Category: Gaming

I love games.

By games I mean any human, social interactivity involving an established set of rules or rubric that allows access to and interaction in a fictional reality. Like novels and film, games allow a progressing narrative, often involving actual characters, plot, conflict, tension, and resolution. But unlike novels and film, the medium of gaming provides players with active access to the characters’ decisions and the outcome of the plot; quite literally the reality of the game world depends upon choices that the player makes. This is awesome. Just as every culture of humans around the globe has some sort of language and some sort of musical interaction, people around the world play games for a variety of ritualistic reasons–to unwind, to teach a lesson, to tell a story, to imagine new possibilities. In the modern, digital age, games continue to embody our active access to fictional realities through time-honored traditional forms of play, as well as other, new technological means of exploring our abstract understanding. Since the mid-1980s I have continued to involve myself with games of many different types and genres. My passion for gaming began back then with tabletop role-playing games, Colecovision, and traditional board games, and has continued to the present day with a variety of computer games, console games, card games, and more recent board game releases. Like I said, I love games.

Tabletop gaming is an elaborately co-created narrative and possibly my favorite type of gaming. It is an intelligent mix of rule sets, character narrative, and plot. I have an ever-growing collection of games, and I immensely enjoy playing, sharing, and reading what people have created, both for and during tabletop sessions.

Board games are a microcosmic reality: some have elaborate narrative and fantastical characterization like tabletop RPGs, while others focus on rules sets that pit player against player through the use of “pieces” or avatars of some kind. In addition to board games, card games (collectible, traditional, and otherwise) can span this conceptual distance as well. I very much enjoy a good board game session.

I also enjoy video games. I think they, like film, are art and narrative combined, but unlike film they allow active participation in the world of the protagonist. My first video game was a text-based computer game about being a truck driver… I don’t remember the name of it. Then there was the original Colecovision. Since that time, I have gamed on most console and computer platforms in multiple genres.

“All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance; the same description may be applied to the best, most elegant and both intellectually and aesthetically satisfying games.”

–Iain Banks

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