Mayfair Patchwork game actually has a secret message! Now the thing is, did they mean to put it in their or not?
Patchwork is a game which is for two players, who take their turns by choosing and placing various tetris-like pieces on a 9×9 grid, in a kind of worker placement strategy head to head game, which is limited by a very cool timing mechanism. On each piece that you ‘buy’ using buttons as currency, there is also a time cost which means your counter moves that many places along a track, right until the ‘end of time’ when you stop. Both players keep going until they have reached the end of that time track. Very simple to play, but very deep in strategy. And yet enough luck that the strategist is fairly evenly matched.
Now playing this game this evening with my son, we came across the one free piece. Each piece costs the games currency, buttons, which are earned as the game goes through. All…apart from the free piece.
Is it really a coincidence that the one free piece in the game is ALSO in the shape of a cross.
Now of course from a Christian gamer point of view thats brilliant. I have wondered for a while how I could manage to fit games to a Christian message, without being too cheesy and tenuous. When I was asked if I had a list the other day, I was able to create one which linked games in with a load of Bible stories and passages.
But this one is even better, with patchwork.
- Because of the tessellation of shapes in the game, we can talk about one body with many parts, and how the church fits together. All different shapes and sizes…diversity (1Corinthians 12)
- We can also talk about the one free piece on the board…the cross. Jesus paid the penalty of sin by dying on the cross, so that we could go free and gain eternal life for free.
- there is very much a journey of life involved…a limited time for when a final score is taken.
But there is one more thing about the cross…
4. It has a time count of guess what…3 spaces! Yep, the cross, which is the only free piece in the game, also has the time of 3. Three days buried….
And as someone just pointed out to me…it is a shape that covers lots. It is hard to fit in though…so maybe just place it and then build in around it is the best way. Once it fits in place well, as my friend said, it is very satisfying.
In fact a thought just struck me, there is a classic gospel message which talks about the God shaped hole, which is cross shaped. I wonder if there is another analogy…that we patch our lives as time goes along…
I think the links could be (almost) endless!
So there you have it, a whole gospel in a game.