Weekend Reading 11


Our Weekend Reading series (brought to you by our Patreon backers) continues with a curated selection of fascinating articles—and a few other things—from around the Internet.

Peter

There’s a cool article on the origins of the Paladin class in D&D over on Geek and Sundry.

Throughout the novel, Carlsen performed actions in the name of Law and Good. They are the driving forces behind everything the man does. So, when Gygax was creating D&D he drew inspiration from Carlsen’s character and combined it with other legendary figures who fought against evil in a medieval setting, such as King Arthur and real-life Palatine Guards.

With the con season starting (and just in general) I think this interview with Will Willimon is timely. The audio isn’t the greatest and it’s a year old, but listen to it anyway.

Shane Raynor of Ministy Matters recently interviewed me about my book, Fear of the Other. We spoke together about welcoming the stranger and this call that we receive from Jesus, to love others as he has loved us. I hope you enjoy!

And finally just for sheer silliness value: Man Comes to Haunting Realization that he is NPC.

Darian Rumfield, a 25-year old man living in New York City, realized today that he is, at best, the side-character of someone else’s adventure as opposed to the hero of his own, according to close sources.

Jenny

As I am writing this, I have literally just finished listening to a lecture from Dr. Chris Barrigar, an Anglican priest and doctor of philosophy. He was giving a talk titled “God, Materialism, & Ultimate Meaning,” and I was absolutely blown away by the way he was able to explain how meaning comes from God, and the randomness of creation, and the relationship between atheism and split-brain studies. He explains a lot more in his book Freedom All The Way Up: God and the Meaning of Life in a Scientific Age, which I greatly look forward to purchasing and reading through.

Freedom All The Way Up proposes four intertwined elements that make up the meaning of life — self-worth, purpose, identity, and hope. Materialism (atheism) claim the universe has no meaning, so there is no larger purposeful story into which we can place ourselves—we are left on our own to construct meaning for our lives. Barrigar argues, though, that the universe possess God’s meaning and purpose—to provide the space and conditions by which to bring about the existence of agape-capable beings in agape-loving relationships with God and with others. In effect, the universe is a great ‘freedom system’ designed by God with freedom built in ‘all the way up’, from the Big Bang to the emergence of big brains and free will.

Related to our recent episode with Sarah Lynne Bowman about LARP, apparently The Mind’s Eye Society (a White Wolf LARP group) is getting a universe reset. But this isn’t any small, local LARP. Your actions in this LARP can have consequences across the country.

Every four years, this organization with membership in the thousands, all agree to reset the chronicle and start anew. Allowing the organization to evolve and adapt based on the merits and flaws of the past chronicle. In addition to finally retiring those long-beloved experience hog characters. It has now grown to an organization that helps put both large-scale events (like this year’s Tampa by Night (in Florida) and smaller local games right in your backyard. But no matter which you attend, your characters exist in the larger world. An action you take in Chicago, could very well impact people in Texas—for better or worse.

And here, once again, are a bunch of board games that I am looking forward to, this time compiled on Board Game Geek. These are the games that will be previewed at GenCon this year. I am especially interested in #20 on the list, Photosynthesis.

Gen Con Indy 2017 takes place August 17-20, 2017, and as the largest and longest-running game convention in the U.S. – fifty years! – it’s no surprise that U.S. publishers will demo or sell many new games at the show in order to introduce fresh releases, build buzz, and (of course) make sales.

This Geeklist highlights titles that, to the best of my knowledge, will (1) debut at Gen Con 2017, (2) be released shortly before the convention, or (3) be available in demo/preview form.

 

Grant

Relevant to our own spiritual growth and adventure gaming: Cristina Craig’s C&PC article “Adventure Is Good. But Planting Roots Is Essential”.

Though there is merit to building fresh relationships in a new place, Weil’s quote also alludes to an inherent value in being rooted in relationships that remain constant throughout one’s life. Take stock of your relationships. Do you have people in your life–living near or far–who know you deeply and have seen you through seasons of your life? These people will serve as anchors for your life and you for theirs.

Eric Weiss over at Polygon points out a serious issue facing DC and its movies: Altruism. “The DCEU has a problem — everybody likes Wonder Woman”.

Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, and Suicide Squad all espouse a fundamentally selfish worldview — where heroism is a test of self, not a service performed for other people. Batman views it a somber responsibility, forcing himself into action because he believes he’s the only individual with the ability to stand against Superman. Meanwhile, the protagonists in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad are incarcerated supervillains, mercenaries who will save the world because they expect to be compensated and/or they’ll be punished if they don’t. Amanda Waller runs the show as a government operative (and ostensible good guy) who argues that coercion is more reliable than doomed altruism before murdering her fellow agents to cover her own tracks.

Finally—look, this isn’t a helpful article or anything. It’s just delightful. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid… as run through Google Translate.

Enjoy.

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