Prester John, the brouhaha over chess was in 1973 during the Bobby Fischer craze. Not much mentioned about it today and I doubt many jws remember the 1973 "caution" by the WTS. It was insane then, there are so many games based on the principal of war even back then. Even now paint ball and lazer tag are very popular. I have not found any articles in the WT or books by the WTS. All seem to be in the Awake. I knew many jws (most male) who felt because the WTS had nothing directly in print forbidding or a dance around it, that it was okay for jws to participate.
Of course, that doesn't include the wars behind the scenes between elders, elder bodies, and other so-called spiritual male jws. Isn't any game one of competition and winning at almost all costs? One of the GB has compared football (American) to wars.
He said something like this:
If you are really pursuing everlasting life, then your record of field ministry should indicate that. Do you spend at least ten hours each month preaching and teaching the Bible truth to others? Can you imagine Paul being contented with less than ten hours a month even when he found it necessary to work full time making tents? What do you suppose he was doing on weekends, evenings? Studying God?s Word, doing God?s work, or attending a contest between the gladiators in the local coliseum, saying he had no time for the ministry??Acts 18:3, 4.
While attending a week long training class for Elders in Patterson, Bro Losch gave the concluding talk about loyalty to the Borg, which I was in awe of(I went more in detail in a recent post about a S.A.D. where Losch was the speaker). At the end of his Talk, here's what he said:
"I have some Counsel for You Brothers about Sports, in particular a certain game where they mimic ancient gladiators, by putting on plastic armor and pads, then brutally attacking their opponents, trying to injure them by going after an egg shaped ball." (Football)
I then came out of my "hypnotic state", and said to myself; WTF did he just say?
After he was done, we were dismissed. Many Elders were talking about the evils of Football. I kept my mouth shut for a little while(I really love Football). However, on the shuttle ride back to the Airport (this was a Van driven by a male Bethelite), there were 12 other Elders in this Van and I had to ask the driver... "How do the Bethelites feel about Pro Football?" He said: "Did you guys get that speech about Football from Bro. Losch? I said yes. He then said: "Other members on the Governing Body do not share his view!" In fact, we here call him "NFL", No Football Losch". Some of us laughed, while others did not think that statement was funny. Then the driver looked at me in the mirror and said: By the way, I'm a Jets fan!"
An Elder sitting next to me from Alabama said: "that driver is in the wrong and needs to be counseled! I am going to write a letter to the Branch about this driver and his lack of respect toward members of the Governing Body"!
Or this in a WTS publication
** w02 8/15 p. 29 Do You Remember? ***
The violent and deadly gladiatorial events of the Roman Empire have been compared to what modern spectator sports?
A recent exhibit in the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, suggested modern parallels by including video clips of bullfighting, professional boxing, auto and motorcycle races, and spectator fights at other modern sports events. Early Christians took to heart that Jehovah does not love violence or violent ones, and neither should Christians today. (Psalm 11:5)—6/15, page 29
*** jd chap. 9 p. 121 par. 19 Dealing With Others as God Desires ***
Though Habakkuk was forced to keep looking upon mere trouble and the “violence in front of” him, it grieved him. You might now ask, ‘Would he be comfortable sitting with me and looking at the programs I regularly watch on television?’ Ask also, ‘Would he set aside time to be a spectator at so-called sports events that are violent by design, players even wearing protective armor like that of ancient gladiators?’ With certain games, the thrill for many springs from fights on the court or the field or those between crazed fans. In some cultures, many watch violent films and videos centered on warfare or the martial arts. This may be excused as history or a display of the nation’s cultural past, but does that make the violence more acceptable?—Proverbs 4:17.https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/4668758543040512/counsel-from-bro-losch-gb-member-elders-about-nfl?page=4