"My favourite game is Guess Who. It's like charades and I love Connect Four. I'm really good at it." "I swear, I could kick anyone's a** at Connect Four."
I didn't get to game this this weekend, but that doesn't mean that games made no appearance in my life.
On Friday evening, after I returned from dinner, we hosted some friends for a Tu B'Shvat seder, which is a meandering Hassidic custom about fruits, trees, and wine. This bored me until I brought out the only thing we had that could represent barley to the table, namely the remains of an awesome bottle of scotch. The evening picked up from then on.
Meanwhile, one of the guests are my friends with two kids, said kids who own a stack of games in the living room and always play, but have never played anything good. I took advantage of their being in my house to introduce them to Betsy, my game cabinet. I taught them Yinsh, and the two kids, a girl around 13 and a boy around 11 sat down to play on the living-room floor behind us.
They made it through one and a quarter game. Throughout the game, even though the rules are not that complicated, the boy kept complaining that the girl was cheating whenever she made a legal play. Either he didn't like the play, or he was unable to grasp the full implication of how to play. He kept trying to move rings without placing the disks, jump rings, and all sorts of other things that you can't do. And all the while, accused her of cheating.
Naturally, the girl won, and though she made a game attempt to try another game with him, she had to abandon it when he became more vociferous. But she liked the game, and her parents, who had kept half an eyeball on the goings-on, gave some indication that they may be interested in picking the game up.
After a game with rules didn't work, I tried to interest them in Zero-In, which is simply a bunch of cards where you guess a celebrity's name from a series of clues and an extraneous set of rules, but they couldn't cooperate enough to try again.
Nevertheless, I heard many interesting things, and thought many interesting thoughts over shabbat, about winning and politics and law, and about evil and god, some of which may turn up in future posts. Regarding the latter (evil and god), I will simply quote Levinas for now: "Ontological absence means ethical presence".
Many sites cover the World of Warcraft board game expansion. Just so you know, I often don't bother to cover news items that are extensively covered on other sites.
Both Chris Bateman (on "logistical play") and Bernie DeKoven tackle competition and challenge, as does the mainstream press icWales, the latter of which asserts that competition in childhood can lead to a wealthier life.