Jim Westergren
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"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

Entertainment Games

I thought about writing an essay on entertainment games and here it comes.

By entertainment games I mean card games, board games, computer games and role games, which are the different types of games I know of.

I have always been interesting in games and have been playing a lot in my life all the various types of games.

I made my first board game when I was 11 years old (fully finished later on) and when I was 17 I made my own card game. Both of those games I think are very good and I enjoy playing them even today. Recently I also made a theory of a strategic board game - easy and better version of Warhammer.

I have myself been playing 2 specialized card games professionally, some ordinary card games, about 50 board games, more than 200 computer games as well as role game. I could say that I have a good picture of the panorama of games.

Me myself, I think that games - except computer games - are very positive as it brings people together, makes friends and make it possible for a person to have some joy on his day-to-day life.

I was recently speculating on the "anatomy" of games. This is excluding computer and role games, as those are very special.

Each game has a "luck factor". Here you can compare chess and bridge with for example those card games played by the kids.

If you win in chess it is not because of luck, only if the player's skills in chess are so bad (not predicting etc.) then the luck factor has been raised to a degree he could win.

Another example of this is a board game, were the person who wins are determined by the dial. There is even such a game with no thinking, and then the luck factor is what is making the winner.

On Monopoly, which is a classical board game, the luck factor rises for each game you play with the same people. In the end you have players, like me and the family, who knows the game inside out. Then the matter of luck becomes very high as everybody knows how to win the game and there is no question whether or not which way is better than another.

I was recently home with my family on vacation and I was playing two board games I had never played before and I made two observations. The first game was a game about farmers. The general idea was basically to make money so that the person was able to upgrade his house and in the end buy the castle. It looked good but then I found out that it was very boring and then suddenly in the beginning one person wan because she got an "occurrence card" which told her that she won on lotto 100 000: -. Another card was to pay 25: - for an alarm clock, totally unbalanced! Then I found out by reading the rules that the game was from 7 years and up. It was a game for children!

The other game was about buying and selling masterpiece paintings and nobody knew what was the value of them until they got the paintings themselves. The paintings were sold on auctions. In the beginning it was very interesting until the game was played some times and then the average value for all the paintings was established and then it went boring was who would bid higher than the average value?

Another factor is the balance. The game has to be balanced otherwise luck is entering the scene, which is destroying skill and strategy.

Chess for example is very balanced. All the pieces are important in It's own way.

Card games

There is many different card games on the whole scale from very simple to very complicated such as bridge. The card game I made with the title C-99 (from the fact that it was made on the camping 1999) is very simple but in the same time strategic. There is several ways to win and it is so simple that children can play it. It can be played with two different strategic ways.

I have also been playing 2 different specialized card games - Magic the gathering and Doomtrooper. Magic is much better than the other one. In this kind of games it is not only to play. Part of the game is to collect cards and make your own deck. This deck is contained of different combinations etc. That is actually a big part of the game and it is very funny to create your own deck with your own tactics and then play and see how it goes.

Board games

As .... [not completed]

Computer games

Computer games are mostly for entertainment but there is also some strategic games played together. This is mostly played alone isolated from the group and it is kind of amusement projected to the person. A big part of the computer games of today are of violence, which I hope will be changed. Even though I have myself played hundreds and hundreds of hours I dare to say that it was for nothing. If I instead would have read books I would have been so much wiser. I still consider it better than TV though.

Role games

This is my absolute favorite. Role games are very special as there is no luck factor. Also the purpose for role game is not to win but to have an excited adventure. There are two kinds of role game, the ordinary and live.

Role games are a lot of creation to make up the adventures and to imagine while playing and I think it is a very good thing to do.

I have been playing role game with my class friends when I was around 15 and I was always the one making and writing the adventures and running the game. Some of these days were the most excited days of my life. Then during one summer while on holidays I had written a long good adventure to play. When I came back I found out that there was no longer any interest to play as now they had gotten computers and were playing computer games. This was the thing which disestablished the group, as after that everybody was alone with their own computer.

I have also found out some years after - after have been studying about the human mind and communication - that role game can be a VERY excited thing to do and can be made very real.

Remember when a time when you read a very good fiction book that was so good and excited so that you felt almost part inside of the story and you could not stop to read. Now, role game can be made like that but it is you who are the main character and you play with a group of others. That is what is a real role game.

In summary I want to say that games are good and stimulating from the ordinary life.

27 Aug 2003

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About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur. He is happily married and has two lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing. He is the Founder and owner of TodaysWeb offering SEO, web development and manages projects such as DomainStats and N.nu. Read his ..

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