Play-by-Play | March 8, 2024 | God's World News


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(AP/Sebastian Scheiner)

Robot companions, grocery inflation, and cutting cables.

Welcome to the Play-by-Play. Every other week, we’re taking three recent stories from our God’s WORLD News publications and breaking them down to help you spark conversation in the home or the classroom.

As you move from discover to explore to discern, the themes go deeper. But any of these stories can work for conversation with the whole family. We’ll also include a Conversation Kickoff to help you break the proverbial ice if your kids aren’t ready to dive deep right away.

This week, we’re noticing a theme of communication. Look for examples of communication being attempted or interrupted in these stories.

Can a robot be a friend?

(Read it at God’s Big WORLD.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
The company Intuition Robotics designed an AI device named ElliQ. ElliQ is built to serve as a companion for the elderly.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
Look for our theme of communication. What sorts of things does ElliQ communicate to its elderly users? What counts as true communication? Can you really communicate with a robot? Notice the theme of how we treat the elderly. What need does a product like ElliQ attempt to fill? Why does that need exist? Can a robot truly fill it?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Do you know any elderly people who might be feeling lonely? Reach out and spend time together. Consider visiting someone who lives in a nursing home.

Conversation Kickoff! If you could design a useful robot, what sort of robot would you design? How would it help you or others?

Customers Fight Inflation

(Read it at WORLDkids.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
Food prices keep rising. In response, more and more customers turn to cheaper generic brands.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
What is inflation, and what causes it? How do companies and consumers try to fight it? Look at our theme of communication. How is the way you shop a form of communication? What do you communicate through what you choose to buy—or not to buy? What did the consumers in this story communicate to food producers, and how did those companies respond?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
It’s time for a taste test. Pick a few household staple foods and switch to the store brand for a week. Poll your family. Can they taste the difference? Let us know the results at!


Data Cables Cut in Red Sea

(Read it at WORLDteen.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
Yemen’s Houthi rebels severed important underwater data cables in the Red Sea. These cuts disrupt internet and telecommunications in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
What other crimes have the Houthi rebels committed? What do they say about the purpose of their actions? And why is America involved? Once more, look for our theme of communication. Why would Houthi rebels want to sever these data cables? Why do enemies target communications in times of conflict? Can you draw an analogy to spiritual warfare?
✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
It’s easy to take internet and phone access for granted. Help your kids research the technologies that bring data to your home. Want a bigger challenge? Go a whole day without internet as a family. Then discuss your experience. Was it easy? Hard? Boring? Refreshing?


A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing. — Proverbs 13:17

Together, let’s get the conversation started. He has equipped you for the work.

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A teacher makes physics fun, classrooms include the deaf, and Poland bans homework.

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In light of Jonathan Haidt’s The Anxious Generation, we’re re-releasing our episode on social media. “YouTube/Social Media Influencer” has recently charted as the top vocational aspiration for teens and pre-teens in the U.S. and UK. Join Kelsey and Jonathan as they discuss this cultural phenomenon and what it means for discipleship.

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What’s the difference between a device and a tool? How can families steward the power of technology for good? We’re joined by Andy Crouch to talk about technology, culture making, family, and more.

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College students build toddler wheelchairs, new tech helps people hear the eclipse, and a police department plays with LEGO.