My Life with Games (part 1)–Introduction

Introductory note: I’m not finished writing this gaming biography. But I have enough done that I thought I’d starting queuing up posts. My plan is to schedule these posts for Sundays and Wednesdays until I’m done. That way I start sharing my writing with all of you fine folks and I also apply just a bit of time pressure to make sure that I continue to take this project seriously. At the same time, I don’t want to overwhelm. Hopefully twice a week strikes a good balance. Let me know in comments what you think.

When Dad was last in town, he spent some time at the house, just hanging out and spending time with the kids. Arianna asked him to play Dragons of Kir with her, and he was game. I got out the game and told him, “Okay, this game is like RoboRally, except you play the floor.” So, I started teaching the game (which really is a lot of fun), and in the middle of my explanation, Dad said, “You know, you really should write about what games mean to you.”
So here we are.
I have to say that some of this is purely therapeutic. The last few years have been rough for me, and I’ve wondered about this whole gaming and game design thing. Was it taking up too much space in my life? Was I deluding myself about it being important or worthwhile? Maybe my game design skills were really just developed as test runs for more important things, like business analysis or project management.
But, no, I don’t think so. I think it’s better to say that I apply my game design skills when I do business analysis or project management, because I’m a game designer. It’s true. It’s what I do. It’s what I love. And I’m tired of being ashamed or embarrassed by this.
I love games. I love playing them. I love picking them apart and seeing what works. I love the history behind different games. I love designing them and producing them. I even love selling them.
So I’m going to spend some time explaining why I love games. I’m going to start by giving my gaming biography to date, so to speak. Then I figure I’ll discuss how different kinds of games mean different things to me. Finally I plan on talking about some of the games I love and why each of them are special to me.
Many years ago, Dad and I were in the back yard of my Ben-Ezra grandparents in Freehold, New Jersey. I was probably fourteen or so at the time. I was talking Dad’s ear off about some game I was enamored of at the time. He said, “You know, I wonder how all of this will affect the rest of your life as you get older.”
Well, it looks a bit like this.
(to be continued…)
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