Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Imprecision of Why

I have given a lot of thought in the past few weeks as to why I love games so much. I am not the typical video game addict with every next-gen console and complete libraries of games to complement them. Hell, I still play Halo (one and two) on my X-box if bored. Even as a PC fan, I have never subscribed to more than one MMO at a time, and usually only buy new games if highly recommended by close friends.

I am the kind of gamer who buys one starter deck of a random CCG or one blister pack of a random combat-dial miniature game. I have also been known to plunder the discount game bins at big-box stores looking for nothing in particular and often visit the forums of hardcore board and card games. None of this is done in an attempt to gain hours of gameplay, but rather to reverse-engineer their mechanics. As much as I still enjoy a session of World of Darkness or Magblast with a group of friends, I would rather figure out what works and what does not work with Alhambra than play Counter Strike with strangers.

Ever since I played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time at age eleven, I have enjoyed finding out what makes a game tick as much as I have enjoyed playing the game. Sometimes the former is the only enjoyable part with certain games, but I digress…

Even when I ran table-top games, I was never a rule-Nazi, but rather a rule-editor. I never looked at a gaming session as the rules and me vs. the players, but rather considered it my responsibility to make the players have fun, often at the expense of the rules.

This infatuation with the ‘why’ of games is why I began this blog, along with the hope to hear from some like-minded addicts in an attempt to define and contemplate our obsession. Or at least that is why I chose this topic. In actuality this blog began as an assignment and was almost named “The Practically Pragmatic Solution to an Idealistically Obsessed Addict” but the title window in Blogger did not have a spell checker, so “The Intent of Content” was born.

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