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Wednesday, January 18, 2006


New Game

We had a great time last night playing Puerto Rico (find it under Games here, online version here). This, and my recent mathematical interest, got me thinking about game theory and why we play board games in the first place.

The game universe is small, with only a few problems to solve. There is a finite set of options or plays, and one can form a cohesive, defensible strategy that will increase chances of winning, no matter what one's opponent does. It is something that can be conquered if approached in a logical manner. This makes playing very satisfying, giving players a sense of increasing competence and mastery.

Improv games are all about learning how to fail, take crazy risks, and adapt your strategy to help your fellow players look good. The improv universe is as big as your collective imaginations. There are some rules, but breaking them is essential at all but the most basic levels. Good-humoured misbehaviour is actively encouraged.

So the two types are really very different. Yet they attract the same kinds of people. Why? Rather than occupy itself with a game problem, my gifted brain usually prefers to work on these real-life scenarios, which may have many solutions, or none. An ambiguous problem, a big data set, and potential to create change with the answers.....yummy!

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Yup -- real life, crunch crunch.

I working on the psychological shift from premodernism to industrial modernism in African societies, myself.

So, let me know if you have any inroads -- particularly in the area of African autobigoraphical texts which you might come across.
This relates to your little sub-banner bar and not this specific post:

You wrote "Humble aim: stop annoying family and friends."

Is that YOUR humble aim, or the aim of channeling gifted people? I ask because I fear that I'm often an annoyance, because I'm all exciteable about change, about seeing things as a bigger picture, etc. I found that comment/quote/whatever resonated with me.

What's your take?

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