Some Thoughts on Thinking, Part II

Posted on Dec 6 2015 by pomomojo in Board Games, Chess, Poker

Previously I discussed the role of memorization in board games. In some games you are explicitly rewarded for being able to memorize pieces of information, whereas in other games memorization is something serious players do in preparation for playing the game in order to gain an advantage. A mental skill that is a bit more common to games, though, could be categorized as Evaluation.
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Some Thoughts on Thinking, Part I

Posted on Feb 5 2013 by pomomojo in Board Games, Parlor Games, Poker

I have played many, many different games in the past few years, and even though I generally do fairly well when I play, I find that certain games are just more difficult for me than others. The ones I struggle with, confound me not because I don’t understand them or they are too complicated, but because they require mental skills that I am weaker in. This has led me to consider some of the different types of thinking that games can require of their players.
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Being Resourceful, Part III

Posted on Jan 13 2013 by pomomojo in Chess, Parlor Games

In previous blog posts I discussed how every game has its own resource that the crafty player must learn to control. In some games the resource is obvious since it is the same resource we use in real life – money. In other games the resource is clear but is a bit more divorced from reality such as the use of points or dice pips. Finally, there are games where the resource is not at all clear since you don’t seem to be spending anything during the game.

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Being Resourceful, Part II

Posted on Jan 12 2013 by pomomojo in Backgammon, Board Games

In a previous blog post I discussed the idea that one way of learning a new game or improving your understanding of a game’s strategy is to figure out what resources are at work in the game and how you can manipulate them. In a game like Monopoly or Poker the main resource is clearly money and the goal is to figure out how to maximize your profits, so to speak. In many other games, however, the main resource might be something that only has value in the game system itself.

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Being Resourceful – Part I

Posted on Jan 8 2013 by pomomojo in Board Games

One thing I really enjoy is playing a game for the first time. There’s a mystery to be solved as the rules are first explained to you and your first game plays out. You see how all the different parts fit together and start to glimpse how certain strategies might work or not work. For others, though, this process is not so appealing since new games can seem overwhelming. Where do you start in your quest to master the game system?
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Leisure Time?

Posted on Dec 20 2012 by pomomojo in Board Games, Poker

There’s an old saying that if you make your hobby your job you’ll never work a day in your life. On the other hand, the quickest way to ruin a hobby is to make it feel like work. What I find interesting about these quotes is the delicate balance between work and leisure. We want our leisure time to be relaxing, but in order for it to be truly fulfilling, we usually have to put work into it. This seems even more true in board games where playing the games themselves can seem like work.
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The Expert

Posted on Dec 18 2012 by pomomojo in Backgammon, Board Games, Chess, Poker

In earlier blog posts I discussed two types of collectors – The Eclectic and The Epicurean. The Eclectic bases his collecting on variety and rarity. The more unusual a game or a version of a game is, the better it fits into his collection. The Epicurean’s goal is to create the perfect gaming experience and is eager to upgrade every component of a game and even the space in which the game is played. Today I will describe a third category of collector – The Expert.
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The Epicurean

Posted on Dec 5 2012 by pomomojo in Backgammon, Chess, Poker

In another blog post I discussed the characteristics of “The Eclectic.” In the world of board game collecting, the Eclectic would be someone who focuses their collecting by not focusing much at all. In other words, the goal of the Eclectic is to gather together as many different games as possible and to take particular joy in those games that are very unusual either in their gameplay or aesthetics. Today I’d like to add a second category of collector – The Epicurean.
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The Eclectic

Posted on Dec 4 2012 by pomomojo in Board Games, Parlor Games

I find it interesting that the word “hobby” is associated with a casual interest in something. If someone admires a painting you did you might respond “Oh, it’s just a hobby,” which seems to suggest that you aren’t that serious about it and only do it to pass time. While this is obviously true in the sense that you are not a professional in whatever skill you choose to call your hobby, I don’t think it’s right to see the interest as merely passing. After all, if you are not performing your hobby as part of your job, then that means you are doing this activity in addition to all your other daily responsibilities, you are choosing this one activity over all the other things you could be doing in your spare time, and you are spending your money on this activity. It seems like your hobby is often the thing you are most invested in.
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What are the Chances?

Posted on Dec 4 2012 by pomomojo in Backgammon, Board Games, Poker

A large part of the joy of playing designer or luxury games is found in their visceral qualities – the beauty of the pieces or the weight of a component in your hands – but when you play a game you can also get quite involved in the mental calculations of finding the best move. In fact, if you enjoy math, then gaming is probably the hobby for you.
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