Boardgame Thoughts

This post is not really a review of any boardgames, just some thoughts that boardgames inspired. I don’t really know that much about boardgames to be competent to give any of them a good and proper review although some thoughts about the games is possible. But that said, this post is not a review of boardgames.

I like boardgames that has multiple paths to victory, i.e. there are many ways to win, not only one scripted way only. In a way, I think this is how I prefer to view life too. There are many ways to live life, not just one way. I feel lucky to have close friends that have very differing points of view (these groups of friends do not know each other… they may have seen them perhaps during my wedding or during the house-warming but they do not mix).

One group of friends are really money minded. They are really passionate about accumulating as much wealth as possible, doing business and all and they are rather successful. They buy land for development, they buy fast cars (e.g. one guys is contemplating the Ferrari 430 or something), they go out to socialise to enlarge their network, when they go overseas, they go to “nice” places, etc. In short, their whole being is dedicated to making money and spending them on properties and fast cars. Seldom do I hear them talking about their family (except for bad-mouthing their wife) or other hobbies or passion, not to mention such things as love for the environment or protection of animals. They will love the environment and protect animals only if these activities profits them. This is one bunch of friends I have.

On the other hand, I have friends who are idealistic, loves art and culture and sacrifice material comfort for the arts, for the environment, for other human beings. They admire music, or movies, or painting, or stage shows etc. and can converse competently and interestingly about them. They go around and saw the world, travel on budget and go to places that bruises their bodies, just so they can experience the world. And they are really passionate people.

Then of course, there are a bunch of friends who let event lead them. They do what they do everyday, enjoy their life if they can, put up with the bosses, may do bad things if a chance is presented to them (e.g. commit adultery or steal money), but they are really not bad people per se. They are just being influenced by events, so when a good event present themselves, they ride on them and if there are bad events, they go down with them. They manage to live by, even can afford some nice things like a nice holiday or house, but they are that, i.e. they do not have something fixed in their mind that they are passionate about. They just live life as presented to them.

But all of them are okay, they live the life they want and still win. There are multiple paths to victory and no one path is the TRUE path, i guess. And just like in games, perhaps there are victory points and each one will have to choose their path and earn their own victory points, those points that matters to them, those points that they can relate to. Forcing one’s victory points condition on another person that cannot relate to it is just not right.


Filed under Board Game, Thoughts & Commentaries

4 responses to “Boardgame Thoughts

  1. idazuwaika

    What is ‘victory’ in life?
    Can this victory be seen only in individual perspective?

    How about the terrorist who rammed into WTC and achieved his individual goal, purpose? Did he live a victorious life? Or do our opinions of him not matter at all?

    How about some dude who spend life collecting recognitions on Internet with username like “theCow” and feeling happy everytime? Is that victory, since he’s doing things that he loves?

    Or the guy professing wrong religion, hence spreading misinformation and get millions to exercise useless rituals. Since he believes in what he does, is that victory?

    “Living the life they want”, is that enough qualification to be victorious in life? Also, are you sure your friends do not limit themselves of what they really want in life? These limits could be imposed by realisation of one’s capabilities, cultural values, etc.

    Also, can you name one board game (sans-chance/luck) that mathematically or logically proven has multiple ways to victory?

    Wow… didn’t realise almost all sentences were questions. Haha..

  2. fallingstones

    Wow…. tough questions but all very interesting :) I do not have the answers to them but let’s make some conversation out of this and see where this leads us.

    I remember having a conversation with a HR guy and we were talking about selecting candidates to be employed. One of the take-aways from the conversation was that traits like “honesty”, “hard-working” are a given, a ticket to entry. They are not the criteria but just merely entry passes. Without these traits, the candidate won’t even be considered. So these good employee traits must be a given, if not he/she does not even qualify.

    Similarly, perhaps we can say that “victory” in the broad sense should encompass at least one principle of goodness, i.e. whatever one’s victory path, harming other human beings cannot be one of the victory path, things that one does not wish to be done unto oneself, one should not do unto others.

    So in the case of the WTC terrorist, perhaps he/she thought that they have achieved their personal victory but in the broad sense, they do not. Personal victories do not count towards universal victory if it does not satisfy the qualifying criteria mentioned above. Anyone can have their own victory points at heart, some perverse some noble but if by achieving that personal victory contradicts the universal principle, those are not victory at all.

    In the case of “theCow”, his personal victory points did not contradict the universal victory criteria. He hurt no one but just simply amuses himself on the internet, which gave him a certain sense of achievements. For all we know, this person may be a tormented worker but at least bu accumulating points on the internet, it made him feel good about himself, give him some sense of satisfaction. So in a way, he is victorious.

    The guy that professes wrong religion can in fact harm other people. Those perverse personal victory points do not count towards the universal victory points because it contradicted the universal principle.

    Re the limitation point, I do believe that there are different types of victories (or universal victories), some big (e.g. discovery of a cure of a certain disease) and some small, like “theCow”. Not all victories are the same and not everyone has the capability, whether by nature or nurture, to achieve big victory points.

    But at the end of the day, one does not need to achieve big victory points to live a good and contented life. But it is sad to see people who has potential to achieve big victory points to just simply throw it away, though. I also think that life is not a zero sum game. The world is big enough to accommodate many victories, big or small, and the world can accommodate many contented people.

    But perhaps we are over-simplifying the “universal victory point” criteria because in this world that we live in, it is not easy to just say “do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you”. Just look at the Isreal and Palestinian problem. I don’t think these can be easily resolved. Or the big bully American problem. Sometimes people have to fight back big bullies so that they or their family or their tribe or their nation are not bullied and denied peaceful existence.

    But assuming we live in a world where people are easily contented, where resource scarcity does not make people fight against each other, and people have a natural sense of love for all other human beings, and people give and take, and labour to achieve their own private victories that are not at odds with the principle of universal victories, then the world will be a great place, until perhaps another huge asteriod hits us or some virus mutated and eat us all up.

  3. fallingstones

    oh yea, by the way, games that have multiple paths to victories and do not have luck (except for choosing the wrong seat or has some really bad smelling players sitting next to you) include games like 1856, which is a pure economic engine game, Puerto Rico where all the information is on the board. Even in Go, there are also multiple paths to victory, is it not?

  4. Mehal Shah

    Buy a province!

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