HipBone Update


Hi, this is Charles Cameron, aka hipbone.

It is now 2002. I last corrected this page in October 1999, and wrote it in August 1999. Back then I was commuting long hours to -- and working hard for -- a small think tank called The Arlington Institute, and consequently had very little time to put into this site, my correspondence or the HipBone Games -- so if you've been here before, you will probably find the place pretty much unchanged. And if you've written me about the games, and I failed to respond -- please accept my apologies and send me a friendly nudge. Life may be hectic, but as Hannibal Lecter would say, there's no excuse for bad manners.

I am no longer employed by the Institute, and am currently working as a professional / ghost writer in Southern California, though I continue to be interested in new means of formulating complex problems, and still monitor apocalyptic religion and religious violence with keen interest: perhaps a book will be forthcoming.

My reason for updating this page at this point is primarily to indicate (a) that the earlier, more extensive and perhaps less reader-friendly version of the HipBone web pages, which used to be located on the IDT server courtesy of my friend David Hughes, is now available here at http://home.earthlink.net/~hipbone/IDTWeb, and (b) to note that I have withdrawn certain of the earlier games which were archived here, to avoid giving offence where none was intended.

Herewith, then, some brief updates:


HipBone Games

Most HipBone game activity recently has been taking place in a private virtual conference called Brainstorms, set up by the esteemed Howard Rheingold.

There are also four recent HipBone Games files in Adobe Acrobat format now available for downloading:

1. A basic flier (57k .pdf file) about the games with appreciations
2. A brief brochure (99k .pdf file) giving an overview of possible uses of the HipBone Games
3. HipBone boards and sample games (195k .pdf file) from second grade to graduate level
4. An extensive background essay (680k .pdf file) on HipBone Games and their inspiration: Hermann Hesse's Glass Bead Game

Magister-L has been pretty quiet of late, but I'm hoping to find a little more time to post there in the coming months: maybe we can get the old place hopping again...

My own recent games work with The Arlington Institute has involved collaborating on a role playing game for local government officials, exploring public perception in the months running up to the Y2K rollover via a scenario and a set of hypothetical events strung together along a six month timeline. We ran this game at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in DC, at a conference of the National League of Cities and at another for Public Technologies Inc., and I've been asked if I can write a similar game exploring possible apocalyptic events in Jerusalem 2000...

Which brings us to:

Millennial Madness

In conjunction with my work for The Arlington Institute, I've also been writing more about apocalyptic and millennial movements -- an old interest of mine.

Shortly after the Columbine High shootings in Littleton, I spoke by conference phone at a Littleton Y2K meeting, discussing some of the apocalyptic threads which have woven themselves into the wider Y2K picture, and also put together a longish presentation on Y2K and apocalyptic which you can download here.

Most recently, I've been preparing a regularly updated column of breaking news on the apocalyptic and millennial front, to appear on the Center for Millennial Studies website. You can find the new series of Millennium Concentrates at:

MilCon NS 01, August 22, 1999.
MilCon NS 02, September 11, 1999.
MilCon NS 03, October 10, 1999.

I also wrote a piece about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the way it has figured in recent web-based apocalyptic rhetoric. This was for the Proceedings of a CMS-sponsored Conference held in Jerusalem in June 1999, at which millennial scholars from the US, Europe and Israel met with American and Israeli law-enforcement personnel to talk about how to guarantee maximal religious freedom during the pilgrimages of 2000/2001, while guarding against potential millennial violence.

And in November, I'll be presenting a paper on Science Fiction as Scripture, Spirituality as Space Opera at the CMS International Conference in Boston: here's the abstract, to give you the overall idea:

A number of new religious movements, from the small "restoration theology" RLDS offshoot whose leader killed five in the so-called Kirtland Massacre to The Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate and Aum Shinrikyo groups, have made use of themes from the "genre" literature of science fiction books and films as a source of prophetic and messianic belief. Religious movements from the Mormons via the Nation of Islam and Hare Krishnas to the Scientologists have included descriptions of other planets in their theologies. The angel of spiritual belief is beginning to blend with the unidentified alien of exobiology in popular discourse. And for almost a century, science fiction has been discussing religious ideas and serving as an entry point for mythic revival in our excessively "realist" culture - sometimes, as in Frank Herbert's Dune, with profound insight. This paper will examine the continuing interactions between speculative fiction and speculative theology, suggest some of the benefits and drawbacks of the crossover, and point to some exemplary instances of religious thought in the guise of futuristic novels.

And that's about it for now... I hope to find time for a major update to this site in the next few months.


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hipbone@earthlink.net

HipBone Games rules, boards, sample games and other materials are copyright © Charles Cameron 1995-99. See Concerning Copyright for full copyright details.