Want to rule Wall Street? Colonize Mars? Trek through the Amazon? No matter what your preferred adventure, there’s a game for you. Even once you’ve picked your game, you never really know what it’s going to bring to your table. A shoddy dice roll could send Scrooge McDuck to the poorhouse in one turn. Even games that don’t run on pure luck have elements of unpredictability – die rolls, card draws, the personalities of other players. The best games offer you a slightly different experience each time you play them.
I know. I’m supposed to be humble and gracious and tell you that the act of playing the game is enough. But, come on. Winning is fun! Nurturing your little strategy until it hatches, watching your score creep up and up and up . . . these things aren’t required to have a great game night, but they certainly don’t hurt.
Let me put it this way, when you find yourself trapped in the middle of a rapidly-sinking island or exploring a town full of hellspawn and goatbeasts, you have to get creative. Games present you with a series of options, give you more or less information about each choice, and send you on your way. The only limits to your creativity are imposed by the rules, but such constraints often enhance, rather than hinder, creative problem-solving. So, when the game gives you lemons and you have three turns to turn them into lemonade using only a chainsaw and a Monster Trophy, what will you do?
Muahahahaha! You have a single task – to win the game – and a slew of opponents. How will you take them on? There are so many ways to conquer, and each of those paths branches off in a hundred different directions. Making a plan and watching it come to fruition is one of the most rewarding aspects of gaming.
No, seriously, stop rolling your eyes.
I’m about to complement you, so keep reading.
I know that the media likes to portray gamers as overweight basement trolls with unfortunate hygiene and Vitamin D deficiencies, but every single person I’ve met through this hobby has been wonderful, supportive, and compassionate. Gamers have created a community that builds on everyone’s strengths and recognizes that no contribution, no action, is too small to matter. From gaming charities to small-scale conventions, gamers are all really in it for each other.