Episode 39

The 7 Deadly Sins of Board Gaming


September 24th, 2023

1 hr 1 min 11 secs

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About this Episode

Defining sin

What is sin in the Christian tradition?

What do we mean by “7 Deadly Sins”? 7 deadly sins: pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth. Developed in the 300s with the Desert Fathers, especially Evagrius Ponticus. The 7 capital virtues were chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. In Dante’s Inferno there are 8 categories of sin: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, Treachery.

The Sins of Board Gaming

1 - It’s All About Winning (Pride and Wrath)

  • Winning as ontological end and not functional end (trading seriousness for delight)
  • Fraud and treachery were the worst sins in Dante’s mind
  • For games to work, you have to try to win, but winning is no more the point of games than framing is the point of a house or the engine is the point of a car

2 - It’s All About Owning (Greed and Envy)

  • Hyper consumption of games - materialism
  • How does this game fit in my collection?
  • This is not a cheap hobby (no hobby is cheap, in the end), so what fits in your budget and priorities?
  • I love the idea of a game swap or trade or market so you get some value out of them and they don’t clutter up your life (Marie Kondo)
  • Seeing ourselves first and foremost as consuming beings can rob us of delight and gratitude over what is before us. World in a cup of tea.

3 - It’s All About You Being Right (Pride)

  • Arrogance about different games (trading exclusion for inclusion) - tribalism. My games are better than your games. My people are better than your people. My god is better than your god.
  • Assumption that everyone should play games

4 - It’s All About You Being in Control (Pride)

  • Alpha player (trading control for agency)

5 - It’s All About You (Pride)

  • Putting the games over people - Buddhist concept of valuing people over principles
  • Flexing your games or knowledge
  • Putting principles over people - Buddhist teaching, Jesus tooTurning play into work

6 - People Not Taking Gaming Seriously (Sloth)

  • Bringing the wrong attitude to the table
  • Not respecting other’s property
  • Cheetos
  • Agreeing to play a game but not really focus on it

7 - Turning Play into Work?

  • The nature of sin is that it takes something and good and twists it
  • There’s more to life than games
  • Anything can become your god

Next Episode - Liz Davidson - Value of Solo Gaming


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