A Game for Training Missionaries About Indigenous Cultures

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The World of Playing cards is a terrific site with reproductions of historic cards from around the world. Most recently, they  shared Snapshots: A Missionary Card Game from the Church Mission Society circa 1910. It’s described as a basic set-building game of 48 cards with 12 sets from representing different cultural practices around the world. Each set has four cards, [Read More...]

Bicycle Playing Cards: The WW2 Escape Map Deck

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You’d be surprised just how short is the list of jobs for “expert on games: their history and play.” That I held one for a couple decades (until this past Fall) was a blessing, but it also means I still have plenty of stuff kicking around and nowhere to write about it. So, if I [Read More...]

The Rivals For Catan [App o' the Mornin']

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Klaus Teuber’s two-player version of Settlers of Catan went through a much needed streamlining and revision a couple years ago, creating a more balanced, user-friendly game. The Rivals for Catan (USM, iOS: $4) uses the themes and setting of Catan, such as quasi-medieval village life; gathering rock, wood, wool, gold, brick, and stone; and spending [Read More...]

How to Play Tarot: An Explanation with Sample Rules

Detail from Ducale Tarot

Note: This is the seventh in a series which looks at the real history of Tarot. I do not deny that Tarot has occult connections which are seriously problematic for Catholics. We will get to all of it in time, but for now please be aware that this series is not about fortune telling, but about cultural [Read More...]

The Fake History of the Occult Tarot

Antoine Court de Gebelin: The man who fabricated the tradition of the occult tarot

Note: This is the fifth of a series which looks at the real history of Tarot. I do not deny that Tarot has occult connections which are seriously problematic for Catholics. We will get to all of it in time, but for now please be aware that this series is not about fortune telling, but about cultural [Read More...]

The Bishop’s Dice Game [Tarot Series]

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Note: This is the fourth of a series which looks at the real history of Tarot. I do not deny that Tarot has occult connections which are seriously problematic for Catholics. We will get to all of it in time, but for now please be aware that this series is not about fortune telling, but about cultural [Read More...]

Reclaiming Tarot

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Note: This is the first of a series which looks at the real history of Tarot. I do not deny that Tarot has occult connections which are seriously problematic for Catholics. We will get to all of it in time, but for now please be aware that this series is not about fortune telling, but [Read More...]

Who is the Patron Saint of Gamers? UPDATED

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Short answer: there is none. However, searches for variations of that question brought a lot of people to my gaming blog, probably because the sidebar included a picture of St. Balthasar, the Patron Saint of Playing Card Manufacturers.  Since I lecture on Church history and have a sizable collection of hagiographic reference material, I thought [Read More...]


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