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Play and Learn - What Board Games Teach Us About Ourselves

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29 Sep 2020 00:00 #314643 by oliverkinne
I have now been playing board games for about 20...

The more we play games, the more we learn. We learn better strategies, new mechanisms, how to be a better loser, as well as a better winner, we learn that we don't always have to have the latest games, or that we definitely do, and we learn a few other things besides. In this article, I want to focus on something else though. I want to look at what playing board games has taught me about myself, about the people around me, and how it has changed me over time, if at all.

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02 Oct 2020 16:18 #314785 by jason10mm
I absolutely agree with you, how folks play a game is very revealing about themselves, or how they would like to be at least. I know very reserved introspective people who become beasts at the table and vice versa. Why? Something about the 2 steps removed from reality nature of a board game can bring out interesting things in a person.

I myself am usually a "win at all costs" type player (no shocker there) but why is that? Are there any "costs" in a board game? Is a player obligated to make all the other players feel good about themselves or is winning the game the ultimate objective? Gotta read the room on that one, because a patronizing player can be quite insufferable.

Certainly when teaching a game to new players it is beneficial to play gently so everyone can learn as they make mistakes. But at a table with 5 vicious cutthroat veteran players.... anything goes!

It is amazing to me how emotionally connected people can be to chunks of wood and plastic. Lords of Waterdeep isnt just about trading white, purple, orange, and black dudes in for victory points, those are heroines doing battle for RIGHTEOUSNESS! (Or evil, I don't judge :) We get upset when little cardboard circles are taken from us or the cube dice don't roll like we want.

I'd be very interested in seeing a sociologist study player actions compared to a personality evaluation (one of those EJTS things perhaps). Are we fated to play a certain way?
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04 Dec 2020 10:44 #316848 by oliverkinne
Thank you for your comment, jason10mm. It is so interesting how much games do reveal about ourselves and others. I'm sure there is a lot of research waiting to be done on our hobby.

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11 Dec 2020 15:15 #317089 by ThirstyMan
Over the years, I've learned I'm a terrible loser.

As a result, I've gravitated to solo board games or rpg gaming as you're really playing as a team. I'm also OK with cooperative board games but highly competitive ones, I really don't like.

Predictable though as I hate sport and its tribal loyalties.

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11 Dec 2020 16:38 #317092 by Shellhead
My two favorite types of games are co-op and semi-co-op, which allows for straight co-op play as well as competitive or even treacherous play. This site helped my finally realize that the single most important thing to me about gaming is to experience a story. Or at least a reasonable semblance of a story. I don't need to win to enjoy a game, I just want to know what happens next and finally how the story ends. I need a sense of representation in the game, even if it's just a stack of fake money in front of me during play. I don't cheat unless that is a permitted element within the rules of the game, like breaking a deal, and I don't want to play with people who are so competitive that they feel the need to cheat outside of what the game allows. I also don't want to play with poor sports, including both gloating winners and whiny losers.

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