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Just in time for the Holidays!
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
Emerson, Journals, 1834
Throughout my presentation of Mindful Ecology I have tried to emphasize that it is a path towards some happiness and sanity for our individual lives. Today I invite you to celebrate with me one of my life’s finest sources of pleasure. For more than 30 years I have found delight in playing games with my wife, family, and friends. Not just any games, a very particular type of game first developed in Europe after WWII.
Little else has stood the test of time as well as the satisfactions we derive from having learned how to play together. I think this is because these Eurogames are an exercise in ecological thinking and mind training cleverly packaged as entertainment. The people of our generations, as opposed to the Ostriches, respond to such things.
Mind Training – Players learn to win and lose gracefully by mastering the emotional roller-coaster they experience as fortunes rise and fall.
Ecological Training – Players learn to use limited resources wisely, carefully shepherding what is valuable to achieve what is most important.
The result of such training is to slowly shape our characters – for the better.
In a Well Played Game everyone wins because everyone has had fun. This happens when the dramatic competition for the win is never allowed to eclipse the larger context of joyful interpersonal cooperation. This is not a bad lesson for people to be exposed to in our time of hyper-capitalism and hyper-divisive politics. It might even show a way forward for the rebuilt communities that lie in wait for us on the other side of the Era of Cars.
All of this and more, is packaged in a humble game. How wonderfully ironic.
Can learning to play the Well Played Game teach us how to live the Well Lived Life?
Read Loving Eurogames: The Quest for the Well Played Game and decide for yourself.