In a time when religious legal systems are discussed without an understanding of history or context, it is more important than ever to help widen the understanding and discourse about the prosocial aspects of religious legal systems throughout history. The Lost & Found (www.lostandfoundthegame.com) game series, targeted for an audience of teens through twentysomethings in formal, learning environments, is designed to teach the prosocial aspects of medieval religious systems—specifically collaboration, cooperation, and the balancing of communal and individual/family needs. Set in Fustat (Old Cairo) in the 12th century, the first two games in the series address laws in Moses Maimonides’ law code, the Mishneh Torah. Future planned modules include Islamic laws of the period. Maimonides, the great Jewish legal scholar, philosopher, physician, and rabbi, was influenced by and influences great scholars of Islamic law. The first two games in the series, Lost & Found (Gottlieb, Schreiber, & Murdoch-Kitt, 2017) and Lost & Found: Order in the Court – the Party Game (Gottlieb & Schreiber, 2017) are based on the tort laws around lost and found objects. Lost & Found is a tabletopto- mobile strategy game (see Figure 1) in which any number of players can win, or all players can lose. If any player goes “destitute,” or the group is unable to address a disaster, or the community has not been adequately built by the end of the rounds, then all players lose. If the base level conditions are met for building the community, then players each have the opportunity to win based on how well they cared for their own family. Order in the Court is a party game for direct-to-discourse play around laws. Players take turns as judge to hear other players try to explain how arcane medieval legal decisions might have been made. Answers are available, but not mandatory, after storytelling which is leading in early playtests to curiosity about the medieval reasoning. The Lost & Found mobile prototype is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is created by a team of nearly thirty scholars and students (see full funding data in funding acknowledgments).
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Gottlieb, O., & Schreiber, I. (2018). Prosocial Religion and Games: Lost & Found. Well Played: Well Played: A Journal on Video Games, Value, and Meaning, 7(2), 17–41.
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