Tue, 17 Dec 2002

Dear Mister Wonderful,

I really enjoy playing strategy/board games, but I mostly enjoy them because of the social aspect. Honestly, I really don't care if I win or lose, just if I'm having fun. Why is that so rare? Why do people get so annoyed with someone who is more interested in playing and having fun than in winning the game?




Dear Gary Kasparov,

Well lad, there's a fine line between playing strictly for love of the game, free from lust of victory, and playing like a distracted monkey, fucking about and eating all the Monopoly money.

The point is: games have rules, essentially arbitrary rules, which artificially increase the complexity of the fun-having experience. If you just want to have fun for no reason, you don't need the strictures of a "game." For most people, you see, observing the Objective of the written rules (e.g. "Be the first to reach Nirvana with the purple Ding-Dong before Dracula comes out of his custard.") is integral to the very concept of playing. If you don't try to win, you're not following the Objective rule. And if you are, therefore, picking and choosing which rules to obey, you're not really playing the game - you're just eating another man's Doritos in front of a cardboard square.

Mister Wonderful, however, does not feel that one should be competitive. By all means, play to win, but don't get caught up in making sure others lose. You must play as well as you can, striving to complete the stated objectives of the Brothers Parker, but you should also delight in the well-playing of your fellow gamesters. On Triskelion we used to have a saying: "All your people must learn that they don't need to be an ass." I think there's still some wisdom in that.

It may also be that your friends are annoyed by your self-satisfied humming. Particularly if you're accidentally winning.

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