Why Do I Play?

Aki just wrote about “Aging and Gaming” and since I was already going to write a post with this topic I might as well give it a go. Since my views and practices on gaming are pretty different from Aki’s this might just actually be at least a bit interesting.

While Aki might have thought that gamers at the age of 28 and over were not something that could happen I always thought that I would be gaming until grave. I actually have had discussions in my teens that what games we would play in the nursing home. And naturally now that I’m 32 it actually seems less and less likely.

What separates me from Aki in terms of his post is that I actually married at the age of 27 and had a son. I do not have a steady job (though as a male school assistant I’m pretty much going to have work as long as I like) and I’m not paying mortgage but living on rent. None of these would mean a little if I was into competitive gaming and really REALLY wanted to be good.

But that’s not how I roll.

Since the “founding” of this little Guild of ours I have had more than enough possibilities for gaming. But somehow I seem to lack the energy and/or focus to participate into games that I actually would like to. It was really frustrating and depressing until I reached a kind of epiphany about my gaming habits.

I play games mainly to hang out with my friends.

Once upon a time I bought an armada of board games but during past few years I have sold a lot of them. Not because I do not like them but because I don’t like to spend my time in them. There was a point where learning a new game became a burden and I really did not want to play a game just for kicks since I knew it was not likely that I would have a chance or energy to play it again. And suddenly I felt it was ok.

This personal epiphany even let me realize that while I do enjoy “pissing on other people’s cereals” it actually what I wanted from the games. I’m a horrible looser (and a winner) and a few years back my main plan was to win by any means necessary and if I saw that wasn’t going to happen I enjoyed ruining other people’s games. Luckily this is something I have grown out from (mostly).

Since my son was born I struggled to find a balance on my gaming hobby, family life and seeing friends. But now I have reached the consensus with myself that a game per week is about as much as I can take without feeling like I’m neglecting my family or getting too tired on the whole scene. I have tried to organise my games so that every other week I get to play Magic the Gathering (mostly EDH though I’m growing more and more interested in other formats as well) and roleplaying games.

That is not to say that I could not play more if I wanted to. Usually when my wife goes on a trip with my son all I do is play different games. But even then it is more or less about seeing my friends.

Our EDH-games are likely the epitome of this. I like to play wacky decks, usually very aggressive (and chaotic). More is more in term of games and I get easily bored when other players (I’m looking at you Peetu) keep tutoring every freaking turn.

I think that the main point of this post was to show that there are a lot of different reasons and ways to play. Even though I sometimes really REALLY hate to play with Aki he is also one of those I also really REALLY like to play with. And as there are not that many people that raise both feelings in me I really value the chance of playing with/against him as it is both fun and makes me grow as a person. (At least when he is not playing mono-blue EDH in which case I just want to wish from my [cards]Tsunami[/cards]).

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