Sunday, May 21, 2006

Weekend Gaming

I taught my parents how to play Havoc. My parents taught me how to play bridge, so I feel that I owe it to them. My father stopped playing bridge, since it always devolved into him yelling at my mother over some dumb play. As often as not, he would also be wrong.

In any case, Havoc, being a card game and with a semi-familiar poker theme, is less threatening to teach than some of my board games. Even so, we started playing without all of the rules fully explained, such as the last battle and the dogs of war. I never got to explaining the use of two dogs, because I didn't want to overwhelm them.

Both parents naturally overspent on the first few battles. My mom in particular called Havoc nearly every chance that she could. Meanwhile, I managed to save up not one, but two straight flushes. Holding onto these card gave me less play during the intermediate rounds, but I still managed to gain some nice points with some full houses here and there.

I ended up winning by a large margin. My parents though it was cute, and my Mom even mentioned the next day that she probably should have saved more for the last battles.

My Mom usually spends her time when she is not doing sculpture or reading one of her sci-fi books (she has 370 Star Trek novels alone) playing out card games with herself. Typically this means bridge hands. It's kind of a meditation, I suppose.

The next day we had lunch with our former neighbors, and I was reminded of why I don't like being in a house with too many children. And these were nice and good children and babies, but so asynchronous and so loud. I saw their pathetic games collection: four versions of Monopoly in different languages and states of repair, two sets of checkers and backgammon, and some puzzles, and felt depressed.

Later towards evening I played Set with some kids at other former neighbors and I lost. I rarely lose, so, while happy to meet a good player, I was even more depressed.

In the evening we went to hear some folk music, which cheered me a little. The singer was Tommy Sands. There is something so special about a folk music house concert. It feels a little like you are building the world. There's a lot to be said about the 40,000 person rock arena; that can be a special event, too (I've only been to one, and that was Pink Floyd). But folk music is family.

Linkety Link:

Raph Koster will be releasing his second book, A Grammar of Gameplay. I have only just ordered his first book, A Theory of Fun, and I'm looking forward to reading it. I'll report back here, of course.

The Long Beach City College is showcasing a line of eveningwear based on Candyland, and you can also buy a Candyland beach towel from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

And someone in Scotland thinks that playing more board games with your family will reduce your proclivity to engage in teenage sex:

PARENTS in the Lothians are being urged to spend quality time with their children as part of a new drive aimed at stopping youngsters having underage sex...

The radio campaign, which urges parents to spend time with their children by playing sport or board games, has been launched by the controversial pilot scheme Healthy Respect.


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