Won’t You Be My Neighbor

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

My wife and I went to our local art house theater today and watched the Mr. Rodgers documentary. It was brilliantly slow and exactly what someone would want in a Mr. Rodgers documentary. Really in our crazy messed up time where everyone seems to be trying to out yell everyone else it is just refreshing to watch a life lived deciding to be quite, a life dedicated to listening to others and to proclaim a message of love.

I think for me the biggest takeaway as someone who works with students and children is to remember to listen to them. To remember that their feelings are valid and important, which of course I knew, but sometimes when you look at things through adult eyes you forget about things from a kid’s perspective.

Anyway, it was a soft, beautiful movie and was something that I felt like I needed in the middle of this crazy summer.

Beastmaster is on Amazon Prime

Beastmaster is on Amazon Prime

So I am watching this movie again and I have a few thoughts:

  1. I watched this a whole bunch as a child. It must have been on HBO or something, but I know I watched it quite a few times
  2. Watching it again I can’t believe I am not warped even more than I am from watching this thing. It is pretty dark.
  3. In the first 3 minutes a witch like sucks the baby out of a woman by magic and makes it go into the belly of a cow, and people keep watching this movie.
  4. How cool would it be to have the little ferret people as friends!
  5. I have to admit I probably cried the first time I saw one of them die (come to think of it, I don’t remember half of the really weird stuff in this movie, but I do remember that the little ferret dying made an impression on me.)
  6. People living in a post Lord of the Rings movie trilogy world don’t understand what it was like for fantasy fans back in the day. Fantasy movies were dark, cheap, and weird.
  7. There are weird bat people in this movie who clean people of everything but their bones in this thing!

I guess that is all of my thoughts for now. If you haven’t seen Beastmaster it is probably best that you avoid it, but if you have seen it take the time to check it out again. You will enjoy remembering how delightfully terrible it really is.

Top 10 Family Board Games (with 5 bonus because we couldn’t all agree) 2016 Edition

Top 10 Family Board Games (with 5 bonus because we couldn’t all agree) 2016 Edition

I own around 70 board/card games. Some are simple card games that take about 5 minutes to play other are elaborate affairs with multiple boards, miniatures, and pieces that can take hours and hours to play. My family is finally old enough for all of us to play a board game and stay engaged. We play a whole bunch of games, and since my son has a YouTube channel we thought we would make a top 10 list of our favorites to play as a family. Well, we ended up with 15 because there were games that got pushed off the top 10 that we still wanted to play.

These are all games that would work well with a family of 4. In the review we talk about how certain games work better with different player counts and what type of family game that it is. So if you are interested in the full review watch the video below. For just a quick list of the games here you go:

  • 15: Kingsburg
  • 14: Dixit
  • 13: Clue
  • 12: Dominion
  • 11: Lords of Waterdeep
  • 10: Rise of Augustus
  • 9: Sushi Go
  • 8: Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
  • 7: Lanterns
  • 6: Splendor
  • 5: Camel Up
  • 4: Sheriff of Nottingham
  • 3: Ticket to Ride
  • 2: Carcassonne
  • 1: Qwirkle

Board Games for Youth Groups: Codenames

Board Games for Youth Groups: Codenames

I am a big board game fan and I love to use board games to break down barriers with my youth. One of of the games we play these days is a game called Codenames. 

Codenames is a team based clue giving game similar to games like “Catch Phrase” or “Taboo” where on person is trying to get his team to guess a word based on a clue. The difference with Codenames is that the word is one of 25 words printed on cards set out on a table and your clue can only be 1 word. As the clue-giver you try to give one word clues that can fit multiple cards while avoiding the words that are there for your opponents. 

Pros:

This is a great youth group game because it scales easily (as many people as can stand around a table can play) and students can drop in and out in the general chaos of a youth room without killing the game too much. Also it requires students to communicate with each other and try to put themselves in someone else’s shoes to figure out what they are thinking. 

Cons:

As with any of these clue giving games some students just aren’t great at thinking on their feet or coming up wth clues under pressure. In Codenames the clue giver doesn’t change that often so a student who is bad at it can get pretty frustrated (and can be frustrating to teammates which can lead to some negative behavior). Also, for a youth group setting it takes up space (you need a table for the cards) and there is a little bit of set up and clean up  when compared to games like Catch Phrase. 

Conclusion:

All in all I love Codenames and have found it to be a great game to play with students. I also made my own version of the game using Bible themes (you will still need a version of the game to play it, these are just some fun Bible clues).

That Dragon Cancer

That Dragon Cancer

There is a game that was just released called “That Dragon, Cancer.” It was developed by a man who lost his son to cancer after a long, long battle. The trailer (posted below) makes me want to run away and not think about it again, but at the same time that makes me feel small and weak and not just a little mean. It is sort of like the fact that since my kids are healthy I want to run away from even thinking a reality where that isn’t the case.

But I want to play this game. I want to walk through it and feel through it and maybe in some way understand just a little more about the stories that we all share in this world. I haven’t been following the story, and have only just found the game here at its release, so I’m not sure of their whole story, but they seem to be people who are trying to follow God in the middle of tragedy. Anyway, I want to go and give myself to this game for a while. I just don’t know if I have the courage to do it.