Play Saves the World

The meaning of play for human flourishing

About the show

Daniel and Kevin explore the meaning of play for human flourishing – what it is, what it means, and how people create and maintain playful lives. We explore books, people, places, and ideas committed to engendering play in the midst of busy, working lives.

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  • Episode 103: Wired for Play

    July 14th, 2024  |  58 mins 36 secs

    In this episode, Daniel and Kevin discuss the concept of being wired for play and how play is an essential and universal part of the human experience. They explore the historical and cultural significance of play, from ancient games like the royal game of Ur to modern-day fashion and coding. They also touch on the playful nature of animals and the role of play in human creativity and cultural achievements. Play is a universal and essential part of the human experience. It drives creativity, culture, and human development. Play is not just for children, but for people of all ages. It is a human right and denying it to others is cruel. Bringing elements of play into other areas of life, such as work and problem-solving, can lead to increased creativity, team building, and enjoyment. Games can also be used to crowdsource solutions to complex problems.

  • Episode 102: What is Play?

    June 30th, 2024  |  1 hr 3 mins

    In this episode we explore the concept of play and its distinction from work. We discuss how play is fundamentally non-instrumental, meaning it is not a means to an end but something valuable in and of itself. Play can generate its own purpose and goals, and while those things may seem inconsequential to others they are, in reality, deeply meaningful.

  • Episode 101: What Is Work?

    June 16th, 2024  |  1 hr 37 secs
    definition, work

    To answer what is play we have to do something a bit odd. We have to ask, what is work? Because by defining work we will have a better sense of what play is, and what its role can be.

  • Episode 55: Live from the Geekway Gaming Convention!

    May 26th, 2024  |  18 mins 1 sec

    Daniel and Kevin attended Geekway to the West in St. Charles, Missouri, and bring you this special episode filmed live with their 3,500 best friends. Some special guests join us, and then we share some favorite convention moments and games, along with some special announcements.

  • Episode 54: Sam Macdonald on Game Design and Faith

    May 5th, 2024  |  1 hr 5 mins

    Sam Macdonald of Garphill Games discusses his religious journey and board game philosophy. Sam explores the connections between board game design and religious faith, especially in the areas of community, self-expression, rules, fun, and the joy of discovery. We also take a stab at potential games based on Biblical stories.

  • Episode 53: The Spirit of Play

    April 21st, 2024  |  57 mins 3 secs
    book club

    The Spirit of God works through play and games to bring about freedom. The conversation touches on the article 'Play and Freedom, Patterns of Life and the Spirit' by Simeon Zahl. It highlights the need to understand the freedom that comes with the Spirit and the danger of idolizing past patterns of faith.

  • Episode 52: Stages in Board Game Collecting

    April 7th, 2024  |  58 mins 59 secs
    game collecting, game theory, stages of faith

    We explore the concept of seasons in the context of board gaming and life, our evolving gaming preferences, and the stages of faith. We also draw parallels between stages of faith and stages of gaming, reflecting on the journey from zealousness to a holistic approach, and conclude with a discussion on the continued enjoyment of games and the avoidance of jadedness.

  • Episode 51: Life Lessons from a Chinese Murder Mystery RPG (A/V Club)

    March 24th, 2024  |  56 mins 4 secs
    a/v club, peoplemakegames, roleplaying, violence

    In this episode of Board Game Faith, we discuss the topic of roleplay 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.

  • Episode 50: Why Pastors Need to Play, with Casey Sigmon

    March 10th, 2024  |  59 mins 47 secs
    clergy, interview, preaching

    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. The Pause/Play Center for Clergy Renewal 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.

  • Episode 49: Book Club: 4,000 Weeks

    February 25th, 2024  |  1 hr 2 mins
    book club, happiness, mortality

    Oliver Burkeman's 4,000 Weeks argues that human flourishing is rooted in our relationship to time. True happiness is found not in completing tasks but living with incompletion, a sense of our mortality, and a healthy place for obsessions, hobbies, and … play.

  • Episode 48: Death in Gaming

    February 11th, 2024  |  58 mins 3 secs
    game theory, legacy games

    This episode explores how death is represented in games – through abstraction, themes, stories, characters, and legacy games. As humans we grieve the loss of particular, detailed humans and (and some animals), and we mourn characters in games that are particular or we have seen them grow and develop with time. We name some games that explore this theme and think through how memory, death, and grief can function in games and human experience.

  • Episode 47: A/V Club: Roleplaying the End of the World

    January 25th, 2024  |  56 mins 16 secs
    a/v club

    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.