It Beats Watching The TV

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Boardgaming Thought for Friday - Episode 1: Why Play?

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
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Boardgaming Thought for Friday - Episode 1: Why Play?

"Why do you play games?" is a question we're all probably asked by family, friends and associates at some point or other. I was asked this again the other day and instead of a bland platitude along the lines of, "it's fun, it's just a hobby that gives me something to do" I expanded and spoke from the heart.

I play games because I find the actual games themselves, the rules, the challenges, the parts all tremendously interesting and very engrossing and stimulating. I get a similar buzz to when I am enjoying a well written story in a book or a film. I get a deep enjoyment out of trying something and succeeding and more importantly I learn something when I try and I fail. I can improve and my understanding grows. I am reaching a part of my brain that, as a man in his (early) forties with a humdrum job, doesn't get much use in the normal passage of life.

I play games because I get to meet and engage with a whole range of people from different backgrounds who are, generally, smart, funny, friendly, willing to try something out, willing to teach me something, happy to chat about life as well as games and who I would never, ever have had cause to speak to otherwise. I have met people 15-20 years younger than me who are incredibly bright and academic and fiercely competitive in these mental exertions; I have met people of a similar age and background with whom I have far more in common than just a love of tabletop gaming; I have met young kids and been accepted as "someone" rather than just being another blank middle aged man; and I have met people of advanced years who have given me great hope that it's possible to be social and active at that age and not just with people of the same age. I have sat a game table and been simultaneously, a peer, a youngster, a wise old bloke, a fool, and, most importantly of all, a friend. I can be all of these things by just being myself and sitting down to play a game.

I play games because it is something that my wife and my son(s) enjoy doing with me. It has given us a great excuse to spend time conversing, competing, co-operating and coming closer together.

I play games for all of these reasons and others besides.
You ask me "why do I play games?"
I ask "why on earth don't you?"
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Subscribe sub options Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:15 am
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