Game board for Life

Life as a Board Game

Income or Victory Points?I struck up a conversation with a suit-clad banker in London. I told him about my nomadic life and he dreamily confessed that he dreamed of something similar, and as soon as he had saved up enough money, he would quit his dull job and do it too. “Great!” I said. “How much money do you need?” I got a puzzled look, and he said that he didn’t know. “Well, how will you know when you have enough?” I asked. Again, I got a puzzled look. Mentally, I saw him pinning his target to the horizon, circumnavigating the earth time and time again chasing after an ever-receding goal. This man deals with budgets as a profession, yet he had left the budget of his dreams undefined.

Gnomes Business PlanIn most Eurogames, the trick for maximizing your victory points is to know when you have enough money to last the rest of the game, and then switch over to gathering victory points. Those, like the banker above, who decide to work hard, save up for an economically stable retirement and then start harvesting victory points live their lives like a Eurogame. It sure is a step up from Monopoly, but it is still misguided.

I think life is like a very special kind of Eurogame that is divided into several unique phases. There are different kinds of victory points for each phase that can primarily be collected in those phases. The kind of experiences, adventures and fun that you can have in your twenties are quite different from the ones you’ll have in your seventies. (Although Viagra is a game changer.)

MonopolyThe elusive Victory Point

So why are we focusing so much on money, something most people will agree doesn’t give us happiness on its own? Why do we stockpile it for that elusive retirement?

It is because money is quantifiable while the victory points are ephemeral. Philosophers have argued over what is a eudaemonic life for millennia, and we have only one lifetime to figure it out best we can. And as is common with large amorphous questions, it is ever so tempting to delay the solving of the riddle for later and focus on something easier, such as doubling your income.Do I have enough? After all, whatever ‘it’ is that we want out of life, we most likely are going to need the money, right? So why not just focus on the easy task first (making money) and worry about what we are going to do with it later.

But delaying the inner searching needed to figure out our own passions can become a habit, just as saying “I’ll start the gym tomorrow” too many times turns ‘tomorrow’ into ‘never’.

South Park, as always, has the best analogies for life’s big questions. In episode seven, series two, there are underpants-stealing gnomes that have a three-phased business plan.

Winning Moves The Game Of Life It's A Dog's Life Edition
Toy (Winning Moves)
  • Custromize your tokens and play with your own dog
  • Includes game board and plastic gameboard pieces
  • Contains illustrated instructions
  • For 2 - 5 players
  • Includes 5 plastic cars, cardboard dog tokens and puppy pegs

Who's up for Game night?

by RipshitHeart

Head Count!
Sunday 7:30ish at my place.
We have: scrabble, Boggle, Chutzpah (like Monopoly for Jews), Driver's Ed: The Game and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer board game for "real" games.
My homemade versions of: Clue, Life, Scattergories, Pictionary (veterans of game night remember this one), Heartthrobs
And the ever popular ONAG, or "oy, not another game!" in which you have to sing lines from songs.
So, come one, come all! Beer and snacks provided. Let me know if you're interested so I can know how many cookies to bake (and hopefully not burn this time)

For awhile, players get lost in the game

by ironwind

No matter the magnitude or intensity, be it physical or an isolated psychological board game, but the players eventually return, understanding that they are playing, understanding that it is a game.
Religion is a game played full time, the stakes often life & death, a continous pretense manufacturing dangers that correspond to the ideology of their particular text.

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What is the iconic American board game?

Some would say Scrabble, and some would say Monopoly. I personally prefer Scrabble, but Monopoly has more support. There is, however, no definitive answer. Thanks for using

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