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03:06 PM on 07/29/2013
Nothing is out of bounds when I speak to my children and that includes death, but if a game helps someone to cope or get the ball rolling, then that is fine.
03:12 PM on 07/29/2013
Thanks. I have found talking about death to be fascinating when I talk about it with young children. And yeah getting the ball rolling is part of the purpose and the design of the game and also what we have been encouraging through our www.deathanddesign.com project.
03:31 PM on 07/29/2013
You're welcome JetH, I'm glad you saw my comment as positive, as it was meant too be. I guess I'm just a little suprised that people have a hard time speaking about death.

All the best JetH, and thanks for the link.
: )
10:19 AM on 08/01/2013
And of course a game would appeal more to children, than say a sit down talk about death and dying. I say this in a positive way.
02:50 PM on 07/29/2013
Good idea. Death is always hard but maybe this will make it easier. Hopefully it is targeted at the youth.
03:09 PM on 07/29/2013
Thanks. We are hearing a lot of people suggest that we focus on young people which I think is a great idea. When I was 20 and lost my dad and started the bereavement program I thought it was a very good age to be working with. Since then I think there are ways to support conversations with young people far younger (like with my daughter Hazel pictured above) and older. There is no right age and I always feel that as a 40 year old I am very grateful to have had the opportunities to discover and work to cope with death (and mortality) in relatively healthy ways at a young age.
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tunghaichuan
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
10:44 PM on 07/29/2013
I lost my dad to cancer when I was 26 and he was 52. I'm 48 now. I never got over it, and I don't think I ever will. It wasn't just the cancer, it was all the circumstance surrounding his death.
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DonnieReillyMMA
Astrotrain is the best Decepticon!
01:56 PM on 07/29/2013
LOL I've got a cheaper way for us to think about death *inhales JWH-018* Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
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An Thrope
Credulity is not a virtue
01:17 PM on 07/29/2013
I think it's great to encourage people to honestly consider their own mortality. There are so many unhealthy taboos in our society, and death is certainly one of them. We in the west are alot more estranged from the reality of death and dying than we were in the past. Many people never even see a dead body. And our incredibly wasteful and intrusive medical system makes death out to be something shameful and to be avoided at all costs. Everyone dies. There is nothing shameful about it. And everyone should have the right to die as peacefully and painlessly as possible.
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tunghaichuan
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
10:50 PM on 07/29/2013
I would also extend that to say that anyone who really wants to die should be given a peaceful death, whether they are in the process of dying or not. Some people will kill themselves no matter what, so I think that their exit should be as peaceful as possible.
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MothballViking
Eclectic, left-leaning Independent
11:53 AM on 07/29/2013
If they could make it into an iPhone app there would probably be some money in it.
12:08 PM on 07/29/2013
Yes MothballViking! There could be money in it for lots of people. Fact is so much money is spent now at the end of the lives of loved ones that they would never choose. This game is part of a larger movement for people and families to take more control of their own lives and deaths. We started with a game, similar to the model of Games Against Humanity, an actual game that yes, will be fun (especially the more you play it) and in some ways actually does have winners and losers-those that play win because they have shared more of themselves and their wishes with their loved ones. Anyway, thanks for the idea about the app. Once we are successful with the analog version we can improve upon and create complementary products and services of the digital or not digital variety.
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rwhite203
Marijuana is not a drug, it's a diet breaker!
11:45 AM on 07/29/2013
Get drunk with friends play this game and die laughing. OK.
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11:23 AM on 07/29/2013
If more people quizzed themselves about death...maybe they wouldn't waste their time. We only live a short amount of time where we are physically able to do the things that we dream about.
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Dan Cheshire
You are a risen ape, not a fallen angel.
11:00 AM on 07/29/2013
It is a proven scientific fact that the human brain is capable of imagining and believing anything the heart desires. Recent studies have isolated an area of the brain that is responsible for making imaginary things seem real.
www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/god-spot-in-brain-is-not-_n_1440518.html
This is the part of the brain that enabled Hitler to convince the Germans on mass that they were genetically superior to the world and therefore must be dominant worldwide. It is his convincing ‘sermons from the mount’ that swayed an entire population to believe that God wanted them to exterminate millions of Jews. Many people mistakenly argue that Hitler was an Atheist. But the Nazi party embraced Christianity openly and the Pope brokered a deal with the Vatican and Pope Pius XII. “Without pledging ourselves to an particular confession, we have restored faith to it’s prerequisites because we were convinced that the peoples needs required faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the Atheist movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out.” – Adolph Hitler, Speech in Berlin, October 24, 1933.
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gregory57
Micro-bio, was one of my favorite classes.
02:11 PM on 07/29/2013
Hitler did not accomplish his atrocities on his own. Think of the centuries of anti-Jewish rhetoric spewed from pulpits all across Germany that preceded him. Of course Hitler saw an ally in religion. Nazism was to become the new state religion it's self.
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Dan Cheshire
You are a risen ape, not a fallen angel.
03:15 PM on 07/29/2013
The list of "bystanders" -- those who declined to challenge the Third Reich in any way -- that emerges from any study of the Holocaust is long and depressing. Few organizations, in or outside Nazi Germany, did much to resist Nazism or aid its victims. Assisting European Jews was not a high priority of the Allied governments as they sought to defeat Hitler militarily. The courageous acts of individual rescuers and resistance members proved to be the exception, not the norm. To a great extent, this inertia defined the organized Christian community as well. Churches throughout Europe were mostly silent while Jews were persecuted, deported and murdered. In Nazi Germany in September 1935, there were a few Christians in the Protestant Confessing Church who demanded that their Church take a public stand in defense of the Jews. Their efforts, however, were overruled by Church leaders who wanted to avoid any conflict with the Nazi regime. Internationally, some Church leaders in Europe and North America did condemn the Nazis' measures against the Jews, and there were many debates about how Christians outside Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied territory should best respond to Hitler's brutal policies. These discussions, however, tended to become focused more on secondary strategic considerations -- like maintaining good relations with colleagues in the German Churches -- than on the central humanitarian issues that were really at stake.
Anti-Defamation Leaguehttp://archive.adl.org/braun/dim_14_1_role_church_print.asp
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10:55 AM on 07/29/2013
Sounds like this "game" would just start arguments about religious beliefs. At the very least, you would have to sit there and listen to someone go on about what their religion tells them....

Ugh.
12:16 PM on 07/29/2013
Thanks for that input. That may be true in some instances (I have had such experiences playing Life and Monolopoly).

I think there are ways to design the game, which we are still in the process of doing, so that it does not become that. In our user-testing so far it has not been something we have observed but it does help to get your input. Your "Ugh" makes me think you are frustrated about something and for that I am not quite sure what to say except I am sorry.
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12:37 PM on 07/29/2013
My "ugh" is about having to hear too much about religious beliefs ever since "religion" became so much a part of politics today. ....Your game might be good for a family and close friends who all share the same religious beliefs.  And, maybe that's your point of the game---to get families to talk.  Matter of fact, can't remember if your game includes it, but it would be a great time to talk about organ donations and "Do you want the plug pulled if you become a vegetable?" (to put it inelegantly).....Anyway, I wouldn't have been so flip in my comment if I knew the writer would read it.  Sorry.   It's not you.  It's this whole "Religious Right" that is running this country that frustrates/angers me. 
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12:45 PM on 07/29/2013
Really feeling bad about comments I made to your article now that I know you read them.

Again, I'm sorry.
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10:52 AM on 07/29/2013
"The game doesn't have winners or losers".

Then, is it really a "game"...?

A "game" is supposed to be fun AND have winners and losers...

I'd definitely pass on playing this "game". Boring.
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A Dub
Conservative government is an organized hypocrisy
01:10 PM on 07/29/2013
Vegas will not use it :-)
03:59 PM on 07/29/2013
That made me laugh. Thanks A Dub.
10:33 AM on 07/29/2013
It's great he could get them to write this story which is essentially an ad for his project. I would love to be able to do the same for my book.
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Red Earth
Scientist. Human. Star-dust.
10:48 AM on 07/29/2013
You should have listed the title of your book and where it can be bought. All publicity is good publicity.
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juno
WHEE!!! The people...
10:53 AM on 07/29/2013
only if it has sex, drugs, and a harmonica featured heavily as the topic keys.
10:29 AM on 07/29/2013
Great idea--a significantly better approach than the one which I was raised with whenever one would mention death or funerals: “Gib mir nit kain aynhorah” ’Don’t put the evil eye on me!’
11:45 AM on 07/29/2013
Thanks. I have heard about the "evil eye" both directly and with similar language. That talking about death is bad luck, etc. I have found that it has helped me make better decisions about life, be a better partner, parent, child and friend. I appreciate the positive response and one that puts our game into the larger context, which is a big part of the focus of our work.
01:10 PM on 07/29/2013
In my opinion, this is a big problem within secular Jewish culture. On the other hand, many but certainly not all Observant Jews deal with it somewhat better—for example, within the Hassidic tradition, the concept of Tikkun ha-Olam (repairing the world) is significant and each person is assigned the task of Ha-alot et Ha-Nitzotzot ‘to elevate the sparks’ of holiness trapped within matter, sending them back to their divine source. This is accomplished by performing a predefined number of good deeds as described in the Torah’s 613 commandments (all the thou shalls and all the thou shall nots). If a person does not accomplish this in one lifetime, he/she will come back again to complete the mission in another reincarnation cycle. Reincarnation is an essential element within Jewish mysticism—and Hassidic philosophy centers around it; it promotes the view that when enough sparks have been released, the Messianic age will be upon us. One Hassidic group—Chabad—suggests that we have already entered the Messianic era (of course, there might be some question concerning their definition of it). For those who hold opposing views within the Observant Jewish community (and there are many—not every Orthodox person accepts the mystical tradition), death and dying can pose difficulties—emotional as well as spiritual. No one wants to talk about it. It is the great unknown—and we fear it.
09:25 AM on 07/29/2013
Thought provoking, though I have asked and answered many of these questions for myself; I believe there are many that have not so this might be a good thing.
12:11 PM on 07/29/2013
I have spent a lot of time over the past 20 years exploring these issues as well for mysql fans those I care about. It is amazing that I am still surprised. I appreciate that you see it as a good thing. We put a lot of work into designing it so far and I hope you will help us by backing our project, bit.ly/mygiftofgrace