Today I'd like to talk a little bit about how important it is to play games as both a designer and a non-designer. Those of you who follow the blogs know I recently moved from Texas to Rhode Island. The move went well and we are settled but we only know a few people here and I haven't had time to go visit some game shops with all the unpacking and such. I only recently realized just how badly I've been craving a good tabletop gaming session.
I solidified this notion via text message when talking to Andrew about the fact that it has been over a month since I've played any table top games. I've been designing and working on all sorts of game related things but haven't taken the time to enjoy this passion that led us to this point. Noticing this has made it a priority for me and until I fix it I won't be fulfilled. The point is that it's important far beyond the desire to "play games". I need to play games to remain a solid game designer, father, husband, and co-human to all of you.
Games teach us that we can use our minds to improve our situations. They teach us that interaction is important and may not always be what it may seem. All games make us pay attention to the rules but the BEST games make us find ways to manipulate the rules in our favor. I find that when I play games regularly my mind is sharper and my ideas are generally better or more cohesive. The thought process is that when you are consistently playing attention to rule sets, or board states, or other relatively complex ideas of economies that can be found in games; You will improve your sense of judgement and overall decision making which carries over into your daily life.
The most important thing about games is that they are fun and you enjoy what you play. The distinction for board games is that we get to go out and feel these tactile pieces and cards while interacting with other people. I find that while all types of games are fun but tabletop games are often the most satisfying to play due to the brevity and attrition involved. It's something I think everyone should try to incorporate into their lives and families.
If you aren't a regular gamer, think about grabbing a copy of Stir Fry 18 when we have them available in a couple of weeks. It's a light game about cooking stir fry with bluffing, deduction, and loads of interaction. We certainly would appreciate the support, and I think anyone can learn to play and enjoy SF18. Stay tuned and it should be available very soon.