talismancer: (Default)
This post is spawned from an extremely long email I sent to the SWARM mailing list today.

I'm a gamer, I play games. I actually will play most types of games, if presented right. So, here I present a list of the sorts of games I've played since joining university:

Gaming me )

So, I think that classes me as a gamer? Yes? (Anyone who still disagrees should read a certain older entry of mine)
talismancer: (Default)
Today I started to appreciate just how isolated I am, in my own little world. Yet it is a world of wonder, of marvels, and if I can live here and now, what else might there be, right outside my door?

I'm a gamer. Most of you will know this, I have given up pretending otherwise. I'm a gentleman who enjoys games. There are many and varied types of games, from the MMORPG (Guild Wars), to the board games (Settlers of Catan), to the LARPs (Brighton Below, Maelstrom), to the console games (F-Zero GX on the Gamecube), to others I suspect even I'm not currently thinking of. Gaming covers a wide variety of things that are acceptable and normal, as well as a few that are less so. Yet while each part of who I am is accessible at some level, the whole requires a degree of dedication, not to mention money. Nothing on that above list is free, and when taken as a whole, gaming is expensive (From MMO game fees, to M:tG cards, to LARP costumes). Yet it is also something that can be a complete way of life, and one that I fill my free time with. I immensely enjoy gaming too, it's fun, and that's the point.

My world collides and passes through others, as everyone's does. I do do other things, I'm a juggler for one thing (although not any good at it), and through circus meetings get to know a variety of people who live in different worlds to me.

I was speaking to one such friend today. I've known for a fair while now that her world and mine are different places, but I didn't until today realise how drastically different they were. A while back I showed her my gaming world, and she looked in with interest and confusion. Yet she looked, and I admire that. Today, she gave me a glimpse into her world, and initially I wondered what I might see, so I glimpsed.

I have to wonder whether her look into my world was as scary and unsettling at the start as my glimpse into hers has been. For what I glimpsed both intrigued and scared me. This was not scared to find out more, but scared of getting involved in things I didn't even know I knew nothing about yesterday. I don't know if I want to know more, but I think I will take any opportunity I get to find out, for I can only learn from this. I will be a wiser man if I learn than if I bolt, and yet I am scared of where this can go. To be scared of the unknown is normal, and I can appreciate that, but it doesn't make me any less scared*.

This oh so short glimpse into a world that was not my own was a wonderful and inspiring exercise. It's shown me that there are worlds right outside my doorstep that are alien to me and mine, and this, whilst scary, has piqued my interest and explorers spirit.

I am also happy to report that I think this is the first time something like this has left me wanting to know more, rather than bolt. I consider this a good thing.

* I nearly wrote "But this doesn't make it any less scary" here, then realised there's a difference between something that is scary, and something which makes me scared. I can face up to this world and see that there is nothing there that is actually scary, and yet still be afraid to find out, and be scared. I think this distinction may be entirely in my head (if so, please leave it there, it's happy, and I'm feeding it well), hence I should probably clarify that I saw a difference.

ION, Brighton Below was great!

Also ION, Look, a real update!
talismancer: (Default)
I dunno if anyone else has ever had this. Something comes up that causes you to think of something you've not seen for years. You spend hours looking for it, and it's obviously not there any more.

Well various things stacked up, and I went raiding for an old chess board this morning. I knew where I'd seen it, and it's actually still there. However, this brought about a search for my old chess pieces. You see, I used to have two sets of pieces, and one board. One set fitted inside the board (it's a reasonably bulky smart board. It also folds in half with the board surface on the outside and pieces on the inside, which is actually what I wanted for this exercise), and the other was loose. Both sets have a history, the loose set I bought around 17 years ago in Greece. I seem to recall they cost about £15-£20 at the time, but they're a very nice metal chess set, and they inspired me to learn how to play chess.

Can I find them? I expected them to be either with my board or with one of mothers (my mother owns more chess sets than I care to count), but they're neither. I've now looked most places they might be, and can't find them. In fact, they're one of a list of things I can't find, which makes me think I've lost a box of stuff somewhere. But I've no idea where, if I knew that, they wouldn't be lost.

I don't think I've seen them in the last 10 years, possibly longer. That's half the problem, it's been so long.
talismancer: (Default)
Let me introduce you to something I've recently discovered. It's a game... actually, it's a set of pieces. That's the nice thing, is Treehouse/Icehouse are more game pieces for a variety of games than actual games in themselves. Let me start with the name explanation. Icehouse was the original name of the game which used the pieces now commonly called Icehouse pieces. The only current game you can buy with Icehouse pieces is called Treehouse. Confused yet? Let me illustrate:


(Picture stolen from BGG)

That's a selection of the pieces in question. Each Treehouse set comes with one of each of three sizes in one of each of 5 colours, making 15 pieces per set. This is enough to play Treehouse with 4 players, not to mention a plethora of other games (Link). Ordering multiple sets allows the playing of even more games at that link.

The game I've fallen in love with is called Zendo. If you ever played the peg game Mastermind as a kid, that's a deductive game, and Zendo is it's inductive cousin. (If you're interested in the difference between deductive logic and inductive logic, give this thread on BGG a read). I'm also generally intrigued by the plethora of little things you can do with Treehouse pieces, including just playing with them as building blocks which playing other games.

So I've ordered some Treehouse sets. This will be interesting fun for both the Tuesday evening group and SWARM, although exactly when will depend on when the order arrives.

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