Friday, April 15, 2011

Is Life a Game?

Chinese gamer sentenced to life

A Shanghai online gamer has been given a suspended death sentence for
killing a fellow gamer. Qiu Chengwei stabbed Zhu Caoyuan in the chest when he found out he had sold his virtual sword for 7,200 Yuan (£473). The sword, which Mr Qiu had lent to Mr Zhu, was won in the popular online game Legend of Mir 3. Attempts to take the dispute to the police failed because there is currently no law in China to protect virtual property.

(If you care to read the details of this macabre story, click here.)

Question for your table: What does this story have to do with Passover?

There are probably many answers to the question. You could talk about values, you could talk about the rule of law and the Torah.

I'd like to suggest focusing on a different angle - virtual reality.

Many of us relate to the Passover story like a fantasy. It's a great story, but did it ever happen? And according to these details? And even if it did, why is it so important to tell the story once a year?

Question #2 - have you ever experienced a Pesach story-telling which was so engaging, you got so into it, that you forgot you were sitting in someone's dining room?

That's the goal, even if you are at someone's Seder who is not so engaging, even if you are all alone, to get yourself so into the details of the story, that you empathize with all the characters (even the drowning Egyptians).

To do so let's be frank, requires a bit of preparation. If you haven't got some new books and gadgets, it's still not too late for 2-day shipping, go to and search for "Passover" or "Pesach".

If you have all the gear you need, don't forget to carve out an hour or two on Sunday to read through the Haggada, think about how you're going to make the Seder a vivid virtual reality, whether you be leader or follower.

Shabbat Shalom and wishing you a connected, happy Pesach

PS - if you had trouble downloading my free 2011 Pesach kit, send me an email and I'll send it directly, it's not a large file.

PPS - posted this video last year, it's so good, worth watching every year to get you in the mood.

PPS - here's a new one for this year:

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