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Subject: What if boardgaming reached the same level… rss

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Simon Lundström
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Last sunday we had this little family get-together, so I sat there chatting with siblings, nephews and nieces I hadn't met in about 6 months. Standard chat flows by, how's things, well thank you, and how's soccer training, well it's much, 5 times a week… okay, that's much, but that's how soccer training goes, of course…

Wait a minute.
Five times a week?

At first I realised it's probably fairly common. In my youth, I had judo training twice a week, badminton training was thrice a week while I did that. It just struck me that had the kid said asked his parents to be driven to the boardgaming club to play board games five times a week, they probably would have thought him half mad. And the next realisation was worse: I realised that even I would probably go like "Wow, isn't that overdoing it?" (although I wouldn't think so in my heart if I thought about it).

No wonder I still feel that people around me don't consider board gaming to be a "real" hobby. I felt doing a sport three to five times a week natural, but board gaming once a week "reasonable frequency". I found that I myself am still part of that opinion that board games are secondary. Shocking. I never imagined.

…and I wish _I_ could play board games 5 days a week. I was probably just jealous.
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Steve Cates
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haha this is what we planned for this week

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/298354

and yes my wife thinks I'm crazy
 
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Jeff Hinrickson
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Excellent question, unfortunately I have no answer.
People would think we were nerdalicious if we played that much, and maybe we don't want to be seen as THAT nerdy even though we really would like to be.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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When I am not in college I will often game at least 4 days a week for at least an hour, sometimes 5 days, sometimes every day. At school it's looking like I'll be getting gaming in every day now that I've converted my roommate He went out and bought Jambo and we're gonna play every day this week!
 
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David Gibbs
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Re: What if boardgaming reached the same level…
When I was in university, I had friends who were playing in 6 or 7 different weekly roleplaying campaigns.

People who play a board game at the serious competitive level -- professional Go players, world level Chess players, etc, will train on a daily basis. Top Go players may have done so since fairly young childhood, several hours a day.

Professional Bridge players will also play and train at the 5+ days a week level.

I probably spend 1/2 an hour a day with online Go myself, about 2 minutes a day doing the Set daily puzzle, and otherwise game pretty frequently.
 
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Greg Jones
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I think a better board game analogy would be a chess player who plays daily to really master the game. I don't think you can compare it to people like us who play many different games for fun, with not quite as much concern for mastering them to perfection.

That level of practice is necessary to be competitive in chess and in soccer. Your opponents are likely practicing just as hard. Is all that focus on a single game healthy? Maybe we could have just as much fun and challenge if we all agreed to practice less. Is it because you can't possibly enforce that, and the competitive players will try to get an edge by extra practice?

I think people look at that level of dedication and see it positively. The same level of dedication to a single focus is necessary in work or school. I'm not sure you could consider it dedication if we hardly play the same game twice. There's nothing wrong with playing lots of different games, but I'm not sure you can find an excuse for playing them five days a week. Dedication isn't the excuse. You can play five days a week if you want, but I think there would be some validity to the criticism that you should have more variety in your hobbies.
 
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Eric Jome
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Zimeon wrote:
It just struck me that had the kid said asked his parents to be driven to the boardgaming club to play board games five times a week, they probably would have thought him half mad.


When I was a child, I played games every day. It was work for my parents to get me to go to little league, the pool for swim lessons, or practice for sports. Even my gamer friends often tried to get us to go play frisbee golf or swim in the lake.

Every day though. We played Axis & Allies every day for a month once, or so it seemed. We played Dungeons & Dragons every day for an entire summer.

It was heaven.
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Tyler
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I feel that sports training such as badminton or soccer is not done mainly as a hobby, but more for personal enjoyment and physical activity. This is why parents are willing to drive their kids to practices and such.
I doubt boardgaming will ever reach the same as sports training, merely for the fact that it is not a physical activity (most boardgames anyways). Althought one could definitely argue that boardgames can sharpen the mind much more than certain sports.
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Gabe Alvaro
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Interesting question. Obviously the difference between pursuit of boardgames and pursuit of Soccer, Judo, or Badminton is that those activities while fun in themselves, are all accepted as means to certain ends. The one that comes to mind immediately is activities one participates in not just because they are fun, but because they are accomplishment tracks that can often help get them into school or perhaps for a scholarship.

I don't think just because a person plays many many different games and doesn't focus on any one in particular that they should be considered any less dedicated. I think there is value in the omni-gamer's ability to "try on" lots of different systems and adapt to different rule sets and change very quickly. How can that not contribute to overall mental agility?

And while simple board game playing might not be enough, I could see a lot of value in a youth who used his omni-gamer skills to go beyond mere playing to organizing public game nights and teaching many new gamers (children, old people, etc.) the games he knows.
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Guy Riessen
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I generally play 4 or 5 days a week at lunch at work for a full hour (you can see what our playlist has been this year so far here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28007

I usually get out to a game night once or twice a month, but the infrequency is mostly due to spending most of my free time with my young daughter. She and I usually play a couple games per week of Gulo Gulo, Max, or the like, as well.

My wife and I generally get a longer game or two in once a week--that infrequency is mostly due to conflicting work schedules and parenting. We also go to Kublacon or Conquest once a year (we used to always go to both but again, parenting has gotten in the way).
 
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Andreas Johansson
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If you ask me, soccer five times a week is overdoing it.
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Russ Williams
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I play at least one boardgame every day. It helps to live with another boardgamer.

But also at school or work it's quite possible if you have a friend interested in doing so. I remember in high school playing a game at lunch every day with a friend.
 
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Michael Lucey
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I think an underlying theme is soccer is a sport which means exercise and gaming is like video games which means sitting in front of the TV like a couch potato. Plus soccer is THE in thing right now.
 
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Max Jamelli
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Scoobysnacks wrote:
I think an underlying theme is soccer is a sport which means exercise and gaming is like video games which means sitting in front of the TV like a couch potato. Plus soccer is THE in thing right now.


I have a kinda funny soccer story. A friend of my mom has a son. He wanted to go out for the freshman football team. His mother was quite against that. Too dangerous she said. She told him he would be allowed to play soccer though.

A few weeks later, she is sitting in the emergency room with him. He had either tripped or been tripped and someone accidentally kicked him in the face and knocked a few teeth out as well as injured his nose. When my dad told me this story (he and I both played football in our own times) I asked if this other woman knew that we wore facemasks in football. He gave me a shake look and advised I not say that to her.
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I'd say it's all relative... if the only recreational activity you ever did was play soccer, then that's obviously limiting you in some way. I guess for me, what a child does growing up affects their potential in life... the less variety and diversity in their youth, the less versatile they tend to be when adult. I played alot of sports when I was young... I also played games alot (Sadly, Monopoly, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, Cardames, and some videogames). I was just the type of kid who always had to be doing something or I'd go crazy.

I think I'm better for it, not that I'm any kind of success story or anything, but it's that kind of drive I hope to instill in my kids... and, well, do better than my parents by providing them with a plethora of good games to play, lol...
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Guy Riessen
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Orcoteuthis wrote:
If you ask me, soccer five times a week is overdoing it.


Yep, and a modern study of sports physiology bears that out as well. You not only reach a point of diminishing returns but will actually regress if that is an accurate schedule over any kind of significant time period. But, it's fine if they break up the training appropriately (doubtful in the case of kids' sports, with generally uninformed trainers/coaches) between weight training, aerobic training, and actual soccer games. But people become obsessed about all kinds of things, playing sports and boardgames included, so there ya go.
 
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Greg Jones
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Scoobysnacks wrote:
I think an underlying theme is soccer is a sport which means exercise and gaming is like video games which means sitting in front of the TV like a couch potato. Plus soccer is THE in thing right now.


I've started to hear people / studies come out in defense of video games. They are sitting in front of the TV, but not like watching TV. They are active. Sure, they don't exercise your muscles, but they do exercise your brain, and that's actually more useful to most people in our society. Some people might be doubtful that shooting aliens strengthens your brain so that it can take on calculus, but I guess it's the same principle that running back and forth on a soccer field strengthens your heart to avoid heart disease.

Board games should do even better than video games for stimulating the brain.
 
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To answer your question....
What if boardgaming reached the same level…
as five times a week?


We probably be more like Germans, where board gaming is a very big deal there, and not just some last resort like here in the USA

.

Else, soccer 5x a week isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure it doesn't consume your nieces/nephews. All that physical activity is certainly sure to do them good, altho I'd imagine obesity is MUCH less of an issue in Sweden tahn it is in the US.

.

Board gaming is definatley essential. Not doing it all the time per se, but as one poster mentioned.... it makes achild more well rounded. It would be good if all children experienced a widp range of activities that included but not limited to sports, vid games, reading, and board games. Let them choose to do the stuff they like more of the time.
 
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Andreas Johansson
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ackmondual wrote:
I'd imagine obesity is MUCH less of an issue in Sweden tahn it is in the US.

Why? About a tenth of the adult population here is obese and something like half are overweight.
 
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Russ Williams
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Orcoteuthis wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I'd imagine obesity is MUCH less of an issue in Sweden tahn it is in the US.

Why? About a tenth of the adult population here is obese and something like half are overweight.

Because the US is famously (or so I thought) more obese and overweight than other countries, according to most reports.

E.g. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity places US at the top and Sweden at #21.

Typical US lifestyles are believed to contribute to this (much less walking and much more driving; larger restaurant portions and more eating in restaurants; more junk food; etc).
 
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Andreas Johansson
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Certainly, Swedish obesity rates are lower than in the US. But they're still firmly in major public health concern territory. Media alarms about child obesity on the rise are frequent.
 
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Re: What if boardgaming reached the same level…
Orcoteuthis wrote:
Certainly, Swedish obesity rates are lower than in the US. But they're still firmly in major public health concern territory. Media alarms about child obesity on the rise are frequent.
eh, I suppose I stand corrected. Still, all that soccer probably can't be that bad.
 
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Life is a balance. We need to exercise our body to keep it fit. We need to exercise our brains to keep us thinking sharp. Over-emphases on the one means falling short on the other.

I personally think our society is asking to much from our young people. Any kind of practice 5 times a week, for a child, is just way to much. When do they have time for anything else. When I was in High School and involved in a play we had practice almost every night of the week. I remember feeling like I lived and breathed that play until it was done. I think age has a lot to do with it. The younger the child the more time they should have for an assortment of activities, including lots of free time (play time).

I am in a wheelchair and deal with a degenerative disorder and lots of pain. I can no longer be physically active. It is imperative that I do things to keep my mind engaged and active. Boardgames have become my sport. They give my mind the "workout" that I need. They allow me to be competitive and interact with other people.

My family is always willing to play a boardgame with me and for that I am very grateful.
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Evan Stegman
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blindspot wrote:
Interesting question. Obviously the difference between pursuit of boardgames and pursuit of Soccer, Judo, or Badminton is that those activities while fun in themselves, are all accepted as means to certain ends. ...


Another difference is that usually they are not PLAYING soccer 5 times a week but PRACTICING.

For physical sports, practice is a requirement for a couple of reasons:

- Conditioning. The way to make sure you can physically perform well through an entire game is to get your body used to going that long over and over and over again.

Not much conditioning is required to play boardgames. When one of the local boardgame marathons is coming up, I don't need to get my body or mind used to playing for 10 hours+ ahead of time.

- Physical skills come from 'muscle memory'. You teach your muscles what you want them to do. You do it over and over again and refine the movement until your body can do it without your mind having to tell it all the details. That comes from repeated practice and the more the better.

While practice can help with some boardgames, for the vast majority, you don't need to train your mind nearly as much.
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Greg Jones
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EvanMinn wrote:
Another difference is that usually they are not PLAYING soccer 5 times a week but PRACTICING.


Yes, an analogy would be reading probability books or books of chess openings, or solving chess puzzles or analyzing the value for money of a slots tile in Vegas Showdown.
 
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