54 episodes

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.

Board Game Faith Daniel Hilty & Kevin Taylor

    • Leisure
    • 4.6 • 10 Ratings

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.

    Stages in Board Game Collecting

    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


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    • 58 min
    Life Lessons from a Chinese Murder Mystery RPG (A/V Club)

    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 G

    • 56 min
    Why Pastors Need to Play, with Casey Sigmon

    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
    Links:
    Pause/Play CenterDr. Casey Sigmon - SPST

    • 59 min
    Book Club: 4,000 Weeks

    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:



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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Death in Gaming

    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
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    Interact with us on Instagram
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    • 58 min
    A/V Club: Roleplaying the End of the World

    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--)
    Links:
    People Make Games "We Roleplayed the End of the World"

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

aloha jenny ,

Book Club episode

The Grasshopper discussion made me go searching again for this Brene Brown quote: "The opposite of play isn't work. It's depression." Really thought provoking as I recover from the trauma of working on the Covid wards. And LOVE LOVE LOVE the humor!

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