Like many biblical scholars, I earn my living by teaching at a university. In the rank, tenure, and promotion process at Pepperdine, teaching officially weighs twice as much as scholarship. Teaching, therefore, forms a big part of my public-facing identity. However, I don’t just see teaching as a professional requirement or a hat I wear at work. When I introduce myself to new acquaintances and they ask me what I “do,” I am more likely to reply “I teach Bible at Pepperdine University” than “I study the Bible for a living.” “Teacher,” therefore, forms a big part of my self-concept as well.
Gaming also defines a good bit of both my self-understanding and my public-facing identity. A friend introduced me to Avalon Hill bookshelf games (Panzer Blitz), Steve Jackson microgames (Ogre and Chitin), and Dungeons & Dragons (including Judges Guild’s City-State of the Invincible Overlord) in fifth grade (1977–78). I even have some consulting, writing, and editing credits in the game industry, and I have a whole other blog dedicated to gaming. Sometimes, I’ve even had the chance to bring my biblical scholarship to bear on game design, as when I consulted with TriKing Games on introducing the Israelite culture into their Anachronism card game and when I published a couple of articles related to Testament, a biblical-era fantasy role-playing setting (d20 system) by Green Ronin Games.