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Good CRI article on ethics within the worlds of modern board games

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  • Good CRI article on ethics within the worlds of modern board games

    https://www.equip.org/article/the-et...nd-card-games/

    I don't know how many other people are interested in this sort of thing, but I'm really into modern board/card games. Some Christians have asked about the ethics of performing "actions" that might be sinful if done in the real world within these games (one example might be playing a Witch card in Dominion that essentially places a "spell" on one's opponent, but all it actually does is forces them to draw two cards). This article does a good job of navigating the waters between what is and isn't acceptable for Christians, as there is grey area. It's not unique to modern board games, of course. The goal of Monopoly is trying to drive other people into bankruptcy, which isn't something Christians should be doing, but nobody would think that Monopoly is sinful, for instance. One distinction I appreciated from the article was differentiating between a World War II simulation game where one person plays Germany (acceptable) and a nonexistent game where somebody roleplays as a concentration camp guard (unacceptable) based on "distance" from the immoral actions in mind.

    The article actually has a very positive view of these sorts of games (which I obviously do too). They provide opportunities for creative thinking and are a good, clean social activity that usually don't take too long.

    (I read this article awhile back, but Nick's blog post about video games and violence got me thinking about it tangentially.)
    Last edited by KingsGambit; 09-23-2019, 06:29 PM.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    https://www.equip.org/article/the-et...nd-card-games/

    I don't know how many other people are interested in this sort of thing, but I'm really into modern board/card games. Some Christians have asked about the ethics of performing "actions" that might be sinful if done in the real world within these games (one example might be playing a Witch card in Dominion that essentially places a "spell" on one's opponent, but all it actually does is forces them to draw two cards). This article does a good job of navigating the waters between what is and isn't acceptable for Christians, as there is grey area. It's not unique to modern board games, of course. The goal of Monopoly is trying to drive other people into bankruptcy, which isn't something Christians should be doing, but nobody would think that Monopoly is sinful, for instance. One distinction I appreciated from the article was differentiating between a World War II simulation game where one person plays Germany (acceptable) and a nonexistent game where somebody roleplays as a concentration camp guard (unacceptable) based on "distance" from the immoral actions in mind.

    The article actually has a very positive view of these sorts of games (which I obviously do too). They provide opportunities for creative thinking and are a good, clean social activity that usually don't take too long.

    (I read this article awhile back, but Nick's blog post about video games and violence got me thinking about it tangentially.)
    As a board gamer myself, this is something I've thought some about, so I'm interested. I'll give the article a read, thanks.
    I DENOUNCE DONALD J. TRUMP AND ALL HIS IMMORAL ACTS.

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    • #3
      Couldn't read it - way too faint for me - is that some sort of paywall?


      Probably just as well - my reading list is already ridiculously long...

      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

      My Personal Blog

      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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      • #4
        I don't think it's paywalled, unless I'm just special.

        (No, not special in that way...)
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
          I don't think it's paywalled, unless I'm just special.

          (No, not special in that way...)

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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          • #6
            For some reason I got the impression that you didn't think highly of video games. Was that impression wrong?

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            • #7
              Um, KG or me?

              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

              My Personal Blog

              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                Um, KG or me?
                Sorry, KG. You stealth posted in front of my reply.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                  Sorry, KG. You stealth posted in front of my reply.
                  Just keeping up my ninjitsu practice.

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

                  My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                    For some reason I got the impression that you didn't think highly of video games. Was that impression wrong?
                    Nope. But this is about board games (like of the tabletop variety), not video games. And video game culture is more my concern than the games themselves (apart from issues of gratuitous violence).

                    Edit to clarify: I was reminded from Nick's post because many Christians seem to think that directly simulating graphic violence in video games is okay (actually aiming at a character/figure and shooting). Meanwhile, this article is about people like me who struggle with whether it's okay to do something indirectly simulating an immoral action in the theme of a board game. Not the same thing at all.
                    Last edited by KingsGambit; 09-25-2019, 06:16 PM.
                    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                      Nope. But this is about board games (like of the tabletop variety), not video games. And video game culture is more my concern than the games themselves (apart from issues of gratuitous violence).

                      Edit to clarify: I was reminded from Nick's post because many Christians seem to think that directly simulating graphic violence in video games is okay (actually aiming at a character/figure and shooting). Meanwhile, this article is about people like me who struggle with whether it's okay to do something indirectly simulating an immoral action in the theme of a board game. Not the same thing at all.
                      I only ate the dots and the blue ghosts, honest!

                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                      My Personal Blog

                      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                        Nope. But this is about board games (like of the tabletop variety), not video games. And video game culture is more my concern than the games themselves (apart from issues of gratuitous violence).

                        Edit to clarify: I was reminded from Nick's post because many Christians seem to think that directly simulating graphic violence in video games is okay (actually aiming at a character/figure and shooting). Meanwhile, this article is about people like me who struggle with whether it's okay to do something indirectly simulating an immoral action in the theme of a board game. Not the same thing at all.
                        Hmm. I understood that this thread was about board games and not video games, but quite a few board games have made the leap to video games, not limited to games like D&D, Civilization, Warhammer, and Magic the Gathering (not sure that last one is technically considered a board game or not). Pretty much any Turn-based strategy or Real-Time strategy game is a board game in video game format as far as I can tell.

                        I don't really "get" video game culture myself, but that seems like a bit of a side-issue, and a relatively recent development.

                        If you think this is off topic, let me know, and I'll drop it, but seeing your appreciation for board games got me wondering how that correlated with your view of video games, especially as I see the one as a bit of a descendant (in a sense) of the other.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                          Hmm. I understood that this thread was about board games and not video games, but quite a few board games have made the leap to video games, not limited to games like D&D, Civilization, Warhammer, and Magic the Gathering (not sure that last one is technically considered a board game or not). Pretty much any Turn-based strategy or Real-Time strategy game is a board game in video game format as far as I can tell.

                          I don't really "get" video game culture myself, but that seems like a bit of a side-issue, and a relatively recent development.

                          If you think this is off topic, let me know, and I'll drop it, but seeing your appreciation for board games got me wondering how that correlated with your view of video games, especially as I see the one as a bit of a descendant (in a sense) of the other.
                          I see them as different experiences, sort of like watching a movie vs. reading the book it was based on. As the article notes, there are social benefits to the actions of playing a board game. It's not timed so board game culture is very laid back, allowing for genuine social interaction, strategizing, and the like. My experiences with video games are that they're usually played alone (often for much longer amounts of time), or in my experience with group gaming back in high school when I sort of hung around that crowd, there's little social interaction because there's no time for people to take their eyes off their screen.

                          I've said it before but I freely admit to the double biases of having a brother who dropped out of college due to staying up all night playing video games and not going to class, and my wife's ex-husband doing nothing but playing video games all day and neglecting family duties.

                          It's certainly a reasonable question for you to ask.
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                            I see them as different experiences, sort of like watching a movie vs. reading the book it was based on. As the article notes, there are social benefits to the actions of playing a board game. It's not timed so board game culture is very laid back, allowing for genuine social interaction, strategizing, and the like. My experiences with video games are that they're usually played alone (often for much longer amounts of time), or in my experience with group gaming back in high school when I sort of hung around that crowd, there's little social interaction because there's no time for people to take their eyes off their screen.

                            I've said it before but I freely admit to the double biases of having a brother who dropped out of college due to staying up all night playing video games and not going to class, and my wife's ex-husband doing nothing but playing video games all day and neglecting family duties.

                            It's certainly a reasonable question for you to ask.
                            I think you'd be surprised at how closely a number of video games mirror their table top counterparts, and also include a multiplayer component. I don't play many TBS/RTS myself, but I know that there are a few that seem very table-top oriented. And on a much more rudimentary level, playing chess against an opponent in person or that same person over the internet doesn't seem to me to be that big of a difference.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                              I think you'd be surprised at how closely a number of video games mirror their table top counterparts, and also include a multiplayer component. I don't play many TBS/RTS myself, but I know that there are a few that seem very table-top oriented. And on a much more rudimentary level, playing chess against an opponent in person or that same person over the internet doesn't seem to me to be that big of a difference.
                              That is interesting but makes sense given how loosely connected to gameplay the themes of most tabletops are. (I was able to immediately pick up the strategy of the Battlestar Galactica tabletop adaptation even having never seen the show, for instance.) They can be creative with what they adapt in.
                              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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