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Confessions of a Reluctant Video Gamer

I was in my twenties when video games arrived on the scene, so to me a game is something you play on a board or with cards. But despite my best efforts to resist, I've been drawn into the electronic madness. A selection of my experiences can be found here. Feel free to comment, if you like.

Archive for p55carroll

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Breaking Out of My Shell--Playing Games with Other People

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Games are like songs: you never get tired of playing the best ones over and over, and you can enjoy them all by yourself.
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Movies are for entertainment; books are for learning; games are for mental exercise.
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In both of my "Geek" blogs, I stand out as a solitary gamer. Sometimes I argue that I'm not really a recluse, and that in fact I'm more of a people person. But when it comes to games, I very rarely play with human teammates or opponents. Why?
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:41 pm
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Fun versus Interest

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Games are like songs: you never get tired of playing the best ones over and over, and you can enjoy them all by yourself.
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Over in BGG, a well-known fellow who goes by the handle "clearclaw" says he plays games because they're interesting, not because they're fun. I get the impression he has more detractors than supporters, but I find myself siding with him for the most part. He and I apparently like mutually exclusive sets of games, but our philosophy of gaming is similar.

I just finished a game of Master of Magic, liked it, and started another. But late last night I started a game of Imperialism and played a few turns, just for comparison.
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Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:21 pm
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Games, Books, and Movies

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Games are like songs: you never get tired of playing the best ones over and over, and you can enjoy them all by yourself.
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Movies are for entertainment; books are for learning; games are for mental exercise.
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These three things--video games, books, and movies--are often compared to one another. I guess it's because they're all mostly solitary pastimes--part learning but mostly entertainment. Is your approach to books and movies the same as it is for games?
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Mon Aug 8, 2016 8:28 pm
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My Weird Way of Thinking

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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I don't get myself. I really don't. That's why I blog, I guess--in hopes that once my thoughts are out where I can see them in black and white, I'll be able to make sense of them. It often seems to make sense then ... but soon it all falls apart again.

So, last night I finished a game of Master of Orion. It was a good game--touch and go for a while. I had to think and plan and grit my teeth and hang in and go out of my comfort zone to finally turn things in my favor. In the end, my efforts paid off. And as is often the case in 4X games, the ending was anticlimactic: I just built a few powerful fleets and bombed my enemies out of existence. Toward the end I felt sorry for them; they were pitifully weak, yet determined to fight to the last man (or lizard or whatever they were).
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Fri Aug 5, 2016 10:02 pm
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Phone Games and PC Games--Does Portability Matter?

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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I generally love compact devices like smartphones. Before they came along, I had a Palm PDA as well as a Nintendo DS Lite. I'd tell myself the size of the screen doesn't matter, and that portability is more important. So cool to be able to do anything anytime anywhere. And by "anything," of course I mostly mean gaming.
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Thu Aug 4, 2016 7:56 pm
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I Just Wanna Be King, That's All

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Looking over the games I like best and keep coming back to, I notice one surprising-to-me thing they have in common: when I'm winning one of them, I feel great and powerful.

I don't feel that way when I'm winning other games. It's good to win, but maybe I just got lucky or happened to get ahead in the race or whatever. And in story-based games, I figure winning is preordained, as long as I'm persistent and replay lost battles until I win 'em.
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Wed Aug 3, 2016 4:55 pm
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Why I Play So Much MoO: Comparing My 4X Games

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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No surprise, but I'm back to playing (or maybe I should say still playing) Master of Orion pretty frequently. It has become my favorite computer game, I suppose--the only game I've ever rated 10. So, what does it have that's lacking in Civilization, Master of Magic, and Alpha Centauri? Or Imperialism?

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Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:07 pm
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I'm Not Into Time, Man

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Anybody remember that Cheech and Chong line?

I could always relate to it; I've never been into time either. Clocks and calendars usually go against my grain or cramp my style. I manage to keep my appointments and meet deadlines and all, but I hate having to do it. I feel much better when my schedule is completely clear.

Lately, though, time is catching up with me, and that's making me revise my perspective.
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:19 pm
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Paring Down Further

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Over the weekend I made some progress (I feel) toward bringing my gaming life into a good place.

For one thing, I got some confirmation that my style of gaming is probably outside the mainstream. Whether it is or not doesn't matter, but looking at it from that perspective clued me in on what I ought to focus on for my own satisfaction.
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Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:22 pm
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Something to Cling To

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Games are like songs: you never get tired of playing the best ones over and over, and you can enjoy them all by yourself.
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For me, games have often been a teddy bear or security blanket--a refuge from the hustle and bustle, the stress of day-to-day life. No matter what happened in the course of a high-school day, I could come home and lose myself in a wargame that afternoon. The game was absorbing, and soon all my attention would be on it; the rest of life could wait.
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Thu Jul 7, 2016 6:04 pm
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