Board Game Faith

Daniel Hilty & Kevin Taylor

We explore the intersection of board games, religious faith, and spirituality with the verve and ironic hilarity of the 21st century. The co-hosts are Christian pastors who ask, what does it mean theologically that we as humans like to play games? Be ready for deep thoughts, dad jokes, and board game obsession. read less
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Episodes

Episode 52: Stages in Board Game Collecting
6d ago
Episode 52: Stages in Board Game Collecting
We explore the concept of seasons in the context of board gaming and life, and discuss the origins of the phrase "this too shall pass" and its relevance to the changing nature of emotions and experiences. Daniel and Kevin share their personal gaming stages and how their approach to board games has evolved over time. The conversation concludes with a reflection on the importance of selectivity and finding contentment in the games we already own. We discuss their evolving gaming preferences and the stages of faith. We explore the enjoyment of lighter and quicker games, the appreciation for simple solo games, and the adaptation to changing gaming preferences. We also draw parallels between stages of faith and stages of gaming, reflecting on the journey from zealousness to a holistic approach. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the continued enjoyment of games and the avoidance of jadedness. Takeaways Gaming preferences can evolve over time, with a shift towards lighter and quicker games. Simple solo games can provide a peaceful and meditative experience. Adapting to changing gaming preferences and finding enjoyment in different types of games is important. There are parallels between stages of faith and stages of gaming, with a journey from zealousness to a holistic approach. Continued enjoyment of games requires avoiding jadedness and appreciating the role of play in the larger human experience. Chapters 00:00 Introduction 02:01 The Origins of the Topic 03:02 The Concept of Seasons 04:22 The Story of "This Too Shall Pass" 06:21 The Wisdom of Ecclesiastes 09:17 Personal Gaming Stages 12:22 Discovering Board Game Geek 13:34 The Magic of Board Games 15:17 Rediscovering the Magic 24:16 Transition to Selectivity 28:02 Realizing the Need for Selectivity 30:12 Preference for Lighter and Quicker Games 30:57 Enjoyment of Simple Solo Games 33:18 Adapting to Changing Gaming Preferences 36:18 Appreciation for Game Setup and Learning 37:35 Stages of Faith and Stages of Gaming 46:15 Connecting Games to Life and Faith 49:07 Reflections on Becoming the Person You Once Judged 53:08 Continued Enjoyment of Games and Avoiding Jadedness 57:13 Upcoming Episode: Book Club and Special Announcement Daniel's stages/approaches of gaming Trusting - You just trust what others tell you (games are for kids) Zealous - You dig deep into the particular details and embrace them and defending them as world-defining. (Tell others about types of games.) Sectarian - This thing unites and defines your particular people. (You find your peeps and you celebrate what makes your group unique.) Personal - You own this thing for yourself. You question it, make it your own. (Finding your own gaming style; doesn't have to be like others.) Connecting - You see how this thing is connected to other things. It doesn't exist in a vacuum. (How do games relate to other things in life.) Holistic - This thing is just part of a larger whole. (Gaming is part of a the larger mystery of life) NEXT TIME - Book Club: Simeon Zahl Article, "Play and Freedom: Patterns of Life in the Spirit" CALL TO ACTION Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) Interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ) Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) (https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 51: Life Lessons from a Chinese Murder Mystery RPG (A/V Club)
Mar 24 2024
Episode 51: Life Lessons from a Chinese Murder Mystery RPG (A/V Club)
In this episode of Board Game Faith, we discuss the topic of role play, both in games and in real life. We explore the benefits and risks of role play and dive into a video from the YouTube Channel @PeopleMakeGames about the popular role-playing game Jubensha in China, with its deep character development and commitment involved in role-playing games and share personal experiences with role play. We also highlight the power of role play in building empathy and connection with others. In this part of the conversation, the hosts discuss the social dynamics of playing Jubensha and the emotional dimensions of role-playing games. They explore the idea that playing Jubensha creates a sense of connection and intimacy among players, even with strangers. They also discuss the satisfaction of solving logic deduction puzzles and the self-discovery that can come from playing a role. The hosts delve into the topic of violence in games and the different reactions to murder versus assault. They question why murder is often seen as acceptable entertainment while other forms of violence are not. The conversation ends with a discussion on the potential marginalization of women's experiences in gaming and the need for further exploration of these topics. In this conversation, Daniel and Kevin discuss the benefits of role-playing in games and in everyday life. They explore the idea of assuming different roles and how it can lead to personal growth, catharsis, and self-understanding. They also touch on the potential threats to games, such as increasing state interference and censorship. The conversation delves into the parallels between role-playing in games and in religious life, highlighting the idea of playing our best selves and the potential for personal transformation. They also mention the use of role-playing in therapy and the positive impact it can have. Overall, the conversation emphasizes the value of role-playing and its potential for building community and personal development. Takeaways We all play different roles every day, whether it's in games or in real life. Role-playing games involve deep character development and commitment, allowing players to - explore different personas and motivations. Role play can be a powerful tool for building empathy and connection with others. The popular role-playing game Jubensha in China has gained massive popularity and has many dedicated shops. There are both benefits and risks associated with role play, and it's important to approach it with intention and awareness. Playing Jubensha creates a sense of connection and intimacy among players, even with strangers. Role-playing games provide satisfaction through solving logic deduction puzzles and self-discovery. There is a discrepancy in society's acceptance of murder as entertainment compared to other forms of violence. The marginalization of women's experiences in gaming may be reflected in the different reactions to murder versus assault. Role-playing in games and in everyday life can lead to personal growth, catharsis, and self-understanding. Increasing state interference and censorship pose threats to games and their appreciation in different parts of the world. Role-playing in religious life can help individuals play their best selves and foster personal transformation. Role-playing can be used in therapy as a therapeutic tool. Role-playing has the potential to build community and create positive social connections. Chapters 00:00 Introduction: Roles We Play in Life 01:19 Welcome to Board Game Faith 12:37 Personal Experiences with Role-Playing Games 15:59 Benefits of Role-Playing Games 27:45 The Cozy Murder Genre 28:22 The Comfort of Murder 29:28 The Acceptance of Murder as Entertainment 32:12 The Role of Conflict and Risqué Elements in Fiction 33:21 The Influence of Patriarchy on the Perception of Violence 34:48 State Interference and Censorship in Role-Playing Games 36:25 The Benefits of Role-Playing in Everyday Life 40:10 The Geopolitical Implications of Role-Playing Games 41:28 The Therapeutic Potential of Role-Playing 52:09 The Role of Religion as Role-Playing 54:05 The Intersection of Gaming and Faith 55:11 Upcoming Episode: Seasons of Life and Gaming CALL TO ACTION: - Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) - Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) - Interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) - Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ) - Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) (https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 50: Why Pastors Need to Play, with Casey Sigmon
Mar 10 2024
Episode 50: Why Pastors Need to Play, with Casey Sigmon
In this episode, Rev. Dr. Casey Sigmon, Professor of Preaching and Worship at St. Paul School of Theology, discusses the importance of play and imagination in combating burnout and enhancing preaching. She shares her background in film and theater and how it influenced her approach to worship. Casey also introduces the Pause/Play Center for Clergy Renewal, which focuses on providing rest and healing for pastors. The conversation highlights the power of well-preached sermons and the need for pastors to prioritize their own well-being, the importance of taking a leap of faith in preaching, and the connection between imagination and play. The conversation explores the resistance to play and the counter-cultural nature of play. Casey shares her favorite games, Killer Bunnies and Cards Against Humanity, and discusses shows that are not good until they're suddenly good. Takeaways Burnout is common among those in caring roles, and play can be a transformative tool to combat it. Imagination is a crucial aspect of preaching and worship, allowing for creativity and connection with the audience. The Pause/Play Center for Clergy Renewal provides a space for pastors to rest, heal, and develop new habits for preaching and pastoral care. Well-preached sermons that engage the imagination and connect with the human condition have a greater impact on listeners. Chapters 00:00 Introduction: Burnout and the Power of Play 03:14 Special Episode Milestones 06:43 Guest Introduction: Casey Sigman 08:03 Casey's Background and Journey 13:14 Influence of Film and Music Videos 21:39 The Creation of the Paws Play Center 25:06 The Importance of Imagination 27:31 The Impact of Well-Preached Sermons 29:25 The Importance of Taking a Leap of Faith in Preaching 33:04 The Connection Between Imagination and Play 37:25 The Pause Play Center and Its Offerings 44:32 Resistance to Play and the Counter-Cultural Nature of Play 49:07 Why People Are Unaware of Their Need for Play 53:02 Favorite Games: Killer Bunnies and Cards Against Humanity 56:03 Shows That Are Not Good Until They're Good 57:45 How to Connect with Casey and the Pause Play Center
Episode 49: Book Club: 4,000 Weeks
Feb 25 2024
Episode 49: Book Club: 4,000 Weeks
Oliver Burkeman's 4,000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals (2022) is our pick for our monthly book club. We loved how it made us think about our modern drive to master time and efficiency, and how this debilitates human happiness. Rethinking our lives and our use of time means more time for flourishing, games, and play, even if we don't get everything done (because we never will). We explore the concept of time and our relationship with it, highlighting the illusion of time management and the artificiality of modern time. We also discuss the idea of embracing our limits and the futility of trying to battle against time. Overall, the book challenges the notion that we can control time and encourages a deeper reflection on how we spend our limited time on Earth. It delves into the flawed attempts to be efficient and the instrumentalization of time in modern society. The conversation also highlights the importance of living in the present moment and the dangers of constantly living for the future. It discusses the measurement of time and how it contributes to impatience and restlessness. The conversation draws from various spiritual traditions and emphasizes the need to let go of future expectations. It explores the joy of settling and the joy of missing out, as well as the pressure to choose a path and the depth of commitment. Finally, it emphasizes the importance of focusing on the next step rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity. We emphasize the need to make time for play and challenge societal expectations that prioritize work over play. We explore the idea that play is an end in itself and can resist the Protestant work ethic. We also discuss the value of hobbies and the role of play in grounding us in the present moment. Finally, we reflect on the importance of using our time and talents well to make life more luminous for others. Takeaways Embrace the nature of time and avoid trying to make it something it's not. Beware of the dangers of efficiency as an idol and the instrumentalization of time. Learn to live in the present moment and let go of future expectations. Develop a curiosity and openness towards challenges and problems. Settle and commit to a path, finding joy in depth and commitment. Break down projects into smaller steps and focus on taking the next right step. Make time for play and challenge societal expectations that prioritize work over play. Recognize that play is an end in itself and can resist the Protestant work ethic. Engage in hobbies and embrace the value of weird and unique interests. Use your time and talents well to make life more luminous for others. Chapters 00:00 Introduction: The Battle with Time 03:13 Lent and Time 08:23 Animals and Time 11:27 The Illusion of Time Management 13:29 4,000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals 19:36 The Artificiality of Time 21:20 The Battle with Time 22:43 Embracing the Nature of Time 23:19 The Flawed Attempt of Efficiency 24:26 The Instrumentalization of Time 25:33 Living for the Future 26:37 The Present Moment 27:31 The Measurement of Time 28:38 Impatience and Restlessness 29:52 Expectations and Frustrations 30:50 Drawing from Spiritual Traditions 31:47 Letting Go of Future Expectations 32:28 The Joy of Settling 35:20 The Joy of Missing Out 36:42 The Pressure to Choose a Path 39:38 The Depth of Commitment 40:55 Focusing on the Next Step 41:47 Taking the Next Right Step 42:21 Breaking Down Projects into Smaller Steps 43:04 Making Time for Play 43:35 Play as an End in Itself 44:02 Letting Go of Societal Expectations 45:18 The Importance of Hobbies 46:16 The Present Moment in Play 47:26 Resisting the Protestant Work Ethic 48:37 The Value of AT-like Activities 49:24 Embracing Weird Hobbies 56:56 Using Time and Talents Well CALL TO ACTION: - Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) - Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) - Interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) - Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ) - Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) (https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 48: Death in Gaming
Feb 11 2024
Episode 48: Death in Gaming
You might think death and gaming are not connected. But loss is always a part of games as pieces and elements are lost. Some elements of games are fairly abstract (Uno cards or chess pieces), but other elements can be very personal, such as a character you've played for years in D&D or in a legacy type game such as Gloomhaven. Games also address death through theme and content: One Night Werewolf has players killing each other; Village has meeples age and die, to be moved to the graveyard; Endurance face nearly certain death even as a miraculous escape remains possible (Shackleton achieved it, after all!). Such gaming experiences give us vital ways of thinking about and discussing death and grief, as well as suggesting ways of facing our own mortality. How is death represented in games? * It is the nature of games to abstract reality. How to abstract death? * Simplest example perhaps is chess - the piece is removed from the board for the rest of the game * The state is permanently changed for the rest of the game * But we don’t care about chess pieces - we care about humans and living creatures (maybe trees?), so games that evoke humanlike characters make us feel loss in powerful ways A word about grief * Grief is a natural & important and unavoidable response to loss * This is not a look at grief, except perhaps tangentially. Interesting examples of death in games * Village - cemetery, legacy * Werewolf - you are out of the game and watch what is happening to everyone else * Games that poke at death in a humorous or horror way - Zombies, etc. * Legacy games where the state is permanently changed even from one game to another * Art games (like the kind Alice Connor enjoys) that represent the emotions of death? Train and Endurance. How do we feel about death in games? When we die or kill off another player? Lessons of faith from death in games * The importance of being present to the moment * Parent and child with potentially fatal cancer playing games together during treatments. Forgetting the treatments. The gift of games is to anchor us in the present. * The permanence of death - Ways of coping when states permanently change * On the other hand, the impermanence of death - Perhaps what Buddhists call the illusion of death?? Life continues. Another wave forms on the ocean. * Reminder of John Glynn * How easily we can become numb to death—precisely by abstracting it—in real life. Another discussion of each in games from the “Two Wood for a Wheat” podcast - https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/135031/death-board-games 00:00 Introduction: Death in Gaming 12:12 Lightening the Mood with Wordplay 13:12 Abstracting Death in Games 18:20 Games that Deal with Mortality 23:04 Examples of Death in Games 26:54 Village: Generations and Legacy 29:30 ISS Vanguard: Memorial Wall 31:51 Death and Remembering 32:27 The Changing Nature of Funerals 34:08 Using Games as a Eulogy 35:33 Art Games and Emotional Impact 36:16 Legacy Games and Permanence 39:36 Lessons of Faith from Death and Games 48:19 The Importance of Memory 49:21 Death as a Doorway 53:28 The Ocean and Impermanence 56:36 Wrapping Up CALL TO ACTION: - Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) - Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) - Interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) - Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ) - Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) (https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 47: A/V Club: Roleplaying the End of the World
Jan 25 2024
Episode 47: A/V Club: Roleplaying the End of the World
We discuss the concept of surviving in a post-apocalyptic world and how it relates to games and life. YouTube's @PeopleMakeGames explored Wasteland Weekend, a unique event where thousands of people role-play life in a post-apocalyptic setting. We delve into the idea of playing the wrong game and the importance of being present in the moment, the point of a game, and the cost of community. The conversation explores the themes of belonging in the family of God, the importance of vulnerability and shared burdens, earning the right to belong in a community, the logistics and planning of Wasteland Weekend, the value of sacrifice in building community, the role of community in houses of worship, the experience of shared vulnerability in authentic community, the cost of community and the risk of getting hurt, the value of grace and the cost of investment, the fascination with post-apocalyptic themes, the ancient origins of apocalyptic literature, the hopeful and revealing nature of post-apocalyptic stories, exploring human nature in post-apocalyptic narratives, poking at our fears and meditating on who we are, the Book of Revelation as an ancient apocalyptic narrative, the connection between survival and being a decent human being, the importance of kindness and decency in survival, the symbolism of burying the dead in post-apocalyptic stories, the sublime and ridiculous nature of post-apocalyptic themes, and expressing hope and excitement for creative and community-building endeavors. Corrected link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW6EYmRX7wk&t=3s Takeaways Surviving in a post-apocalyptic world requires different skills and mindsets. Playing the wrong game can prevent us from fully experiencing and enjoying the present moment. Community is not free, but it is worth the investment of time and energy. Games can teach us valuable lessons about life, including the importance of strategy and being present. Belonging in a community requires vulnerability and shared burdens. Authentic community is built on sacrifice and investment. Post-apocalyptic themes fascinate us because they reveal our fears and explore human nature. Survival in post-apocalyptic stories often involves acts of kindness and decency. Creative and community-building endeavors give us hope and excitement. CALL TO ACTION Subscribe to our newsletter https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith Support us on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/ Interact with us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/ Discord us Discord https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 46: The Enneagram and Board Games part 2
Jan 14 2024
Episode 46: The Enneagram and Board Games part 2
In this episode, Daniel and Kevin continue their exploration of the Enneagram and its connection to board games. They discuss the unique personalities of each Enneagram type and suggest games that may appeal to each type. The goal is to understanding and respecting others' differences, as well as understand ourselves. They reflect on the background of the Enneagram, its limitations, applying the Golden Rule to the Enneagram, the Enneagram types 5-8, and some game recommendations for each type! Topics Explored party games and fun recommendations the value of embracing failure and learning from it player elimination games for assertive personalities bluffing games for challengers understanding and meeting others' gaming preferences choosing games based on personality types, seasons of life and gaming preferences. Takeaways The Enneagram can provide insights into our motivations, fears, and values. Understanding and respecting others' differences is essential for healthy relationships. Different Enneagram types may be drawn to different types of board games. Negotiation games may appeal to Enneagram type 6, the Loyalist. Party games and light-hearted games may appeal to Enneagram type 7, the Enthusiast. Party games are a great recommendation for social gatherings. Embracing failure in games can help us learn and grow. Player elimination games can be enjoyable for assertive personalities. Bluffing games can be engaging for challengers. Understanding and meeting others' gaming preferences can enhance the gaming experience. Choosing games based on personality types can lead to more enjoyable gameplay. Gaming preferences may change over different seasons of life. Switch and Signal, and Cat in the Box are their favorite games from the recent Christmas holiday Chapters 00:00 Unique Personalities and Enneagram Part 2 06:03 Background of Enneagram 13:10 Limitations of Enneagram 21:20 Enneagram Type 5: The Investigator 27:58 Enneagram Type 6: The Loyalist 33:36 Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast 34:43 Party Games and Fun Recommendations 36:37 Embracing Failure and Learning from It 39:09 Enneagram Type 8: Asserter/Challenger 47:08 Understanding and Meeting Others' Gaming Preferences 54:12 Seasons of Life and Gaming Preferences 56:30 Game Recommendations: Switch and Signal, Cat in the Box
Episode 44: The Enneagram, for Board Gamers!
Dec 3 2023
Episode 44: The Enneagram, for Board Gamers!
Intro to & History of Enneagram The origins of the enneagram are arcane and unclear. Relation to 7 Deadly Sins, Sufi Islam George Gurdjieff, Armenian spiritualist and teacher, 1865-1949 Oscar Ichazo (Bolivian) and Claudio Naranjo (Chilean) in 1970s developed it. It came into American practice through Naranjo in CA, and Catholics there, including Father Robert Ochs. It is used in therapeutic and spiritual settings to discern who you are and who others are The Types Perfectionist: want it done right, highly moral, avoids blame Helper: wants to be loved and needed, avoids own needs Performer: wants success, gotta win, avoid failure Romantic: need to be extraordinary and understood, avoid being ordinary Investigator: independent, private, strives for knowledge, avoids help from others Loyalist: committed and funny, they are worst case thinkers, fearful, desires security, avoid danger Enthusiast: fun and happy, avoid pain Challenger: be strong, confrontational, commanding, avoids weakness Peacemaker: pleasant and accommodating, avoid conflict Where Can People Take Enneagram Test? Lots of places online, but one starting place is here (http://yourenneagramcoach.com). Caveats We are not experts No system is perfect - this doesn’t define you. Our Own Enneagram Types & Implications Kevin is a 1 – a perfectionist Daniel is a 9 – a peacemaker Board Game Mechanisms for Enneagram Types K: type 1 perfectionist: are going to like high strategy and low luck games, like chess, A Feast for Odin, Azul, Brass Birmingham, and generally any kind of Euro. But you might should play games with more risk and zaniness such as Nemesis or Frostpunk. D: K: type 5 investigator: solo gamer, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, solo experience games like Mr. President; Endurance by Amabel Holland D: K: type 3 Performer: push your luck, dungeon crawler, risk mitigation (Nemesis; Gloomhaven; Quacks of Quedlinburg) Next episode: Gaming experiences for the holidays! CALL TO ACTION Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) Interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ) Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) (https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 43: Moltmann's A Theology of Play (part 3) – Christ the New Creation
Nov 19 2023
Episode 43: Moltmann's A Theology of Play (part 3) – Christ the New Creation
How do Christian theology and play intersect? Moltmann's seminal book, A Theology of Play, explores this, and we discuss pages 25-36. Christ Is More than a Remedy for Sin Christ became a human being not just to be a remedy for sin, but to create a new reality or a re-creation of the world. This tells us something about the nature of God: abundance, joy, and newness. “God's love goes beyond his mercy and beyond man's misery. So it reaches beyond the mere restoration of the sick to the healthy state of the new life” (26). “Only those who are capable of joy can feel pain at their own and other people's suffering. [One] who can laugh can also weep. [One] who has hope is able to endure the world and to mourn" (31). In faith we accept ourselves as we are and gain new confidence in ourselves because we have been trusted more than we deserve and ever thought possible." (32) “Games always presuppose innocence” (31) Life Is More than Work and Purpose The final purpose of history is liberation from the tyranny of needing to have a purpose. "Life which is made meaningful by purposes and goals must find the vision of heaven terrible, since that vision only invites infinite and purposeless boredom. Christian eschatology [ideas about the end times] has never thought of the end of history as a kind of retirement or payday …" (34) CALL TO ACTION Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) Interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ) Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) (https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 42: Faith, religion and board game design with Shem Phillips
Nov 5 2023
Episode 42: Faith, religion and board game design with Shem Phillips
Introduction Shem Phillips is a board game designer from New Zealand. He founded Garphill Games in 2009 and is known for his medium to medium-heavy Euros such as the medieval trilogies (North Sea, West Kingdom, South Tigris) and Ancient Anthology series. He often works with S. J. (Sam) Macdonald. The use of trilogies in game design In your sermon online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXUfbhP20Iw&t=1258s), you mention how game testing is like prayer: “look for feelings not suggestions.” How do you relate today to the loss of your father? In Ezra & Nehemiah, you explore your first explicitly Biblical theme. What went into the decision to design a Bible-themed game? Why Ezra and Nehemiah? You mention a kind of “leap of faith” moment for yourself when you decide to go into board gaming. It was so encouraging. Would advice or encouragement would you have for any listeners who are maybe facing their kind of “leap of faith” moment? the place of music and lyrics You think about life and faith a lot through lyrics (you’re in church band, and you describe yourself as a “lyrics nerd”). What are some bands or artists that you think especially excel at good lyrics? The facing of personal tragedies How did religion help you grieve the loss of your dad? CALL TO ACTION Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) Interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ) Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) (https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 41: Board Game Rulebooks, with Jordan Ault
Oct 22 2023
Episode 41: Board Game Rulebooks, with Jordan Ault
What your Rulebooks Say About You INTRODUCTIONS RULEBOOKS ARE … COOL? - Roundtable vote: - intense pre-read - Read as you attempt to play - Watch YouTube - Have someone teach you - Dial 1-800-Rules-Lawyer - do you enjoy Rulebooks as a genre? - Any special Rulebooks of note? - KEVIN: Mage Knight is particularly loathed, even though it’s all in there - KEVIN: Frostpunk is a rulesbook work of art - DANIEL: Twilight Imperium 4 (steal from Kevin!), Gloomhaven - Jaws of the Lion - Do you have “house rules” to certain games or alter the rules based on who is playing? Why? Do you feel this takes away from the work of the designer? - DANIEL: Telestrations TEACHING A GAME * How do you prefer to teach a game? * Share everything up front? * Unravel the rules as you play? * Do you find parallels between how you teach or learn games and how you teach and learn in your ministry? * DANIEL: Pastor Jewell has the great analogy about how rules in service to the game, and not the other way around. She uses baseball as an analogy. * Are there any rules that just don’t click for you? Any games you’ve given up on because of the rules? Why? * DANIEL: Games where rules change every round. * When you’re hosting a game night at your faith community, are there rules you’re willing to bend, or rules that you choose to avoid? * What is your favorite game or type of rules to teach? * DANIEL: Worker placement Scenario: you’re 90 minutes into a complex solo game with clear win conditions. You choose to push your luck and draw a card. You accidentally pick up two. The first card absolutely kills your chance of success; the second is much friendlier. Do you discard the first and go with the friendlier card? Does that make you a horrible person? Asking for a friend. CALL TO ACTION: - Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) - Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) - interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) - Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ) Chat with us on Wavelength (iOS and MacOS and iPadOS only) (https://wavelength.app/invite/AGSmNhIYS5B#ABhy7aXOO04TO6HTS4lelw--)
Episode 40: Personal Growth through Solo Board Games, with Liz Davidson
Oct 8 2023
Episode 40: Personal Growth through Solo Board Games, with Liz Davidson
Introduction We all know what it’s like to play games with other people. But did you know that more and more games every year give you the opportunity to play them by yourself? And we’re not just talking solitaire here. We’re talking multi-player games with a solo mode—as well as games that are designed to be played by only one person. They can be small games with boxes you can hide under a dinner roll, to epic sprawling experiences that you lay out on your table and leave there till Christmas. So what does it mean to play alone, and what lessons can we learn from the experience? This week we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Liz Davidson, from the Beyond Solitaire podcast, to discuss these questions—and more!—on Board Game Faith, the biweekly show exploring the intersection of spirituality, religion, and board games! Introducing Dr. Liz Davidson PhD from Yale University in Ancient Christianity in 2014 Has taught on the high school and college level in Latin, Greek, English, and Math Is currently a Latin teacher at Parkview High School in Atlanta, GA, where she lives Has a website, YouTube channel, and podcast, Beyond Solitaire What are the personal benefits to solo board gaming? * So much of board games, popularly understood, is their social aspect – competition, shared narratives and experiences, socializing with others. * What it means to play alone, in terms of learning to enjoy your own company. Should people practice spending time with themselves?  Historical Games * I have a historical background (Ph.D. in Ancient Christianity, to be precise). How does that inform my understanding of historical gaming? (Especially games on religious topics?) * What are some good historical games, and can history ever be represented in a game? Solo Gaming & Ethics Does solo board gaming open up a different range of ethical possibilities in play? Would you treat an automated opponent differently than a human one? Favorite Solo Games! Follow Liz through BeyondSolitaire on YouTube and other social platforms. CALL TO ACTION: - Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) - Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) - interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) - Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ).
Episode 39: The 7 Deadly Sins of Board Gaming
Sep 24 2023
Episode 39: The 7 Deadly Sins of Board Gaming
Defining sin What is sin in the Christian tradition? What do we mean by “7 Deadly Sins”? 7 deadly sins: pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth. Developed in the 300s with the Desert Fathers, especially Evagrius Ponticus. The 7 capital virtues were chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. In Dante’s Inferno there are 8 categories of sin: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, Treachery. The Sins of Board Gaming 1 - It’s All About Winning (Pride and Wrath) Winning as ontological end and not functional end (trading seriousness for delight) Fraud and treachery were the worst sins in Dante’s mind For games to work, you have to try to win, but winning is no more the point of games than framing is the point of a house or the engine is the point of a car 2 - It’s All About Owning (Greed and Envy) Hyper consumption of games - materialism How does this game fit in my collection? This is not a cheap hobby (no hobby is cheap, in the end), so what fits in your budget and priorities? I love the idea of a game swap or trade or market so you get some value out of them and they don’t clutter up your life (Marie Kondo) Seeing ourselves first and foremost as consuming beings can rob us of delight and gratitude over what is before us. World in a cup of tea. 3 - It’s All About You Being Right (Pride) Arrogance about different games (trading exclusion for inclusion) - tribalism. My games are better than your games. My people are better than your people. My god is better than your god. Assumption that everyone should play games 4 - It’s All About You Being in Control (Pride) Alpha player (trading control for agency) 5 - It’s All About You (Pride) Putting the games over people - Buddhist concept of valuing people over principles Flexing your games or knowledge Putting principles over people - Buddhist teaching, Jesus tooTurning play into work 6 - People Not Taking Gaming Seriously (Sloth) Bringing the wrong attitude to the table Not respecting other’s property Cheetos Agreeing to play a game but not really focus on it 7 - Turning Play into Work? The nature of sin is that it takes something and good and twists it There’s more to life than games Anything can become your god Next Episode - Liz Davidson - Value of Solo Gaming CALL TO ACTION: Subscribe to our newsletter (https://buttondown.email/BoardGameFaith) Support us on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/boardgamefaith/) interact with us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/boardgamefaith/) Discord us Discord (https://discord.gg/MRqDXEJZ).
Episode 38: Imitating God By Playing Games (Moltmann part 2)
Sep 10 2023
Episode 38: Imitating God By Playing Games (Moltmann part 2)
Moltmann, A Theology of Play part 2 Pp 15-25 Did God create the world as an act of play? God is a free creator - could have made the world or not, yet is still divine so it can’t be just random. God did not have to create the world, but neither did God make something random. The world is meaningful but not necessary – and necessary labor will not save us. Work is productive and gainful but not play. It is a game in the sense – God made the world for God’s pleasure, God’s play Prov 8:30-31 then I was beside him, like a master worker, and I was daily his delight, playing before him always, playing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race. Without the freedom of play, the world turns into a desert. How we imitate God God can make and play out of nothingness because of divinity – we can only play with reality and created things. But we imitate God when we receive the kingdom of God like a child, when we absorbed and serious about a game but also transcend ourselves in knowing it is just a game. "Where everything must be useful and used, faith tends to regard its own freedom as good for nothing." (15) Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus: one of the greatest temptations of the Christian leader (leader of faith) is to be relevant. "Relevance" is such a difficult topic - both encouraged and discouraged in the church. Perhaps it is really the temptation "to be needed" - to make others dependent on oneself. We are to glorify God and enjoy God forever in the Westminster Catechism 1647. So not through our usefulness or work or purposes, in our service, but in our enjoyment. We negotiate this in a society that only rewards usefulness, labor, and consumption. The problem of the Puritan work ethic. The other challenge of religion only being about ethics, and not about aesthetics. “To put it simply, the birds are singing more than Darwin permits” Buytendijk. Instead of life being “the seriousness of making history,” it becomes the “calm rejoining in existence itself.” Otherwise the seriousness of making history can be demonic, despairing, or all about us (23). To not only play but to be played, as the game of life impacts us. We might be “sheltered by the game,” because “the loser wins” (24, quoting Péguy). Victor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning - our most fundamental drive is in life is for meaning. The spiritual benefits of creation and games (18) * Sincerity * Mirth * Suspense * Relaxation * Full presence * Transcendence * Freedom Our purpose--the purpose of creation--AND the purpose of play--is not found in usefulness or meeting goals, but in the "demonstrative value of being" (Buytendijk, Dutch) (19) Seeing the meaning of life only in terms of usefulness will inevitably lead to a crisis. (19). Ideologies that seek to tell us otherwise are simply trying to turn us into cogs in their machinery. "Infinite responsibility destroys a human being because he is only man and not god." (23) Play shifts the focus away from achievement and more toward simply being.
Episode 37: A Theology of Play Retreat
Aug 20 2023
Episode 37: A Theology of Play Retreat
Context Held at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs, next to Garden of Gods 5 days and 4 nights Sponsored by Office of Congregational Excellence of the Missouri Annual Conference of United Methodist Church About 33 participants - mostly clergy, but some lay persons as well The fourth of a series of spiritual formation retreats known as “Soul Connections” - this one was on the theme of “Enchantment” Stayed in a lodge, ate meals in the castle, hiked through surrounding hills and mountains Asked me to lead three 2-hour sessions on “Theology of Play” Day 1 - Introduction to Play Bernard Suits’ definition of game – “the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles” Talked about my own journey into gaming Research into gaming Games and play are essentially the same thing Play has been an essential part of the human condition (including adults) since the beginning of history Theologians interested in play too! Play as salvation Played “Just One” Reflect on how games help us be present to each other, gives us sense of agency Play as grace Parker Palmer - Play as sign of calling - asked folks to reflect Day 2 - Barriers to Play Told them Monopoly history If play is so good for us, why are we resistant to it? Told story of Bernard Suits' The Grasshopper except for the ending - including haunting dream Historical roots of barriers to play Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution “Earning” salvation was replaced with “proving” salvation Being productive was sign of virtue; being unproductive was sign of immorality “Morality of achievement” - Moltmann Turns human into cogs in machines “Pushback on idea of play as work which we want to do. Someone shared story of “workaholic” who said “my work is my play.” Played Wits & Wagers - reflection Reflection on Genesis 3:1-6 - Adam & Eve & serpent Sin was thinking we didn’t need God or anyone else. We could prove our worth through our achievement. The greatest barrier to play is “practical atheism” - the belief that we can’t rely on God, not really. We have to prove our worth and value by achieving and producing. Ending of the Grasshopper - everything is unnecessary from a utopian point of view (or cosmic scale), so all is play Day 3 - Toward a Playful Life 2 tools to help us move toward a playful life: Sabbath - Looked at the book The Sabbath by Joshua Abraham Heschel Sabbath hallows time like temples hallow space Just as a Sabbath is the end unto itself (not to “recharge”), so too is play. It is not in service to work. Jane McGonigal - Reality is Broken The opposite of work is not play, it is despair, hopelessness. Work is about having agency. So work is just play we want to do. So how can we make work more into something we want to do - gamification of life! How will world view us if we move toward a playful life? 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 Holy Fool Tradition Filling out “Character Creation Sheet” - make your own Holy Fool Self (Mandi Hutchinson) General Reflections 1. Made me wonder whether it would be helpful to lay out 3 terms, not just 2: 1. Play - voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles 2. Work - obligatory attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles 3. Rest - refraining from both of the above 2. More barriers to play for women than men 3. Character sheets - some were reluctant. Maybe pass out the day before to get people time to work on it. 4. Wits & Wagers didn’t quite work as well as I hoped. Would replace next time with the Mind. 5. What seemed to resonate with people: 1. Suits’ definition of games 2. Ending of Grasshopper - everything is unnecessary 3. Play as calling WE WANT TO DO THIS MORE! If you would like Kevin or Daniel or both to teach about the theology of play on your context, or serve as a resource in any other way, please let us know!