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What are you playing?

In her TED talk, The Power of Play, Jill Vialet quotes philosopher Bernard Suits who said, “a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.” (The Grasshopper, 1978)

For us, taking a turn in one of our many games is an excuse to stand up and take a break from the work day.

Game play has been an ongoing conversation in our house. It’s rare to have a game-free day. We usually have a few games going at once. Right now, we are playing Patchwork ($34.99 at Target), Ticket to Ride ($47.99 at Target) and two computer-based games on old devices: Zombie Dice (Free on the App Store) on an old iPod touch and Ticket to Ride ($8.99 on the App Store or $6.99 on Google Play) on an old Kindle Fire tablet.

Ticket to Ride is a game where each player completes cross-country train routes, accumulating points for the longest continuous route. An advantage to our asynchronous style of play is that we play many more games over many more days. It takes a while to understand the strategy of some games and asynchronous game play affords more game-playing time.

Before we got the board game version, Robert played the app version. I rediscovered it while reading a Kindle book in preparation for NaNoWriMo next month.

There are several advantages to the app version. It is more fast-paced than the board game. It illuminates the routes for you and it scores your points. You can also play solo with a digital opponent.

On a whim, we added one of our dogs as a third player and took turns playing “his” turn. A surprising thing happened. We accepted more risk with his player and worried less about strategy. And guess what? He won.

What’s on your game table? Let us know what you are playing.

Photo by Dave Photoz on Unsplash