We have finished another year, and by now we can say that it is a tradition to post an index of the past year’s articles on the last day. In December of 2020 we published 2020 at the Christian Gamers Guild Reviewed; the previous year it was 2019 at the Christian Gamers Guild Reviewed, and before that Thirteen Months in Review covering a bit more than all of 2018, and Overview of the Articles on the New Christian Gamers Guild Website covering 2016 and most of 2017. So for anyone who missed something or wants to find something they remember, we’ll try it again for this past year.
Again January opened with a new Faith in Play article, and we got a full year from the series:
- #38: Places of Worship January 5, 2021, looking at the factors which dictate what kinds of buildings are used for religious purposes.
- #39: Of Aliens and Elves February 2, 2021 addresses the issue of how the plan of salvation might apply to intelligent non-humans.
- #40: Harry Potter Series Follow-up March 2, 2021 recovers a lost web log post from when the last Harry Potter book was published.
- #41: Faith April 6, 2021, looks at what it is and why you would still need it in a world in which God’s existence was proven absolutely.
- #42: Lucifer May 4, 2021, draws a lesson about life from the controversial television show.
- #43: Slavery June 1, 2021, uses a modern example in contrast with ancient history to discuss the morality of the practice.
- #44: An Alignment Grid July 6, 2021 adds an appendix to the alignment series, providing examples of each of the nine alignment combinations.
- #45: Special August 3, 2021, reminds us that every person is special, including the incidental characters in our games and stories.
- #46: Undo September 7, 2021, suggests that in life we can get a “do-over”, having our mistakes erased.
- #47: Magic In the Bible October 5, 2021 considers the book of that title and its thesis concerning God’s prophets casting spells.
- #48: Advent November 2, 2021 considers the peculiarity of a holiday that looks back at looking forward, and how that applies to us now.
- #49: Oh, Christmas December 7, 2021, shows how not joyful that first Christmas was for so many people, as the first installment of the price paid for salvation.
Two weeks behind that the RPG-ology series also continued:
- #38: Polyglot January 19, 2021 explores the problems of communicating in a world of multiple languages.
- #39: My North Wall February 16, 2021 reprints the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same name, finding game world ideas in ordinary objects.
- #40: Aptrusis March 16, 2021 reprints the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same name, about solving puzzles in games.
- #41: Over My Shoulder April 20, 2021 reprints the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same name, looking back and talking about looking forward.
- #42: Who? May 18, 2021 reprints the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same name, about what players don’t know about their characters.
- #43: Muscle Memory June 15, 2021 discusses actions we do without thinking because our bodies know what to do.
- #44: Left Hand July 20, 2021 looks at mental process with a space relations question, reproducing the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same title.
- #45: Learning August 17, 2021 reproduces the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same title looking at reading and television as sources of continuing education.
- #46: Deceased September 14, 2021 reproduces the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same title which talks about funerals and mourning.
- #47: Left or Right? October 19, 2021 reproduces the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same title which presents an illusionist technique for scenario design.
- #48: Embraces November 16, 2021 republishes the Game Ideas Unlimited article discussing bringing romance into our games.
- #49: Stitches December 21, 2021 reproduces the Game Ideas Unlimited article of the same title which talks about getting settings right.
The decision to republish articles from the Game Ideas Unlimited series had one problem, which was that the first article ought to be preserved but was not different enough from the several articles introducing various series here, so to resolve this it was preserved on the mark Joseph “young” web log as #384: Game Ideas Unlimited Introduction.
Our website editorial staff had something of a rough year, and a lot of good articles sat in inboxes awaiting formatting and publication. However, we still had some excellent material from two reliable contributors. Michael Garcia gave us a draft article in January, but it was a few months before we managed to deliver its final form as Considering Monotheism for a Game Setting, on May 25th. Then he wrapped up the next two months. On June 29th he gave us Customizing Player Characters, ideas for making characters unique when options are limited, written for original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons but easily adapted to other games. Then he pulled back the curtain on his many wonderful accounts of in-game adventures with Ten Tips for Turning your Session Notes into Short Stories, on July 27th. He gave us another article early in the year, a major explication of Events Surrounding the Fall of Jerusalem in 1187, background for one of his historical game settings, which finally got published on November 23rd, and wrapped up the year with By the Numbers: Design Process for a Short Adventure on December 14th, in which he walks through the steps he took in creating a one-shot for an online game.
Another that sat in the inbox for quite a while waiting for final edits was the next in the series from Belgian grade school religion teacher Nikolaj Bourguignon, with Roll for Teaching 3: Gimmicks, Whistles, and Bells, on June 8th, talking about holding interest through props and participatory tricks. This was followed by Roll for Teaching 4: Short, Quick and Easy, which was supposed to be out with the end of the school year but didn’t make it to the site until the end of last month, November 30th, with a few things he learned from experience running games for grade school kids.
We expect to follow these authors and others into the new year. In fact, already we have Faith and Gaming and RPG-ology articles standing by.
—M. J. Young
Chaplain, Christian Gamers Guild