I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! From Ulysses - TennysonGeek of the WeekCubes - An alleyway of micro-fiction, prose, and generally unedited first drafts inspired by nine random images.Play-By-Forum Games Moderated:High Frontier #1High Frontier #9Cyrano #2Mysterium #2Mysterium #3Excellence in Session Report Writing:1st Place - Final Voyage of the Red NovemberHonorable Mention - We Shall OvercomeRPG Session Reports:
Microscope:Long Separated Branches of Humanity Reunite in Musical DestructionThe Day the Earth Stood CookedScientific Advance and Insurgent Faith Clash during the Renaissance"All are one."Great World Conquerer Microscope PBFRise and Fall of Dragons PBFIncomplete RPG's (Games Abandoned for Various Reasons)Fiasco London 1593Our Last Best Hope: Comet ZachariahLights OutDon't Rest Your Head - The Mad CityMy Extended StatsGames I've Recently PlayedThe Medium of my Gaming Enjoyment
Games can be many things, but one thing that they certainly are are all about the people playing them, whether alone or in a group.
Games can be an entertainment medium wherein each of the players can find a source of fun for themselves. Whether players enjoy managing resources, building, combating each other with plastic pieces, or discussing economics, each of us can find enjoyment and satisfaction within the various constructs presented in this medium.
Games are also an art form, and can teach us much about ourselves and each other. Not all games need to be 'fun', necessarily - they can be an experience
. That experience itself does not need to be enjoyable in the sense that is makes us laugh, or leaves us feeling entertained. It can be an enriching lesson, or leave us with questions that we may not be able to answer without contemplation. Perhaps these games teach us a surprising fact about someone that we associate with, whom we thought we knew well. These may not necessarily be enjoyable, but they can certainly be an experience, and that has value.Most importantly - it's not about winning. When you're playing a great game with friends, you are winning
. Games are not some form of ego booster so that you can declare yourself more intelligent than those around you. Having a good game, with good friends, and enjoying the experience - that's what it's all about.Game Preferences
My game preferences have gone through several major phases in the last few years, and I've explored quite a bit in terms of variety, depth, skill, and involvement. At this point, and for the foreseeable future my preferences have drifted into the area of very quick, light-weight fillers
, usually card games. I've always enjoyed this type of micro format for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it doesn't involve a large buy-in in terms of time. It also allows, assuming the rules are relatively concise, a level of psychological analysis and competition, all in a bite-size package. Player Interaction:
This is almost mandatory. If I'm not interacting with the people around me, then I might as well be playing a game online, reading a book, or watching a movie. Those things don't interact with me, yet I can still get enjoyment from them. When I play a game, I want to work with or against the other players on and off the board, and have a great experience with them.Open Ended/Simple Construct:
Games that don't have an exhaustive amount of rules that dictate everything a player should be doing every turn. Games that allow the players to be creative within the construct of the game.Assymetrical:
Variable starting locations, abilities, powers, and rules that give each player a different way to do things is the foundation for an excellent discussion/negotiation. If one player is 'overpowered' or has a huge advantage the players themselves should cooperate in order to balance the game. Whether it be the map, the player powers, or a tech tree, games that place players in opposing spectrums of power always have a place at my table. Examples - Here I Stand, Cosmic EncounterArtistic Creativity:
This blurs a bit with open-ended above, but it's not exactly the same. Games that allow players to think outside the box and either express themselves within the game, whether it be artistically, diplomatically, or even in various levels of intrigue usually score high on my list. Examples: Dixit, Once Upon a Time, Various RPG's, Even many abstracts allow for thisRich Theme/Narrative:
The setting of the game is what allows the players to develop and flesh out what's going on. The mechanics in the game should, to some level, represent the theme in execution as well as in practicality. Examples: Battlestar Galactica, High Frontier, Android