Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Harry Potter TCG

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Just set up a new Yahoo! Group. I am always trying to network gamers, I just like gamers a lot. I realize that Harry Potter is a controversial subject for many Christians, so I offer you this - Connie Neal has some excellent insights on the subject. She presents both sides of the debate in "What's A Christian to do With Harry Potter".

Personally I am a big fan of fantasy. We have been running Dungeons and Dragons games for over 2 years now. I am convinced that we need to foster intellect, emotion and imagination as the threefold ways we encounter God's presence. One of my favourite Celtic theologians is Noel Dermott O'Donaghue who has a great discussion of the role of the 'imaginal' in our lives of faith in The Mountain Behind the Mountain.

I am also very keen on seeing kids foster their minds, hearts and imaginations as well. Harry Potter is amazing for that. I love the classic struggle of good versus evil. The emotional connection with the characters struggling to make the right choices in life. The way Harry Potter has encouraged a generation to read. What's not to love!

Now the Harry Potter Trading Card Game isn't made anymore - too bad (they did publish 5 sets of cards though). It is amazing how my 5 year old seems to get it - it helps that she's a Harry Potter fan. The game is great at teaching counting, remembering and strategy. In it you play lesson cards which let you cast spells and release animals. There are also lots of fun add on cards (we use some of these but without them the game is much simpler). The format is like a wizards duel, each of you has 30 cards (including at least one character from the books) and the first one to use up all their cards looses. It is simple and a lot of fun. Elyssa likes to be Hermione and I like to use lots of potions. The game doesn't capture the moral issues that the book handles - but hey you can't have everything.

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