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First, before the howls of derision, let me say I did check to see if anyone had posted a similar blog here. I couldn't find one, so hence this blog. That doesn't mean to say there isn't one, just that perhaps I missed it...
Yesterday, I was waiting for a relative’s plane to arrive at an airport. As usual, her plane was delayed. So, looking to ‘kill some time’, I sauntered over to a nearby retailers, ignoring the drinks and chocolates, heading towards the book section. Half-heartedly, I began to browse the books, not expecting to find anything that I'd like to read. I didn’t, of course. Most retailers at airports have a limited range of books that fall outside my interest in history. But while I looked, two thoughts occurred to me. The first was “don’t buy it unless you reckon you’ll actually have the time to read it.” The second was “why don’t I read so much these days?”
This led into a kind inner conversation – without voices, you understand – in which I found myself answering back: well you don’t read so much these days as you’re playing too many games! Ok, so that’s a solid reason, but why do I do that? And then the answer emerged as I stared at the books: why buy a book on fiction, even a good book on fiction, even with some semblance of a historical background, when it has a fixed narrative? You know that the narrative will never change, that you can only read it once without knowing what’s going to happen. And it's a solo-experience. In this answer, there emerged another thought.
It was this. The flip side of a fixed narrative is a dynamic one. And this is what I often find in a good boardgame. A well designed boardgame, with some historical flavour, should help create a dynamic narrative, one that changes each time you play. And one that you a part in yourself. There are other reasons too, of course. So why do you like to play a boardgame or wargame?