Friday, 6 March 2015

Why I like playing megagames

I was recently describing a megagame to a non-game playing person.

Mike, was telling me how he had recently played a cooperative game with his niece and her family and had really enjoyed the experience. He added that in the past he had played the usual family fare of Monoploy, Cluedo and Risk, and has abiding memory of this was competitive bickering and arguing.

Mike went on to ask me about the games I play. Implying or assuming that they are competitive too, and how did I like or cope with this.

I tried to explain megagames, rather than other board games, though I did mention that I had played a few cooperative games like Pandemic, and had designed a cooperative game called Live and Let Live.

After my quick definition of megagames, as multiplayer games, with hierarchical teams reporting to each other, that often took up a historical scenario like WW2 or the Wars of the Roses, Mike than asked me if that is what I liked: trying to do better than history in the replay.

My answer: I play megagames because I get an understanding of how communications and negotiations work in a conflict and are perhaps the most important element. I might learn something about the history, and the background. But it is the experience of negotiating under pressure, the need to liaise, coordinate and work with my comrades and also with the umpires that makes these games so interesting to me.

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