Good Sports

13 May

I’ve always maintained that part of the value of playing games is that we get to see more of peoples’ personalities that might not come out in everyday conversation. You learn more about who is optimistic, who is pessimistic, who is impulsive, who worries too much … you might also learn things about yourself that you didn’t realise, that maybe you’ll consider changing.dbd57bcbb3fff7245025a39061012200Hopefully you’ll want to be a “good sport”. It’s not just about not throwing a tantrum or sulking when you lose. If you’re someone who gloats when you win, and bossily tells the other players what they should have done … then you’re not a good spot.

I heard a great quote about this in a YouTube video earlier in the year:

“If you win you should act as though it was a pleasant surprise…
If you lose, you should act as though you welcome the change of pace.”
“Whitleypedia” (Jared Whitley)

Let’s all try to not only notice how other people play games … but also how we play games, and what that says about our character.

With that in mind, here are photos from Cafe Games last month with everybody playing terribly nicely (I’m sure). As always, click on the images if you want to see them larger or to tag your Facebook friends.

Diamonds – Oooh shiny white and red gems in this card game. I like shiny.

Rummikub, just like a card game, with a widespread appeal. One day I’ll run an event just for Rummikub!

There are other games which have some similarities with Dixit, but this game evokes people’s imaginations in such a direct and uncomplicated fashion that it outshines the others. It feels like the simplest game that could be played with a bunch of cards where each has a unique and surreal artwork.

Cards Against Humanity. Ahh yes, I see competing to gross out your friends is still a popular game.

Resistance Avalon – intrigue and betrayal amongst the knights of King Arthur’s court. And on an actual round table too!!

Chrononauts – made by the creators of Fluxx, but a more strategic game.
Normally time-travellers are careful about not changing the past, but in this game you’re all reckless time-travellers trying to ensure that their own version of reality comes true. Should the Titanic hit the iceberg or not? Should you let JFK get assassinated?

Hedbanz – good light fun, the very definition of a party game as players try to guess the person, place or thing listed on the card stuck to their heads.

Logo Game – prove you know more embarrassing details about advertising jingles and product packaging. Has a lovely upbeat fresh feel, feels a bit like being on some kind of tv game show. I’ve found it works well to unwind after (or between) strategy games.

King of Tokyo – Graarrrr! Godzilla-sized monsters quarrelling over who will get to stomp on Tokyo.

Blokus – it’s a puzzle game but also is quite pretty with its’ bright player colours. Get as many of your awkwardly shaped pieces on the board as possible.

I suppose Bohnanza is also quite colourful, and also technically abstract – I mean if you try to invite people to play a game about trading beans, that doesn’t sound half as much fun as this often raucous game of making deals with other players to get the sets of coloured cards you want, or get rid of the ones that would mess everything up for you.

Ha! It’s my fault, in the last blog post I said we hadn’t seen Mysterium for ages – so folks took this as a challenge and there were quite a few sets of Mysterium being played.

Players are psychics receiving cryptic visions about a murder long ago. (From behind that mysterious cardboard wall) Since the vision cards are very much like Dixit cards, the two often get compared, but Mysterium doesn’t replace Dixit. The latter is a lot more personal and creative. In Mysterium, there’s a specific message being sent and the “ghost” player giving out the cards may have been randomly dealt unhelpful cards.

Codenames is triumphantly still widely popular. In the main picture above you can see the two “spymaster” players responsible for giving out cryptic clues have donned dark glasses tinted to match the a blue and red dark glasses worn in the game’s artwork.

In previous blog posts I’ve previously discussed the popularity of playing Codenames using the picture cards from Dixit. WELL … it looks like an official version is in the works! Also click here to see what the picture cards might look like.

The Mahjong section is still quite popular. It’s like a card game, and if you’d like to give it a try, they’re more than willing to teach it to you.

Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre – a wacky name for a wacky game, with bizarro “Mambo” like artwork and you’re building up long-winded names for the spells you’re casting.

Strategy game Settlers of Catan back again. It’s a modern standard.

The Hen Commandments. Someone randomly deals out cards that make a near unintelligible sentence, a new holy commandment. People then need to try to explain what the sentence “really” means and make a passionate speech about why it’s so important. I guess the idea is that we’re all a bunch of chickens making up our own religion. Cluck.

Deep – a game of Eminent Domain three tables long. It went for quite a long time.

Kerrin holding forth in the Agricola fields again

Lords of Waterdeep – intrigued that this game is still quite popular despite few people paying any attention to the original story of the game being about lords of a magical city, instead treating it like an abstract game where coloured cubes are moved around the board.

The Grizzled – a cooperative puzzle game with the depressing theme of being a bunch of soldiers stuck in the World War I trenches, who just want to survive the horrors of war and go home. Along the way, individual players might unwillingly gain negative traits, psychological injuries from their time in the war. They’ll either all win … or … not. 😦

Thebes! Palestine! Crete! Let’s be archaeologists and see if we can dig up precious artifacts at sites throughout Egypt and the Near East! Sure, you can just run off and start digging, but without doing your research first, you’ll probably dig in the wrong place and get nothing … so … you need to hold your excitement in check long enough to do lots of research in the libraries of Europe. But how much should you do before going off to dig. It’s a game of chicken, waiting to see who’s the first to snap and dash off to dig. Remember if you leave it too late, everything might already have been discovered! Oh no!

See You Tomorrow!!

Cafe Games is back on tomorrow (Sat 14) at the usual time and place as on our calendar above.
12-5 social and party games only … from 5-11pm, whatever you want.
Yes, we’re booked into the Celtic Club for the rest of the year so we’re still going there for the time being, regardless of whether they’ve finally been sold.

~ Christopher



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