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Subject: Religious experience from board games? rss

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Simon Lundström
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The thread "New meaning to Ameri'trash'" reminded me of something…

This was the time before BoardGameGeek, and long before I considered "board gaming" even a… "real"… hobby. I loved them, of course, but I didn't think it could be a "hobby". This must have been like 1999 or something. Even then, I had Dungeon Quest as a fav, and a couple of years earlier a friend of mine had introduced me to Robo Rally, which I absolutely adored to heaven and beyond. I had learned about Catan, and I loved that one, too.

Now, the anime society I was chairman of had at the time an anime-night at the local youth garten every monday, and sometimes when I felt like a board game I would carry them over there in a bag and we, the oldest goats of the society would sit there and play. I frequently brought the best games I had. And yes, this specific day I had brought Robo Rally and Dungeon Quest.

The next day, I had to go to town, but something nagged me… I couldn't find the bag with my games. Gah! I had forgotten it at the place. I phoned them. "Well, come take a look around". And so I went. At day-time, it's a kindergarten, not so much for babies, but for pre-school kids. I went there, checked every single corner.

Nothing.

I started to sweat. What the hell… What the hell… No… no… NOOO! This can't be true! Where is it? I had to go home and check again. I did, I checked. Nothing. I went back to the place. Nothing. I asked them, have you seen anything? Nope. Nothing. No bag. What was it? A paper bag with two game boxes in it. Where did you put it? Maybe in the hall…

I was totally frightened. Aghast. These weren't just any games. This was the Swedish original version of Dungeon Quest, complete with expansion and in top condition. It's long out of print and goes for $70. If you can even find it. This was Robo Rally, the Wizards of the Coast version, with Armed and Dangerous, Crash and Burn, Radioactive and about thirty extra Gundam robot minis I'd bought in Japan. These weren't just any versions, these were my custom-made, with my own-written house rules, score lists, you name it. They were my treasures. My preciouses.

I'm not a religious person. Well, maybe I am, but I'm not Christian. I maybe believe in some sort of whatever-entity that in some way watches me. That in some way approves or disapproves of how I lead my life. Sometimes I feel that bad stuff happening might be "well, it's a punishment because I didn't do my homework" sort of reason. Call it conscience, call it karma, call it God, or whatever. Something, at least. Something that sometimes pushes me to do an effort because I feel that, in some way or another, I'll be rewarded if I do what I "should". And I hadn't. At the time I was a lazy bum in many sort of ways.

Oh, did I pray in my heart that day. I had phoned the guy who was responsible for the place, asked if they'd taken away the games, placed them somewhere else, maybe? Mistaken them for games the garten owned? No, the cleaning lady might have seen them. I'll check on her, he said. Oh, how I prayed.

I remember I was biking towards town in an anxious state, thinking "I can only hope know… only hope. Pleeeease let them find them." At the time I didn't work out much. I still dont, but I get the occasional rush now and then. Going for a run or working out, have sometimes felt like a tribute to that whatever conscience or karma och whatever. Exerting myself, has at times been like… a sort of prayer really. Sounds crazy, I know, but there you have it. I said to myself… if those games are ever found, I'll work out each other day for one month… no two… no, three! At least three! And no candy! Going up early! Each day! Each fecking day! I promise!

And then I figured "Whatever entity/god is watching me, what kind of bartering is that? Entity kicks me in the balls and only then do I… er… change lifestyle? Hell no, I'll do the work-out even if the games aren't found. I've lived bad-life for a time not getting ahold of myself, not doing what I should. From now on, I'm gonna work out every two days, wake up early, do my stuff. Even if the games aren't found!".

That exact moment, and I kid you not, that exact moment, the guy phoned me. "I found a sort of bag here… two boxes, one says… Robo… rally? Is that it?". Yes yes, that's it, where was it?

"In the dustbin outside the place. You're pretty lucky I got there in time, boy. Cleaning lady must've put them there, and the garbage truck is just around the corner."

I was on the verge of going to church, only I didn't know what church to go to.

The next three months, I was running. Each other day. And I was blissful.

Edit: Changed from "awakening" to "experience". Because it wasn't really an awakening.
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Carter Maxwell
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Interesting. Who would have thought God would be so supportive of your covetousness of worldly goods?
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Paul Brooks
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
ok, but please don't go to church. It only encourages them. I am glad you found your games though.
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Colin Jones
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
My advice is to buy a good book that combines the merits of natural selection, coincidence and luck.
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Jérôme
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Quite a materialistic view upon religion.
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Simon Lundström
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Pobblepop wrote:
My advice is to buy a good book that combines the merits of natural selection, coincidence and luck.

Yep. Sort of the rule of big numbers – coincidences like this are bound to happen at least once or twice in people's lives, due to the sheer number of occasions where weird stuff CAN happen.

Still, it was rather freaky. I especially remember that timing of my thought and the cell phone ringing.
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Eric Jome
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Tsaar wrote:
Quite a materialistic view upon religion.


One of the most interesting shifts in the human perspective over the course of history is the change from the material nature of religious experience to the transcendental.

Almost all pre-monotheistic peoples (and some early monotheistic religions) believed that the best god(s) were the ones who did real things for you in the real world. The entire purpose of prayer and sacrifice was to bring the power of the gods to bear on your immediate needs and concerns. "Help me find food today, help my family stay healthy, keep me safe on this journey..." these are the essence of the vast majority of human experience with religion and faith.

A god who demands things from you and promises nothing tangible in return is one that peoples of the past would have found pretty silly.
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Brad
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
This reminds me of a joke--I can't remember the setup so I'll just make it mirror your situation.

Zimeon: God, please please please help me find my board games. If you do this I will go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life!

**Ring, ring**

Caller: Zimeon, I have your board games, you can come pick them up today.

Zimeon: Thank you! (Hangs up)

Zimeon: Never mind, God, I found them.
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
cosine wrote:
A god who demands things from you and promises nothing tangible in return is one that people's of the past would have found pretty silly.


Not just peoples of the past!
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Adrian Hague
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Ah but, if playing games is bad for you, then maybe it was the work of devil, who knows?

devil may have been reinforcing your 'materialism' by letting you 'find' your games again, re-igniting your worshiping of The Almighty Dungeonquest and turning you away from the one true religion, which we all know to be goo
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Simon Lundström
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
AdrianPHague wrote:
the one true religion, which we all know to be goo

THE TALISMANGLER!?

HEAVEN SAVE US!!

DarkoBeta wrote:
Zimeon: Never mind, God, I found them.

Ha ha ha ha. Great one, that.

Note, the "religious experience" wasn't really the tale I wanted to tell to begin with… during writing I thought that part was a fun point, which is why the title of the thread came as such… but now, re-reading it, I believe I put a little too much emphasis on it. The point was that I was THAT close of losing two om my most treasured board games but in the last minute could retrieve them. And I do remember my lot of (heathen?) prayers with the above written promises. And I do remember me thinking "OK, OK, I'm sorry I ever thought that maybe you're just in my head, OK, OK!"

Frankly, I don't care if whatever had me retrieve my games was a mere coincidence. Whatever it was I'm thankful.
 
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Adrian Hague
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Zimeon wrote:
Frankly, I don't care if whatever had me retrieve my games was a mere coincidence. Whatever it was I'm thankful.


Hear, Hear!

Equal rights for all deities, regardless of moral persuasion!
 
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Leland Pike
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
dysjunct wrote:
cosine wrote:
A god who demands things from you and promises nothing tangible in return is one that people's of the past would have found pretty silly.


Not just peoples of the past!


Yeah, that must be because all those intangible things are so meaningless.

Stuff like truth, love, justice, freedom, equality, hope, joy...

Who needs any of that nonsense?
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Eric Jome
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
lelandpike wrote:

Yeah, that must be because all those intangible things are so meaningless.


Not meaningless, just awfully easy to deliver on... or appear to have delivered on. If you ask a god for help with finding your keys and you find them, that's a payoff you won't soon forget. If you ask your god for unconditional love, you get it just by believing you get it - there's no way to validate your worship had results.

I suppose immediate gratification as long as you can convince yourself it's true is a pretty sweet deal though.
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John Paul Sodusta
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Nautilus wrote:
ok, but please don't go to church. It only encourages them.


Why such animosity?
 
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Simon Lundström
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
No need for animosity! All are alike, especially now, when the christian microbadge is as big as the others!
 
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Philip Thomas
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Animosity has been a feature where religion is concerned for ages past...

Anyway, because of this experience you started to exercise? Bad mistake. You're wasting precious boardgaming time.

Remember, running is dangerous. Many people have danger behind them when they run.
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John Paul Sodusta
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Zimeon wrote:
No need for animosity! All are alike, especially now, when the christian microbadge is as big as the others!


That was quite humorous.
 
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John Paul Sodusta
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
Philip Thomas wrote:
Animosity has been a feature where religion is concerned for ages past...

Anyway, because of this experience you started to exercise? Bad mistake. You're wasting precious boardgaming time.

Remember, running is dangerous. Many people have danger behind them when they run.


You lost me there man.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
John Paul, sorry for the confusion, I switched the person I was addressing from you to the original poster without telling anyone (read the original post for him starting to excercise).

EB White, animosity betwen people of differing religous reviews long predates President Bush. In this particular case (atheists complaining about religous believers) a better person to blame would be Richard Dawkins, and even he started from somewhere.
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Greg Jones
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
I think you guys who are accusing him of being materialistic are giving him a hard time. At first he promised to work out, etc. if he got his games back. Then he changed his mind and promised to do it even if he didn't get the games back. That's where he let go of the materialism.

And well, I don't like to think of game-playing as materialistic. You play for the experience. To do so requires only a small amount of material posessions. Also, part of the value of his games to him was that he had personally painted the minis. That's not materialism. It's sentimentalism. If it was materialism, he would have been happy enough to find somewhere to buy a different set of minis with a better paint job than his own. The loss would only be equal to the amount of money it would cost to buy that new set. No, the minis he had painted himself were irreplaceable.
 
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John Paul Sodusta
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
E.B. White,

That is an entirely different discussion. He certainly does not make it easy for others to have open and soft hearts for Christians.
 
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John Paul Sodusta
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Re: Religious awakening from board games?
mr_english wrote:
It's *A* reason, which is the only point.


/shrug

Just seems inflammatory is all. Not really healthy for a good discussion.
 
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Paul Brooks
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Barkam wrote:
Just seems inflammatory is all.

Inflammatory? It amazes me how easily upset religious people can be. Hundreds of years of burning people at the stake and telling people that they will rot in hell for their atheist beliefs and then we are told that weare inflammatory? Extraordinary. surprise

Obviously the original poster knows that his co-incidence of timing is nothing more than exactly that. He hoped and hoped that he would find his lost games and then he found them. I'm really pleased for him but it's not exactly one destined for sainthood.
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John Paul Sodusta
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Nautilus wrote:
Barkam wrote:
Just seems inflammatory is all.

Inflammatory? It amazes me how easily upset religious people can be. Hundreds of years of burning people at the stake and telling people that they will rot in hell for their atheist beliefs and then we are told that weare inflammatory? Extraordinary. surprise


Well. First of all who said I was upset? You conveniently snipped the other sentence that goes with that quote that you decide to focus your discussion in. I merely said that those kinds of remarks just get people in defensive positions. The same argument goes for non-Christians.

I never said that you are inflammatory.

I never said that you are going to burn in hell for your beliefs. That is not my place. That is between you and God. I am curious as to why there is such animosity coming from you. I asked this question from you and didn't respond from it. I am really curious as to why you sound like there is some anger there. Maybe it is just language barrier and posting on a forum. However, you decided to jump on an incomplete thought of mine.

Are only those that are religious are capable of doing evil such as "hundreds of years of burning people at the stake"? No atheist has ever done anyone wrong?

Quote:
Obviously the original poster knows that his co-incidence of timing is nothing more than exactly that. He hoped and hoped that he would find his lost games and then he found them.


Well it's nice for you to assume what he knows.

Quote:
I'm really pleased for him but it's not exactly one destined for sainthood.


I am happy for him as well.
 
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