I got back a short time ago from another all day orgy of board gaming. About ten hours of tokens and counters and cards, with lots of bagels and pizza thrown in for good measure (we gamers do like our carbs). It was fun, especially getting to game with some people I don’t get to play with very often. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if could have managed to win a game every once in a while.
In my first game, a game of Power Grid, I lead pretty much from the get go, only to crash spectacularly on the final turn and end up in last. I lost in my usual wheelhouse game, 7 Wonders. We lost two games of Pandemic, helping to doom the entire world to a future of various colorful diseases. I did actually win once, at the racing game Formula D But even that was tainted by the fact that we realized we’d been playing incorrectly about halfway through. Play by the rules, and I’m probably still limping my way around the track.
Thing is, a day of losing at games is still better than a day with no games in it at all. I can be competitive as hell when it comes to video games or watching sports. But while I might grumble and make plenty of self-deprecating remarks about my ineptitude, games like the ones today are more about the social aspect. Being in a crowd. Enjoying the clever moves. Laughing at shared misfortunes. Appreciating well-earned victories. It’s not life and death by any stretch, and while we all do try to win, nobody’s grabbing their dice and going home when they lose. If they did, they wouldn’t be playing with us very long much longer.
So I went through the motions, the expressions of agony, the plaintive cries to the gods of fate, But I was just happy to be playing, and to be around a bunch of fellow geeks who all liked the same games. They could just let me win once in a while. It’s not too much to ask.