[TT] Gamer Games

We pause in the festival of Dominion for a general reflection on the audience for a game. Like most people in my generation, my wife plays games at times but would not characterize herself as a gamer. She knows who Mario is but not Master Chief. She plays Dominion with me and enjoys it.

We have also played Android: Netrunner, which she did not enjoy. She gave it a few chances, she tried several options, but no. This is a gamer game, not something for a general audience. She would play again if I asked her to, but she would not have fun. It is a particular sort of fun for a particular sort of person.

A gamer friend noticed that I had Android: Netrunner and was quite keen to learn the game. He enjoyed it. His fiancée watched a bit of the game and concurred with my wife: she would not refuse to play, but it did not look like fun. My gamer friend also has the Game of Thrones card game, which is from the same publisher and has some similarities. The two of them had played that one, and the fiancée had the same reaction, hence the recognition that she would not enjoy Android: Netrunner. I presume I would enjoy the Game of Thrones card game and my wife would not.

I will refer to some things as bad games or not meaningfully games at all. Candyland and Craps are non-games: no choices, just randomization. Monopoly is a bad game, intentionally designed to be a bad experience, and I may come back around to its major design flaws. Other games are for particular audiences or purposes. They can be good, but not for everyone. We should celebrate games like Settlers of Catan, Apples to Apples, and Plants vs. Zombies for being accessible to non-gamers and still of great interest and enjoyment to gamers.

: Zubon