I enjoy playing games. I make no attempt to hide this, but I also don’t broadcast it all the time. I think there is a combination of a desire for mastery as well as both diversion and social interaction involved in games. While I’m not always up for social interaction, I do enjoy it on occasion. (And I do play some games that don’t require any social interaction.)
I started before I even went to college with Chess, then Risk and then, in college, Axis & Allies. The war game genre is fun for me because of the strategy involved. In the past several years, I’ve picked up a few more games in this category that I enjoy. Memoir ’44 is a war game based on single battles from World War II. BattleLore uses similar rules to Memoir ’44, but is set in a time of ancient warfare with horsemen, archers and the like. There are variants of BattleLore that include goblins, dwarves, and other magical creatures.
After joining a gaming group for several meetings when we still lived in South Carolina, our family also came to learn several new games, known as Euro-gaming. These games are from companies or designers who live and work in Europe and have a different feel from the typical American games like Monopoly or Clue. We played Pirate’s Cove and Ticket To Ride and enjoyed them, but our favorites are Settlers of Catan and Dominion (which barely qualifies for this category). I suspect there are others we would enjoy in this category, but the kids are often going in many different directions at once and it is difficult to nail them down to play a good family game.
I’ve played computer games for as long as I can remember. When I was very, very young, my parents owned the original Pong game, and I was probably seven or eight when we got an Atari 2600. I played that for several years, then when we moved to Texas (I was fourteen) I bought a Commodore 64 and started playing “real” computer games. Several years ago, I started playing World of Warcraft with my sons. It was a fun way to spend time together and we all enjoyed it. I still play, but my boys enjoy different aspects of the game than I do, so we don’t get to play together too much.
Finally, within the last year I started playing the card game, Magic: The Gathering. There is a unique combination of variety, strategy and randomness that makes the game fun to play and enjoyable to stick with. I play with both of my sons and my son-in-law (when we can). In addition, I have a group of friends at work who also play. We spend our lunch hour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays playing our Magic cards. Definitely a distraction, but an enjoyable and strategic one.