Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Games People Play

A confidant and I were recently talking about a mutual friend who is a consummate games player. It seems that once or twice per month people gather at this fellow's house to play a variety of strategic board games. There is a particular game (I don't remember what it's called) that spawns sessions that can last all day up until the wee hours of the morning!

Now this fellow views his gamesmanship and his overall personality as two distinct things. In his mind's eye, once the game board and pieces have been put away, he dons a less competitive and strategic personality. His cohorts will tell you, however, that this is not the case at all. He navigates through life as if it was a strategic board game.

Of course, it's far easier to develop these kinds of assessments of others and not so easy to look in the mirror to apply the same analysis to ourselves!!!

Back in my earlier years, I too was a consummate games player. I particularly liked those types of strategy games in which feints and subterfuge often proved to be winning gambits. This style of play well mirrored my overall personality as I had a tendency to be passive-aggressive.

Winning was the only thing that mattered to me. In fact, that's putting it mildly. I didn't merely want to win, I wanted to smear the other players and then rub their noses in my abject superiority. Needless to say, owing to my passive-aggressive mindset, I would never acknowledge these facts, but it was painfully apparent from my behavior.

Fortunately, I have evolved past that point. I still enjoy a good game, but most of the ones I play now are against the computer and my ultimate goal is not necessarily to win but to keep improving my skills (most of the games I play are word games).

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