

My MOBA of choice is Paragon, developed by Epic Games. Paragon is a third-person, cross-platform title available on PC and PlayStation 4. Your hero is sent to the planet of Agora, where you fend off the attacks of your enemies, defeat them, annihilate the minions, and destroy the towers until you reach the core. If you manage to destroy the enemy's core, you stand victorious.

However, for this to be successful, you need to work together as a team. This is where everything gets difficult. Typically you join the lobby on your own, or with two or three others, and the rest are strangers across the world. Your only form of communication, on Paragon at least, is a text box where you can issue commands, call for help, and vent your frustration at the play style of the enemy or your own allies.

For the most part, I see people venting at each other.

A team that does not stand together will always fall. I have seen it.

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (Mark 3:24-25)**

When a team does not work together to pay attention to the objectives of the game (we all have that one person that chases a kill, overextends, and dies), then that team will perish. You as a single person can only do so much until you are overwhelmed by the enemy who might be working as a unit.

You go from defending your tower against one individual when two other members of the team descend upon you.

Your health bar drops.

Your finger smashes buttons in efforts to save yourself.

You run, hoping to reach the tower. It's sight, all you need is just a little-

An explosion fills the screen and you join the ether, entering the void only to respawn later.

Wait, what's that? You notice two of your allies all alone in their space, close by but not moving in? Why, the three of you could have handled them!

While this is not always the case, more often than not you are subjected to the whims of other people. What they do in conjunction to you can make or break your chances at victory.

This should not be a big deal, but the fact remains that unity is a necessity in these kinds of games.

In fact, we are called to have unity as the forefront of our minds, whether they are team-mates, coworkers, family members, church members, what have you.

1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and same judgment.”

In this passage, Paul is talking to the church in Corinth. He discusses the issue of people being against each other, not having the same mind or being unified in the decisions they are making. There is quarreling over this and that, who knows who and who can do what. Their issues then affect the church body as a whole. If they are unwilling to work together, to be of same mind, then they are not going to accomplish anything.

In fact, they will be destroyed. (Okay, maybe not in life, but definitely in Paragon)

Paul calls for unity to another church, this time in Philippi.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2)

Though the message is meant for the church of Philippi, the truth remains timeless. We need to maintain unity in our groups so that all may go well. When you can pull together as a group to accomplish the task, you can work wonders. Kill counts go up, towers go down, and the enemy team scrambles to try to prevent you from winning. Whether that enemy be someone across the world or the devil himself.

This applies in life.

This applies in Paragon.

If you are unable to be of one accord, then you will always fail. It does not matter how well you are at carrying people. Games designed as Paragon are not meant to be one-man matches. Do not get me wrong, I have managed to wreck house with a friend of mine as a support. But that was because we worked in unison together, being of the same mind, of the same accord, and in the same judgment.

And our joy was made complete in our victory as our team rallied behind us in the final pushes.

So in whatever you do, pursue unity.

Do not pursue your own selfish desires but engage with the group. Fight together, even if it means you lose. Because yes, you will still lose. Your teamwork may be flawless, but that does not account skill.

Or how people choose their characters.

But that's a conversation for another time.

 

*I know you can choose to go in as a full party with some friends. That does not change much.

**This verse is connected to a greater issue Christ presented, which is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. However, the truth remains that a group, a house, a kingdom, cannot stand together if it is at war with itself. It will perish.

 

Published by Derek Williams