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What Is the Goal of Life?

What is the goal of life? To accumulate the most money. This is what one can learn from reading the obituary of Reuben Klamer, the creator of the board game, The Game of Life, who died September 14, 2021, at 99.

When The Game of Life was introduced, in 1960, the purpose was to earn the most wealth. The way you got there was simple enough—by going to college, getting a job, buying insurance, saving for retirement. That was “indicative of what sold in that era,” a former Hasbro VP said.

Over time, designers realized that the game didn’t reflect consumers’ changing views of #lifegoals. So they gave it a big update in 2007, allowing players to score points for virtuous deeds like saving an endangered species, opening a health-food chain, and recycling. And instead of starting the game at point A and finishing at point Z, there is no fixed path: You decide how you want to spend your time.

One question that popped up is: If the popular view of what matters in life changed so much in less than 50 years, who’s to say it won’t shift again in the next 50? How will you win life in 2057?

But as Jill Lepore wrote in The New Yorker, the redesign teams always had a hard time addressing the fundamental criticism of the game — that the only way to reward a player for virtuous acts was with money: “Save an Endangered Species: Collect $200,000. Solution to Pollution: $250,000. Open Health-Food Chain: $100,000.”

And so, the company’s 2007 overhaul, the Game of Life: Twists & Turns, was almost existential. Instead of putting players on a fixed path, it provided multiple ways to start out in life — but nowhere to finish. “This is actually the game’s selling point; it has no goal,” Ms. Lepore wrote. “Life is … aimless.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

What is the meaning of life? This is the question that many of today’s young people wrestle with. Many of them do not find a truly satisfying answer that satisfies their deepest longing for significance. Only in Christ do we find the answers to life, our purpose in the universe, and what awaits in eternity.

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