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Subject: 24: Truly One of the Greatest Games That No One Will Play With Me rss

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Isaak
United States
San Francisco
CA
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Some people have strange, quirky talents. Like this guy I knew at summer camp who could stuff 40 marshmallows in his shockingly expanding mouth. Or my friend who can knot cherry stems together with his tongue into--swear to god--animal figures. Mozart could play some piano. My special, special talent is that I can make four numbers in 24 using basic arithmetic alarmingly fast. I may have never even known about this valuable, deeply enviable ability had I not been introduced to one of my favorite games of all time, 24.

I learned this game while I was (possibly slightly intoxicated) at a party in high school. Let it be a credit to my high school friends that, while certain more interesting things were going on, most of the kids had crowded around a large wooden table, staring at four cards face up for long stretches of silence and confusion.

The master of this game was quickly identified as my friend Scott, who, though he may not have been capable of standing, was very capable of turning the four numbers into twenty-four. The typical way to do so was with a simple multiplication and addition (e.g., 6x2=(12)+ (4x3)= (12)= 24) though some of the equations were impressively drawn out. I watched for a solid fifteen minutes before I even comprehended what was happening, though this might have been influenced by other factors. But once I solved my first equation, I was hooked.

Scott and I hung out the next day, and began two-player round. I was still getting schooled, but I started to hold my own. In the next game, my talent emerged, and the sheer thrill and panic of 24 put the game at the top of my list. For those who can only comprehend this in heavy-game analogy, think of the fright and glee of trying to feed those friggin' six Agricola children while your opponent slams the table constantly and tells you they're going to steal all your grain. It's fantastic.

Eventually, we added a few more ways to play: using powers of (i.e., 2 to the 3=8 x 3=24, etc.) and at one point even included factorial (i.e. 3!= 3+2+1=6, etc.). These were fun, but usually only came into play with a nearly impossible set. Let it be known that some combination won't make 24 any way you spin it (especially if a 7 is involved).

If you do get into this game, and someone accuses you of memorizing combinations, you can also play this with the goal number being 36 instead of 24. There are comparable ways to make 36, and then you can both be on relatively equal ground if you don't do this too often.

Anyway, the sad end of the story is that I almost never get a chance to play this game these days. Sadly, Scott, the original master of the game, moved to the East Coast. For a few months, every friend I could coerce to a game table I tried to get addicted to 24...very few stuck it out. Most of the time, I even bit my tongue through a lot of the flips, trying to get them hooked, but usually one game would last about five minutes and then I'd either win or they'd quit.

Scott comes back in town now and then and we always get a few games hammered out. Even though he plays strategy games now, and is a fierce competitor and quick learner at whatever we throw at him, 24 remains a classic. After all, adrenaline is more addictive than the satisfaction of getting Longest Road...

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Vincent White
United States
Chestnut Hill
Massachusetts
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This Weak Empty Nonsensical Take Yearns For Outrageous Unwanted Responces.
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PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
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I will take Mnemonics and Acrostics for $800, Alex.
 
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