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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

New vs Old

I like to think I'm as interested in the games I have as in new games, but I'm finding more and more evidence that when it comes to getting excited about playing a game, it's all about the new stuff.

Let me be clear about this: when I'm playing the game, I'm much more interested in having fun, and that has little to do with the game itself, other than it being a good game (i.e.; not Rocketville). In other words, what seems to stimulate me during a game is different than what stimulates me when picking a game. Yikes.

That's a bit of a surprising thing to learn about oneself, and I suspect it applies to a lot more than just games in my life. I've already discussed how men and women are wired differently, and that the women-in-chainmail-bikini tendency of fantasy art plays directly into this. One of the differences is that men are all about new and different, and games are no exception. However, what I'm coming to understand that different is important to men when they are making choices, but that it stops being important once that decision has been made.

So, for example, playing "vanilla" Settlers seems boring when we are deciding what to play, but fun when playing it. Assuming, of course, that the company is good.

Recognizing this essential truth about myself is a bit alarming, and I have a strong suspicion that it applies to a lot more than just game selection. However, it does inform the question whether I prefer new games or old games. And the answer is, quite simply, both.

I expect that if I manage to actually internalize this truth, the answer will start shifting over to older games that I already know and enjoy playing. This is already true to some extent with wargames, although wargames have the quality of requiring much more preparation and understanding to play, and thus have a built-in impediment to the Shiny Factor. Mind you, this hasn't prevented me from buying tons of wargames that I will never play, and may never even set up (although I almost always unfold the map and clip the counters). Sometimes I even make it through the rules.

Still, when it comes down to brass tacks, I will always enjoy even a mediocre game played in good company to a great game played with people I don't like much. In the half-turkey sandwich / four-course meal spectrum, I guess that means I enjoy cigars and spirits. ;-)


  • At 1:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For me the two are different. There are certain games I play with friends and I play and enjoy them in rather particular ways. There are also (usually different) games I play with strangers or people I don't care about very much, and I play and enjoy them differently, but I still enjoy them.

  • At 1:21 AM, Anonymous hotmail account said…

    Both of them I need, thanks for providing a useful information here.


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