Monday, June 30, 2014

It's All A Game

Board games have always been a family thing for me - from the all time classic favourite of Monopoly to the more recent Game of Life that my brother received a couple of Christmases back. Leaving the games behind during the move over to this side of the Big Puddle definitely curtailed such family-friendly activities.

At least till I bought my niece a storytelling game last Christmas called Once Upon a Time. All began quite innocently with a snowflake that began the story. Irresistibly charmed by the storekeeper who kept my niece happily entertained with her animated storytelling antics - and more than a little intrigued by the ongoing fables theme, I immediately purchased a set for myself as well. After all I do like to spin a tale.

Returning here to find a group of like-minded comrades with a heretofore hidden penchant for gaming only added to the resulting flurry of interest. Didn't take very long after that before the relentless game-buying snowballed into a veritable avalanche of board games that threatened to bury the living room hall.

Soon we were spending the weekends practically knee-deep in medieval peasant farming Agricola-style, escaping sinking islands ala Atlantis and hunting down grunting zombies in Zombicide fashion.

Friend : I think I saw two zombie runners go by.
Paul : It's okay. Let's keep really quiet and remain out of sight. 

Friend : So are we here for food or water?
Paul : I ran out of hair gel. 

Along the way, I came to the realization that I enjoy basic cooperative games rather than the wildly competitive ones. Trying to outwit, outlast and outplay everyone else on the table just seems terribly exhausting. After all this years, it seems I've finally managed to lay my old ambitious, cutthroat kiasu self to rest! Such a blessed relief to know that I won't tumble into an insane spiral of bubbling resentment each time I lose at a game.

Which is more than I can say for the rest of my friends.

The increasingly intense weekend game-playing appears to have woken up the sleeping dragon in our Diffident David. Possibly in a bid to distract himself from the doomed love affair, David has been drowning his sorrows in the gaming extravaganza. Minutes tick by as he deliberately plots his next nefarious stratagem, all the while busy rubbing his hands in glee over stealing our turn or burning down our districts.

Paul : Wow, you sure do like to win. 
David : Umm. But it's a game and we should play to win. And I want to win. You don't like it? Maybe I should stop playing and -
Paul : Hold it. 
David : But I -
Paul : There is no need to fall into hysterics. I just said you like to win. It's a character trait, not a flaw. 

Replacing love lost with a frenzied need to win? I half expect to find him stroking a fluffy white cat soon. 

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