Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chapter and Verse, Revisited

A long time ago, I put together a big long post about LDS games. I expressed my frustration with a lot of the methods that people were using to put LDS games together. They were either basic trivia games, or repackaging an existing successful game model with an LDS face. From time to time, as I've encountered them, I've reviewed some of the LDS games I've encountered here in the pages of Mo'Boy.

And, of course, at one point, I decided to stop just grousing about other people's efforts and put forward my own, and I called it Chapter and Verse. It's a collectible card game based on the scriptures. Each card is a verse of scripture, and you're gathering verses together into chapters to make books. Many verses have a set of special rules, so that most cards allow you to change the play of the game just a little bit.

I hadn't really worked on it very much for the last year or so.

But lately, I've been "resurrecting" it, if you'll pardon the pun. My son and I printed and cut out three full sets of the basic cards (they're prototype, and don't have any fancy graphics), and made some decks just to get back into it and try it out. He kicked my trash, but I didn't mind. I was reminded of two things:

  1. First of all, just how much fun this game can be. I really had a blast playing with him. It was fun to work out the decks (even though neither of us really put a lot of effort into it), and it was fun to make combos in play with the cards. This one has this special ability, and so that makes it so I can play this one!
  2. Second, there are a few of the abilities that direct one's focus to the scripture on the card itself. Rather than just reading the effect or the topical icon, you have to actually read or interact with the verse on the card. Watching my 11 year old son do that, and engage eagerly with the scriptures like that was fun.

So, I got this idea for a deck, and I think I'll make it tonight before I go to sleep, then maybe we'll try it out tomorrow after school and after work... Hmmmm...

This first set was all made from verses throughout the four standard works. I'm thinking that, over the next months or so, I'll also make a set specific to the Book of Mormon.

Mark Hansen

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to Get Through Almost Anything

I had a really grueling day at work. It wasn't particularly difficult, nor stressful, but it was long, and filled with back-to-back phone appointments. I literally started at 1:00 this afternoon, and I got off the phone at 8:15 tonight. No dinner break. Only a couple of short potty breaks.

Fortunately, this kind of day is not typical. Not unheard of, but definitely not typical.

And I knew it was coming. For two days, now, I've seen the calendar, and I was praying that someone would cancel their appointment. They did yesterday. But not today. Straight through.

It reminded me of other times where I knew something would be difficult. For example, once when I was asked to watch our neighbor's kids. They're great kids, but they're very active and energetic. I knew it was going to be a long, long evening, filled with chasing and other futile attempts at keeping these kids entertained. It was exhausting. But I managed to keep my cool.


I knew that it was going to end.

Today, I knew that it was going to be a long and straining day. That night with the kids I knew would be difficult. But I also knew that the clock would march on, and that eventually, no matter how trying things became, it would reach an end. And I would have rest.

I should be able to extrapolate that into the larger arena of my life. Eventually, I know that these difficulties will end and I'll have some respite. I do know that there will be more difficulties, just like I know that there will be more dredging days at work, and other opportunities to give my friends and neighbors a break. But I know that it will pass, and I can get through it.

Mark Hansen

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Here's a personal musical thing..

Remember way back when my Mom gave me her bass?

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally have my music studio in a place where I can keep it out of its case and ready to play. And so, this morning, I did.

I had stopped by a music store and bought this thin little book on scale studies. I opened it up to the first page, C Major, and started playing. I played the various rhythms with the bow, I practiced playing pizzicato (with and without a slapped backbeat), and really had a good time.

I was surprised by a couple of things.

One, I was surprised how much of my old 'cello technique has stayed with me all these years. I haven't played a cello in well over 20 years. But the bowing and the fingering is not that foreign to me. I was able to produce a reasonable tone. Cool.

Two, I was surprised (but not that much) how often I thought about Mom as I was playing. I can remember her dragging her bass out and practicing her symphony parts. I can still remember this one solo she used to play. I don't know the name and I can't quote the notes here. But if I heard it again, I would know it in an instant. I don't know if I'll ever be able to play it. It's pretty tricky.

But anyway. Here's to Mom, a little after Mother's Day!

Mark Hansen


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