Fanfare for the Common Man

  • Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I hate games. 
I hate games because I want to win. Why else would anyone want to play a game if not to win? Is there another reason to play games?
Surely it’s not to have fun. 
If you don’t win you can’t be having fun so the way I see it, one person is having fun while the other three or four people sitting around the table are having a lousy time. 
Games had pretty much been outlawed at my house growing up by the time I’d reached 13. My brother and sisters and I were no longer allowed to play any games together. 
I find it funny that the games were originally given as Christmas presents as something of a motivational tool that would make the four us play together and get along better. It’s funny because my parents wound up putting all the games away and refused to let us play them anymore. 
The ruse failed obviously. 
You don’t play unless you intend to win because if you don’t win, you lose, and if you’re not first you might as well be last. You see, what’s the fun in winning if you can’t gloat in front of all the losers who played? And the only fun in losing is being able to Frisbee the game board across the room. 
I was coerced into playing one of those computer games recently, a game called “Draw Something.”
I started playing this game to please a woman, which was my first and most fatal mistake. My competitive drive is not a “checkmark” to go in the positive column when determining whether a guy is suitable material. 
The object of the game is to draw something so your opponent, or in this case partner, can guess it. By correctly guessing a drawing you accumulate coins. 
The wrinkle in this game is that you complete the drawing by dragging your index finger across the surface of your cell phone display screen. With my fingers that’s like writing your name on a business card with a hot dog. 
I should confess at this point that I have something of an addictive personality. Tell me that beating one’s head against a brick wall was something that’s fun to do, and I would endeavor to become the best head-banger around.  
I knew this would not end well. 
The object of the game is to accumulate coins; the coin disbursement is factored on a bar graph that indiscriminately determines the percentile in which the coins should be divided based on your performance as both an artist and a topical guesser. 
Kind of like “Name That Tune” only without the music. 
So after a week of playing I had to ask, “How do they decide who wins?”
The reply I received was, “They don’t.”
They don’t? So, what’s the point of accumulating all these coins?
The reply in this case, “You use the coins to purchase more colors.”
More colors? Why?
“You purchase more colors to use in your drawings so they can be guessed more easily.”
But why?
“The faster you guess the drawings the more coins you accumulate, and the more coins you accumulate, the more colors you can purchase. See?”
But who wins?
“Nobody.”
Then why are we playing?
“TO HAVE FUN!”
Then silence.
Ut-oh.
I think someone just Frisbee’d their cell phone across the room.

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