Beliefnet
Gaming For God

Welcome to my weekly column designed to convert you, the board game heathen, into full-fledged converts in the Church of Cardboard (or Cult, which is probably more apropos). The first game on the list: Settlers of Catan.

Settlers was designed by Klaus Teuber way back in 1995 and is the one European game you may actually have heard of. You can find it for sale at Target, Wired magazine did a super-killer-awesome article about it, the Washington Post called it “the board game of our time,” and over 15 million copies of the game and its siblings have been sold around the world. It is, simply put, a worldwide phenomenon.

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This past January, Tom Vasel, a game-reviewing work horse in the board game world, lost his infant son, Jack, who was born two weeks premature. There was an overwhelming wave of support for him – emotional, spiritual, and financial – from the board game community, and Tom was deeply moved to start a memorial fund in his son’s name. The goal of the fund is to help out other board gamers who’s families are undergoing similar difficulties and tragedies.

My wife is pregnant with our 3rd child so my heart goes out to Tom over what he went through, and I’m inspired by the hope and courage he’s displayed through it all. I’ve already donated to the fund. You should too.

You can find more information at JackVasel.org or you can read the press release here. And you can follow this link to donate through Paypal. Below is the announcement video.

God speed, little Jack.

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The fine folks at Siliconera posted this great video from Trine 2, and I just had to share.  It’s a video of the making of just one screen of the game, and it really shows how amazing it is to build a video game in 2011.  If you never played Trine, it was one of the most beautiful side scrollers I have ever seen.  This video shows that the sequel will probably top it.

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Ever needed proof that video games were art?  Well there it is.

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We’re pretty excited to announce that we’ve added a new character to our party.  Okay, it’s more like the awesome part of the game where you get another character to fight with you for a little while and he is 1,000 times stronger than you are and can’t die.  You know, like an old wizard or a knight with sweet armor.  It’s kind of like that.

Anyway, we are going to be partnering up with the gents at Gameosaurus.  They are a couple of guys who have been writing around the internets on sites like RPGfan.com, and they are just as nerdy as we are.  Every now and then we’ll be bringing something awesome to your attention.

Today, that article is a great piece on the Final Fantasy IV Collection.  It’s a bit of a review (of a swell game, by the way), but also gets into some interesting territory by talking about the mythology of crystals in Final Fantasy, the idea of gods in the series, and more.  A worthwhile read and a whole lot more to come!

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