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Why we game...

Posted December 24th, 2008 at 11:19 AM by Bones
I don't know why everyone plays games like these, I've tried to think of a reason that is all encompassing: escapism, a social activity, and even therapy (better to snuff out a Marro than your boss) to name a few. I know that many of us enjoy building armies, there are those of us who like the challenge and strategy elements of games like these, and some just enjoy the experiences of a creative building story, game play, and the luck involved (That's for all you natural 20-rolling peeps).

I can tell you from my own gaming background, that I grew up in a time when my cousins were the coolest people I knew. They played D&D and I remember sitting at the table, too young to play, but fascinated by the rolling dice, the DM's screen, and the maps, oh the maps! The stories got me all excited and when I was old enough, I wanted to be a part of an adventure. A game like this is fun at differing times in your life... let me explain.

When you are really young, role-playing lets you try things out. You're safe because if you say the wrong thing, the rules of the game allow a 'good' DM to let you fall down and a means by which to pick yourself back up. The older you get, you yearn for different things: sometimes structure, sometimes freedom, sometimes a clear right and wrong, and sometimes a gray... 'it depends.'

When you play boardgames, there are clear rules. Winners and losers. As a small child this is appealing to some and not so much to others. I think it's because some kids see structure as a way to excell - "I know the rules, this is how I can get ahead within this structure and I'm really good at this" Where other kids see structure as a fun vacuum - "what do you mean I have to do it that way?"

I've been doing a lot of thinking about why I game and I think this is the best explanation: I enjoy having clarity.

You see, I grapple with personal philosophies - religion, values, and even morals to be honest. When I'm at work, my job involves challenging young minds and offering support. I teach a class to undergaduates each spring and in that class, my hope is to allow development by asking questions when I don't have the answers. It's this slippery student development that although I enjoy, get's me frustrated - "just because I say it's so, doesn't mean it's true."

My guess is, many of the heroscapers.com community are students of philosophy, historians, pastors, counselors, teachers, and instructors to name a few. This group may be playing games like me... to know exactly how far we can reach, to know a boundary, and to define good and evil, clearly. All of these career paths find it easier to learn through gaming than lecture. Am I right?

I also bet, heroscapers.com has groups playing because it's fun, it's something you can excell at due to your creative nature: customs & collaborations, and appreciation of what the game is - a peice of art, with subtle rules, styles, and components.

We game for different reasons. What's your reason?
Total Comments 3


rym's Avatar
First and foremost, because it is fun. Pure and simple. And yet, that fun has so many layers to it, like you alluded to.

It's hard to describe it accurately, except to say that I play as much as I can when I can.

Besides, how can you beat orcs fighting dragons fighting paratroopers fighting alien marro fighting hi-tech agents fighting gladiatiors fighting robots fighting elves fighting calvary fighting knights fighting orcs fighting dragons...
Posted December 24th, 2008 at 12:05 PM by rym rym is offline
Bolo's Avatar
I am a very textile person, I like to feel and see how different pieces interact with other pieces. That is why I have always been an avid miniatures war gamer. I like to play all kinds of miniature games, such as, Warhammer Epic, Mechwarrior, Mage Knight and alot of WWII war games. The thing I like most about Heroscape is not the miniatures themselves but the map tiles. This is the first miniature game that has come out with such an awesome way of making every game completely different. All other games play on flat paper mats or diy terrain, but not Heroscape. You can play on a frozen mountain top or a molten lava crater and everything in between. Its the 'scape part of heroscape that I love the best, and thats why I'll be playing until I can no longer roll dice.
Posted December 26th, 2008 at 12:41 PM by Bolo Bolo is offline
Mr Migraine's Avatar
Originally Posted by Bolo
I am a very textile person
I think you mean tactile. I agree with you there. Legos were the epitome of my childhood.
Posted January 1st, 2009 at 12:32 AM by Mr Migraine Mr Migraine is offline
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