Reunited & It Feels So Good

Reunited & It Feels So Good

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why I Play Games

Why do I love to collect and play games?

I wanted to weigh in on this after having listened to the most recent Ludology podcast and as I am frequently asked by my co-workers and students. Geoff and Ryan (the hosts) presented 6 reasons that gamers play games including competition, as a social outlet, to foster the imagination, to learn & analyze new games, as a collector, and to learn about history. In the tradition of the Dice Tower (& David Letterman,) here is my top ten list.

10. To have fun.
9. To exercise my brain.
8. To assess & analyze the game.
7. While I enjoy the competition, I enjoy the tension of the game more.
"In terms of the game theory, we might say the universe is so constituted as to maximize play. The best games are not those in which all goes smoothly and steadily toward a certain conclusion, but those in which the outcome is always in doubt. Similarly, the geometry of life is designed to keep us at the point of maximum tension between certainty and uncertainty, order and chaos. Every important call is a close one. We survive and evolve by the skin of our teeth. We really wouldn't want it any other way.” George Leonard
6. While using my imagination, immersing myself into a culture or event that is very different than who I am or what I do & or learn about a time/event from history.
5. As a way to be with, meet, and make new friends.
4. It's a family tradition that was passed down to me. My mother and I played Scrabble and my grandmother spared little mercy when teaching me how to play Dominoes.
3. Games are a work of art. My game room is filled with 2D & 3D art the ties into my game collection.
2. As an escape from the day to day reality. Its an important part of my self care plan. My gaming group often tease my choice of factions as I often pick the "bad guys." When I play Warmachine, I always play the Cryx, undead, soul eating troops. My buddies tease me that as clinical social worker, my alter ego always wants to be the evil undead. It keeps me balanced, and keeps them guessing.

And Finally # ONE!!

1. As a way to spend time with my family. While my sons love their Xbox, they have also learned how much fun a good old fashion board game can be. I wish I could beat my wife, Tammy in Blokus.

An honorable mention, it fuels my obsessive nature!

My week of gaming was very good although I did not find any deals while visiting a few thrift stores. I played three different games this week including playing Hive 6 times and first plays of two games I had never played before. I was very fortunate to receive 7 Wonders from my Secret Santa this year, and I finally was able to play this very nice game. However, I have to admit that it could have been packaged differently; such a huge box for card type game. I have always been very fond of games where I get to build something. I have been very fortunate to play several “building” games this past 6 months including Innovation, and Irondale. Overall, I felt that Innovation is a “meatier” game than 7 Wonders, but the later will be easier to teach my 9 year old how to play. In addition, my 7 Wonders experience lacked any significant player interaction whereas Innovation has greater levels of interaction. 7 Wonders lacked some gaming tension that crave for and admire in many other games but it demands more plays.

My first & only play with Power Grid: Factory Manager was very enjoyable. The bidding, machine pull down, and purchasing contained just the right amount of tension that I really enjoy in a game. I came in second but I think I made a mistake that should have my total net worth about $8 less. During my second to last income phase I did not multiply my energy cost to the rate, 4 x 3, so I collected $90 minus 4 rather than 12. When I walk away from a game thinking about what I did or should have done...... thats awesome! It is a auction/resource management game. I honestly think that it might be a gateway game for much heavier games.

In two weeks, my 17 year old son and I will be leaving for vacation in China. I am planning to bring my new copy of Hive Carbon. What other games should I take?

Check out episode #33 of this podcast;

Gencon 2011 Event Note
Are you a fan of or newcomer to Sid Sackson board games; Acquire, Focus, Can't Stop, Holiday/Shanghai, Buy Word, & I'm The Boss? If so, please join me in celebrating these wonderful games as I will be hosting an event at GenCon. Multiple copies of these games will be available for play. Rules will be taught if your a new comer. Prizes/swag for all participants. Game ID:BGM1119613

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