Sweet, Glorious Australia
by Calvin Patimeteeporn
It had been 3.5 hours of playing and our Risk game was finally coming to a close. My allies had been completely wiped off the board and a previously “neutral” friend sided with my enemy and I was left to defend Asia.
I prayed every time I rolled the dice and I heard my friends’ maniacal laughter grow as my they pushed back my army further and further into Asia. The room was filled with yelling, trash-talking, and laughing at this point and I was loving it, despite the fact that half of my army was slaughtered in less than 4 turns. But soon enough, the sinking feeling set in my stomach as I realized how far my peers have beaten down my army.And then, I saw the solution.
Sweet, glorious Australia.
I rushed my army in that direction and succeeded in holding back their armies from there. We reached a stalemate after another hour of constant fighting and decided to end the constant death that surrounded Australia. While, I did not win the game, I had never had that much fun with a piece of cardboard, plastic figures, and dice. The whole sense of the cliche “warm feelings” as the game progressed (or regressed) was a winning experience in itself.
With console games, while there is still the option of playing with friends (and even some online) it never gives the same feeling. When I played Xbox Live with Halo, I was actually insulted and “face-humped” in the game, which, surprisingly, does not give me the “warm cuddly feeling.” My other experiences with online gaming, including Lord of the Rings: Online resulted in the almost same experience. Being called a “newb” multiple times is not as rewarding as it sounds.
However, this might just be the ravings of an old teenager who lives at the end of the block shaking his cane at youngsters. But I am more inclined toward traditional board games. Sure they don’t have 3D worlds to explore and they don’t have amazing character designs and graphics, but they do have a medium in which my friends and I can project our inner Napoleons.
Even if my Napoleon gets trapped and retreats into Australia.