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Subject: Do you compartmentalize your gaming life? rss

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p55carroll
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I just realized I do.

Compartment 1:

When I'm up for a social game, I'll sit down to one of the Kosmos games with my wife, or we'll have another couple over and play some other Eurogame (or a game of that general type). And at such times, my main interest is in everybody (including me) having a good time and getting along well. I don't play for blood, and nobody else should either. Nor should anyone (IMHO) be too immersed in role-playing or anything. We're supposed to be socializing, and the game is a centerpiece for that.

Compartment 2:

At other times, I'm serious about studying a game and getting better at it. If it's a good mental workout, that's great. Here I immediately think of games like chess and go. But I do not want to play those games in the above-mentioned social setting! On the contrary, I intentionally keep deep-thinking strategy games away from my social gaming groups. And everybody I play games with is perfectly happy with that, since they don't like brain-busting games anyhow. I study books on games like chess and go, but I practice them exclusively against a computer AI opponent.

Compartment 3:

Then there are lots of times when I want to escape into a heavily themed game. Some people do this via role-playing games, but for me it's like curling up with a good book; I generally prefer to do it on my own, without any interaction. If I happen to be with a good friend or someone who's as into the theme as I am and can enjoy it the same way, I'll gladly share the experience. Otherwise, I'll resort to solitaire and be happy with that. For me, this is what wargaming has turned into over the years. I used to play wargames with other people; now I just play both sides myself, enjoying the story as it unfolds.


That's how my compartmentalization works. I only want to play compartment-1 games with other people, and I never want to be too seriously competitive about it. I only want to play compartment-2 games against a computer AI, and I almost never take such games lightly. And I generally prefer to play compartment-3 games alone, manually; I find that's more satisfying than single-player computer games, because in a manual game I get hands-on experience with the mechanics (which, in a good design, are tied in closely with the theme).


Do you compartmentalize your gaming? Or is it all mixed together?

Just curious.
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Jim Cote
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Re: Do you compartmentalize your gaming?
Compartment 1:

Long, heavy games with just the right number of serious gamers.

Compartment 2:

Anything else. Slight to moderate disappointment.
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Chris Schenck
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Re: Do you compartmentalize your gaming?
Interesting question. I definitely get in moods for certain types of games at times, but when game nights come around, we simply wing it and play whatever strikes our collective mood at the time.

Granted, it's sometimes difficult to transition from Tide of Iron to Apples to Apples ...
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Garcian Smith
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Games to introduce to newbies/casuals, yet aren't fillers: most likely Ticket to Ride

Games to play with gamey friends: Race for the Galaxy, Magic the Gathering

Computer/Video Games
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Russ Williams
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Games at home with my SO: short abstract combinatorial games (Gipf series, Gigamic series, Blokus Duo, etc), some Euros (Caylus, Power Grid, Stone Age, etc). We try to play at least one short game every day when possible, and enjoy having a monthly home tournament of daily games according to some particular theme.

Local gamers during game evenings (in public settings or invited to homes): generally Euros; sometimes combinatorial games; once in a while light fluff like Cash and Guns, Pitch Car, etc.

Local cons: generally Euros and combinatorial games, including tournaments; occasionally light fluff.

Wargames: currently I meet regularly with one specific local gamer for games of Hannibal and Conflict of Heroes.

Go: currently I play by email via DGS mostly with old friends I used to play with face-to-face in the states. I also sometimes play online at KGS, e.g. when a group of Esperantist go players start up our occasional informal tournaments. I occasionally go to tournaments.

Non-serious gamers (e.g. when my SO and I play with her mom or her brother, or when we go to Esperanto events and take a couple games along): Tantrix, Rumis, Set, Metro, Scrabble, etc.

Random sporadic online play of Euros or combinatorial games at BSW, boardspace.net, etc if the mood strikes me. I normally prefer face-to-face with people I know though.
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Bruce Padget
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I'm active in the Society for Creative Anachronism. In it, I've made a bit of a reputation for teaching games that would have been known in pre-17th century Europe. (My specialty is tables, the family of games to which Backgammon belongs.)

I've found that in my mind, I pretty much completely separate my historical gaming from my modern gaming.
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J C Lawrence
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Compartment 1: Meaty challenging games I enjoy.
Compartment 2: Disappointing undesirables that occur between instances of the first category.
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Dave Eisen
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I do not have compartments for different games. I have compartments for different experiences with the same game.

I have clear divisions between Teaching Games and Competitive Games. In the first, the joy is from bringing new people into the fold of a game I enjoy, from the social elements, and, well, I just like teaching. In the second I want only serious gamers who are experienced in the game in question and who provide (1) a real challenge which helps me improve at the game and (2) the ability to choose actions assuming my opponents will make strong choices, if not necessarily the same choices I would have made.

The worst gaming experiences I can remember is when I wanted a Competitive Game and walked into a Teaching Game. Or when I considered it a Teaching Game and someone else at the table was taking it with a different spirit.
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J C Lawrence
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dkeisen wrote:
The worst gaming experiences I can remember is when I wanted a Competitive Game and walked into a Teaching Game. Or when I considered it a Teaching Game and someone else at the table was taking it with a different spirit.


Good point.
 
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Dave Eisen
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clearclaw wrote:
Compartment 1: Meaty challenging games I enjoy.
Compartment 2: Disappointing undesirables that occur between instances of the first category.


You say this and yet you enjoy games like Bongo! and Liar's Dice that fall nowhere near your Compartment 1.
 
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Godspeed the Punchline
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clearclaw wrote:
Compartment 1: Meaty challenging games I enjoy.
Compartment 2: Disappointing undesirables that occur between instances of the first category.


So, wait... you're saying that there are games you *like* and games you *don't*? Whoa.
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J C Lawrence
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dkeisen wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Compartment 1: Meaty challenging games I enjoy.
Compartment 2: Disappointing undesirables that occur between instances of the first category.


You say this and yet you enjoy games like Bongo! and Liar's Dice that fall nowhere near your Compartment 1.


I find Bongo, like Set and Ricochet Robots to be quite meaty. Liar's Dice is a gap filler.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Orthodork wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Compartment 1: Meaty challenging games I enjoy.
Compartment 2: Disappointing undesirables that occur between instances of the first category.


So, wait... you're saying that there are games you *like* and games you *don't*? Whoa.


Yeah, I thought I'd stretch the boundaries of credibility.
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Bob Roberts

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What model Plano do you use for this?
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p55carroll
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badinfo wrote:
What model Plano do you use for this?


Mental Plano.
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Bob Roberts

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LOL!
 
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John Dyer
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Games with my wife: Scrabble, mostly

Games with our group: Ticket to Ride, Settlers, Modern Art, etc.

Games that just I play: computer RPGs, chess

Games that just the kids and I play: Sorry! Sliders

Games that I would play if I knew some like minded people: D&D, Arkham Horror, other similar, heavily themed games.


Man that's a lot of compartments!
 
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I don't compartmentalize my gaming life, and that's probably why I'm often disappointed. I know not everyone likes the same games, yet I do like the games that nobody else feels like playing because it's 'too long' or there's 'only 2 people and that doesn't work so well with 2' or 'don't feel like learning a new game that will take 3 hours'.

So I go to game group and come home disappointed a lot, because I don't get to play the games I really want to.

Luckily, Chicago Express doesn't take very long so I can get it on the table. Indonesia, not so much. Container, not so much.
 
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p55carroll
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Jythier wrote:
I don't compartmentalize my gaming life, and that's probably why I'm often disappointed. . . .

So I go to game group and come home disappointed a lot, because I don't get to play the games I really want to. . . .


I used to be disappointed a lot too, and it was that way for years. It puzzled me, because if gaming is such a big hobby for me, it ought to be pleasant, fun, and satisfying. Why was I disappointed?

That's when it started to dawn on me that I expect (and get) different things from different kinds of games--and from different gaming groups.

Many people around here call it "scratching a particular itch."

Deep strategy games like chess and go scratch one itch for me, but I prefer to just study them from books and practice on the computer.

Euros and other social games scratch a different itch--I like getting together with my wife and/or friends to play those, but not too seriously; just for fun.

Wargames scratch yet another itch (guess I'm an itchy guy). They're great when I want to just immerse myself in a "story," creating it as I go along--and I can be happy just playing both sides against each other, learning and enjoying the game but not really competing at it.

Before I realized these were different itches, with different remedies, I tried in vain to find the one game that would scratch all itches. That's when I ended up disappointed.

 
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