Sunday, September 26, 2010

Curious about Games and Gaming: Do You Have Favorites? What Are the Advantages of Being a Game Player?

Games lubricate the body and the mind.” - Benjamin Franklin, American politician

Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock-n-roll.” - Shigeru Miyamoto, Japanese designer

I chose the word game(s) for this week’s topic for several reasons. First, because I love playing games. Growing up, I had parents and friends that played games with me. They taught me how to play cards and chess, and my dad even paired me up with a neighbor who taught me better chess strategy. Then, I always played lots of games with my children, and know that they now play games together still.

But, this weekend really brought games and gaming back into the forefront. I belong to Mensa and we had our Cleveland Regional Gathering where the game playing started early on Friday afternoon, and was still prominently being enjoyed last night when I left around midnight. I actually was so busy with other duties, I didn’t get to play a lot, but did enjoy other members’ involvement vicariously.

Games have been around for a long time, and I agree completely with the above quotations, especially Benjamin Franklin’s. As I looked up and picked quotations, I was struck by the different meanings, outcomes, uses, and approaches to and from games. I think you will find a lot to think about.

Let’s get started:
  • I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan, American athlete
  • No matter what business you're in, you can't run in place or someone will pass you by. It doesn't matter how many games you've won.” - Jim Valvano, American coach
  • All my games were political games; I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake.” - Indira Gandhi, Indian stateswoman
  • I'm a games and theory kind of guy. I love puzzles, so it was fun dissecting Shakespeare's prose.” - Neil Patrick Harris, American actor
  • If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That's all it takes to get people to win football games for you.” – Paul Bryant, American coach
  • You must invent your own games and teach us old ones how to play.” - Nikki Giovanni, American poet
  • Most other competitions are individual achievements, but the Olympic Games is something that belongs to everybody.” - Scott Hamilton, American athlete

And, some more:

  • I became an optimist when I discovered that I wasn't going to win any more games by being anything else.” - Earl Weaver, American coach
  • What I was proud of was that I used very few parts to build a computer that could actually speak words on a screen and type words on a keyboard and run a programming language that could play games. And I did all this myself.” - Steve Wozniak, American businessman
  • Video games are so popular these days, getting the opportunity to star in one is something special. More people should do it.” - Carrot Top, American comedian
  • Also, after people play these Sim games, it tends to change their perception of the world around them, so they see their city, house or family in a slightly different way after playing.” - Will Wright, American scientist
  • People never knew we were poor, but out of that poverty came the most incredible inventions - board games, recipes... we never stopped inventing.” - Lynn Johnston, American cartoonist
  • I completely love playing and designing games and always will. I am so into games that I listen to game music all day. That may sound strange, but you can guarantee I'm a hardcore gamer and would never let you down by designing a crappy title.” - John Romero, American inventor
  • Our approach to making games is to find the fun first and then use the technology to enhance the fun.” - Sid Meier, American scientist

Three more with a completely metaphoric slant:

  • Oh, the miraculous energy that flows between two people who care enough to get beyond surfaces and games, who are willing to take the risks of being totally open, of listening, of responding with the whole heart. How much we can do for each other.” - Alex Noble, Australian artist
  • Take a look at your natural river. What are you? Stop playing games with yourself. Where's your river going? Are you riding with it? Or are you rowing against it? Don't you see that there is no effort if you're riding with your river?” - Frederick Carl Frieseke, American artist
  • If you never concede a goal, you're going to win more games than you lose.” - Bobby Moore, English athlete

What is your background with games and gaming? How about watching games others are playing? Playing games on the computer? I feel that we can become easily addicted to the time spent. How about you? I would love to hear your comments.