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 12: 5 Spiritual Lessons from Push Your Luck Games

    August 21st, 2022  |  1 hr 7 mins
    parable, push your luck, quran

    What are Push Your Luck games, and what might we spiritually gain from them? Daniel and Kevin discuss 5 ideas (+ a bonus), along with risk-taking in general. NOW WITH CHAPTER MARKERS!

  • Episode 11: Can Board Games Save the World? With Dave Bindewald

    August 7th, 2022  |  1 hr 2 mins
    creation, curiosity, evil, interview, play, work

    We interview Dave Bindewald, founder of the Center for Play and Exploration, on the question of whether board games can save the world – or at least help cultivate our "curiosity, divergent thinking, and freedom to fail." Games help us become better thinkers and problem solvers, colleagues, and participants in God's creative acts of creation.

  • Episode 10: The Game of Life

    July 24th, 2022  |  1 hr 3 mins
    bernard suits, game theory, grace, grasshopper

    We wrap up our discussion of Bernard Suits' seminal book The Grasshopper. What are the implications of approaching human life as a game? We unpack some of Suits' terms and ideas regarding utopia as a place where we only play games, and the threat that utopia is always under.

  • Episode 9: Is Winning the Point?

    July 10th, 2022  |  57 mins 36 secs
    bernard suits, game theory, grace, grasshopper

    Daniel and Kevin tackle the obvious question: is wining the point of playing games? How does a desire to win relate to the desire to have an enjoyable gaming experience, and what spiritual realities are present when we strive to be humble and gracious at a gaming table where the object is to win the game?

  • Episode 8: Accessibility, Community, and Neurodiversity, with Chelsey Hillyer

    June 26th, 2022  |  1 hr 12 mins
    a gentle rain, azul, charterstone, gametek, jojo rabbit, life is beautiful, neurodiversity, no thanks!, pandemic

    Rev. Chelsey Hillyer joins us to chat about creating accessibility around board games so everyone is welcome to be themselves, find satisfaction with their game play, and empowered to have fun. We discuss ADHD, games as protest, and how play can create deep presence and community.

  • Episode 7: Book Club! The Grasshopper ch. 3 and Defining Games

    June 12th, 2022  |  55 mins 54 secs
    bernard suits, book club, delight, game theory, obstsacles, quran

    What is a game, and why might it matter? Suits says that games are "the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles,"
    and we mull over this, along with wondering if there is any basis for thinking God delights in games too.

  • Episode 6: Board Games that Teach

    May 29th, 2022  |  1 hr 4 mins
    board games, education, morality, teaching

    What can, and should, board teach us? We explore didactic board games that have a message, and what sort of indirect messages board games can also give us.

  • Episode 5: Board Games and Islam

    May 15th, 2022  |  1 hr 1 min
    board games, dice, gambling, islam, religion, saudi arabia, spirituality

    Our very first guest! Ali Karar (@karar2k) joins us to discuss hobby board gaming as a Muslim in Saudi Arabia. We discuss board games as a catalyst for socializing, religious limits to board games, and the role of board games in families. Come learn with us.

  • Episode 4: Book Club! The Grasshopper by Bernard Suits ch. 1

    May 1st, 2022  |  52 mins 49 secs
    bernard suits, game theory, grasshopper, sabbath

    Are $5K board gaming tables worth it? And what do we make of Bernard Suits' book The Grasshopper ch. 1, where the Grasshopper gladly dies in the winter for having played too many games?

  • Episode 3: Is Play Essential to the Human Experience?

    April 17th, 2022  |  55 mins
    board games, community, play, religion, spirituality

    After naming some recently revisited games, Daniel discusses some lessons learned at a recent conference on play. Is play essential to the human experience? The discussion moves into play as a means of grace.

  • Episode 2: Six reasons board games are spiritual

    April 3rd, 2022  |  58 mins 13 secs
    board games, community, religion, spirituality

    Daniel & Kevin have … a list show! What are our top 3 ways that board games can be spiritual and authentically human? The lists are different, but not completely, and then there's a bonus round.

  • Episode 1: Initial Thoughts

    March 10th, 2022  |  46 mins 10 secs
    board games, religion, theology

    Daniel recommends books on board games and human identity, does his Bene Gesserit voice, and points to the role of divination in the Bible. Kevin makes fun of John Wesley, professes his love for legacy games. They conspire to make lots of money off of Biblical board games that are just drawing lots and casting dice.