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Subject: Seminal Game rss

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p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Games are not movies or stories; they're vehicles for creative decision making.
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"Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade." (Marcel Proust)
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I guess I have more vivid memories of late-childhood games of Careers than of any other game. We had Monopoly and Scrabble and other games around the house, but this one got played a lot and meant a lot to me. And after all these years, I'm pondering on why. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. It's a whole set of adventures in a box. As you play the game, you get to live out answers to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" in your imagination.

2. It's customizable. In the beginning, you set your own goal--your preferred mix of fame, fortune, and happiness. (I was always big on happiness. I never stopped and thought about what would be most efficient in the game; to me, it was always a personal statement--a way to tell the world, or at least my fellow players, "This is who I am!")

3. There are pitfalls and treasures all along the way. The career tracks are precursors to the "dungeons" and such that would later appear in RPGs. Getting past the hurdles and collecting the goodies somehow made the game seem realistic--or at least fascinating.

4. Not much (if any) direct conflict between players--at least the way we always played. To me, it was a live-and-let-live kind of game, where each player pursued his chosen life course. Each of us wished the others well, did our best, and cheered when someone won.

In short, it was a fascinating little world of possibilities to imaginatively escape into and explore.

And that's basically my definition of a fine game.
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martin blackham
United Kingdom
belper
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First 'proper' board game I ever played. 1962, aged four, with my baby sitter. This game has a lot to answer for.
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Huzonfirst
United States
Manassas
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The Mets, after an eventful, but productive, trade deadline, find themselves on top of the NL East. Amazing!
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It's a terrific game and easily the best of the "classic" games we all grew up with, such as Monopoly and Risk. There's enough scope for skill and decision making to satisfy even the most seasoned gamer as long as you play with four or less. I've always thought it was a tremendously innovative design and decades ahead of its time.
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Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
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Not much direct conflict between players- but there is a bit if you rigidly enforce the rule that when you land on another player, that player gets sent to the Park Bench. Especially with all those cards allow you to move a set number of spaces or to a particular space.
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Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Baseball been bery bery good to me
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Not much direct conflict between players- but there is a bit if you rigidly enforce the rule that when you land on another player, that player gets sent to the Park Bench. Especially with all those cards allow you to move a set number of spaces or to a particular space.

Rigidly? Well I enforce it as rigidly as the rule saying you collect double salary if you land on payday. What rules shouldn't I enforce rigidly?

This game broke new ground in two big respects:

1) The Opportunity and Experience cards give you a choice of where to go, rather than constraining you to roll and move. Later in the game you can also choose to retire to Hawaii. In Monopoly, you never get a choice of where to go, except (ironically) when you choose to stay in jail.

2) The selectable goals.

Neither of these is done terribly well by modern standards, but 54 years ago this was the best there was.
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ackmondual
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Wished I knew about this game sooner. In during late 80s/early 90s to be more precise. Monopoly just got worse and worse as time went on. Of course, it took me after 10 years settlers came out to realize it. 2 years if you start counting the time I started board gaming for real.

With Careers, I like how even with the max 6p games, they still easily end around an hour. Longest game was 1.5 hours with 4p. The point is, the game ends. That's even better vs Settlers Of Catan. Also like the choices. You're not at the complete mercy of dice rolls. Also, bumping other players provides more sneakiness, nastyness, and interaction.
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Daniel Eig
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Huntington
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Not much direct conflict between players- but there is a bit if you rigidly enforce the rule that when you land on another player, that player gets sent to the Park Bench. Especially with all those cards allow you to move a set number of spaces or to a particular space.


For the record the original rules state that you can bargain your way out of Park Bench, or extort money/cards effectively.

Not that this is always a wise move. I got someone to pay me 10K to avoid being sent to Park Bench (on Moon Expedition entrance). She repayed me by playing the Moon career - off I went to the bench and she to the win. Alas.
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Joey V

Los Angeles
California
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this game is amazing, i don't understand why it's so low-rated.

my friend had played once and he said the game was broken because you "can't win with an all-fame goal." i promised to beat him with an all-fame goal, which i prompty did. then he said he only lost because his new success formula had too much money in it. so i copied his success formula and he took mine, and I prompty wiped the floor with THAT success formula.

what makes this game great is how the theme is perfectly suited to the gameplay. you can win by doing pretty much anything, either shooting for computer programming and cold hard cash, or by spending merely a grand on sailing equipment and going to a tropical island. you can win by studying the mechanics, or just following your heart and doing what you would do in real life. Just follow opportunity when it knocks and utilizes experience to get you through risky times.

What other games in the past 50 years have improved on the multiple-paths or the three kinds of VP? This isn't rhetorical, I'm not a game expert!

I love this game so much that after 20 years I went back to my parents' house and brought it back with me to L.A.

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Joanthan Cook
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I like this game, so i'm not badmouthing it, but 7 wonders does alright on the multiple victory conditions front.
 
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