Sunday Speculation: For the Love of the Game

Photo by Erik Mallinson/Flickr

There is no denying it: I am a gamer.

I adventure in World of Warcraft. I take capture points and blow up people in Team Fortress 2. My iPad is full of games from World of Goo (SO. GOOD.) to Scrabble to Warpgate to- well, you get the point. Lots of games.

I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons at a pretty young age. My mother’s family was big into card games and my friends would play lots of a board games. With the advent of Atari and then later Nintendo, the console game system started to feature into my play activities. A family Commodore 64 was where my brother and I would play even more games. College had a combination of console (Playstation), computer (the first Command & Conquer blew my mind and lots of Quake), and some other games (Hearts and a violent card game known simply as “Egyptian Ratscrew”. Don’t ask.) Post college saw involvement in live action roleplaying games (also known as LARPs) in addition to the other platforms (console, computer, board, card) listed above.

Gaming has been a part of my professional life as well. I worked to co-create a video game collection in my library system. The circulation for the games has been tremendously successful. I’ve been pretty proud of that and work towards giving people a new way to look at the library as well as a chance to see what else we have to offer.

Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of articles that talk about the importance of play in development (both human and other animals) and the benefits it has on mental acuity. Personally, I’ve never understood while people give up on play so easily. Or maybe it’s just that the concept of play changes over time for some people.

So, I have a simple question: how do you play? What do you consider to be play? And how has play changed for you?

11 thoughts on “Sunday Speculation: For the Love of the Game

  1. We are definitely board and card-game people in my house. Lots of UNO, gin (rummy), trivial pursuit, cranium, and guestimation. I love that these games can be played by multiple age levels at once

    • You might like a game called Flux then. It’s a card game that you can play right out of the box. I do love those games that require no prep or setup!

  2. I have been a video gamer since the age of 6 when I received the NES for Christmas. It has changed from that to Genesis, PS, N64, PS2, Xbox, 360, iPad and the occasional board and card games in between (more poker than Magic). While I still enjoy video games all these years later, it has diminished bit by bit. I used to love to play online (hello Halo!) but have come to realize that it is a conduit for rage. I’m normally not a competitive person (even in sports) but gaming definitely brings it out in me for some reason. I think gaming of any kind is great for social reasons, exercise for the mind and hand-eye coordination. I think excessive gaming can be bad, but anything in excess is usually bad. I’m hoping to expand the library’s collection of games, just am not sure if there’s a demand for it.

    • Oh, I remember playing Magic the Gathering for awhile. It was right after Legends came out and then it got super expensive. Not exactly the best in high school. One of my friends was very big into it; I used to play with him and the decks that he had constructed.

      Yeah, gaming addiction is just like everything else: an addiction.

      • For me, personally, the problem isn’t addiction. Don’t get me wrong, addiction is bad. Thankfully, I have never considered myself an addict (to me anyways, maybe some past gf would beg to differ). Like I was saying, it’s the rage thing. I just become a different person, cussing like a sailor. Not sure if others encounter this, but I’m guessing some do.

        • Oh yeah, if it brings out that kind of reaction in you? I’ve had that where I was just getting frustrated and not having fun so I finally just logged off or stopped playing. There’s a difference between playing and enduring and there is no reason to do the latter.

  3. I think gaming teaches so many wonderful things, for everybody really, but kids especially. Strategy, math, social skills, persistence… I can’t wait to game with Isobel. :)

  4. I love boardgames and card games! I often played Egyptian Rat Screw (or ERS as those of us in the know). My current favorite is Bananagrams!

    • Oh, Bananagrams is a great game! Love it! Insofar as Ratscrew goes, we got pretty violent at times. I dont know what the deal was, but it could get pretty ouchy.

  5. I have been playing video games since the original Nintendo. I also love board games and anything trivia. We own every console system Nintendo has ever made. I’ve been doing a lot of exercising with the Wii and the Balance Board. It makes it seem a lot more fun when your mind is engaged, too. My husband is more into PC games, but I’m a dedicated WoW player and also enjoy Left 4 Dead. My mage is hopelessly bumbling through heroics wearing PvP gear…

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