Solitary Soundings

Musings of a solitary gamer. "The advantage of conversation is such that, for want of company, a man had better talk to a post than let his thoughts lie smoking and smothering." (Jeremy Collier) Comments welcome.

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Low-Tech Solo Gaming

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I just read an article on "dumbphones" and how the smartphone cycle may be well past its peak. It surprised me but rang true--or at least possibly true. At any rate, I've been carrying a smartphone around for several years, and while it seemed very cool in the beginning, I'd be perfectly happy without most of its features now.

Coincidentally, some BGGeeks have been replying to an old GeekList of mine, calling my attention back to it. It's a list of classic Avalon Hill wargames, so it brings back fond memories. It also makes me wonder about having relocated my "home base" from BGG to VGG a few years ago--back when my new smartphone was the most exciting thing ever. How is video gaming going for me now? How would I feel about going back to board gaming?
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Fri Nov 9, 2018 3:59 pm
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Labor or Leisure?

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"<sigh> I just had another sucky experience in Civilization this morning; I was doing fine, when the Ottomans attacked me and started taking over all my cities."

"Aw, c'mon--you're not going to spend a blog post whining about that, are you?"

"Well, no. I feel like it, but I guess I won't."

"Good for you! Say something positive for a change. People play games for fun; that's what they want to hear about."

"Fun--right. People don't know how to define it, but they're sure it's what counts."

"So you're going to try to define 'fun'?"

"Nah. Too many viewpoints on it. Just as well to leave it vague. Guess I'll just go with the subject line and blog about labor versus leisure."

"Oh no--not the old business about Tom Sawyer and fence painting. Hasn't that been done to death?"

"I dunno. I still need to resolve it. And it's my blog."
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Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:46 pm
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Reorienting

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I hit a slump in video gaming a week or two ago; nothing satisfied me anymore, and about all I've been able to do is play my old standby, Master of Orion. It's OK, but I'm not even enjoying that they way I used to.

A couple weeks before that, I started back into board wargaming a little; I played a scenario of Ancient Battles Deluxe, and that game is still set up on a nearby table, ready to be played again. I might just play it again today. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I've also been aware of my ongoing fascination with board games in general and traditional strategy games in particular--e.g., chess, checkers, and go. One drawback for me there is I don't know anyone else who plays and don't want to go out of my way to find opponents, at least not for face-to-face play. I like studying the games and playing solo on the computer, but I'm reluctant to play competitively, even if it's friendly competition.

So, now I'm reevaluating where I am in regard to games and gaming. I just threw open my closet doors, and from where I sit I can see most of my game collection. What to make of it?
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Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:59 pm
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Gaming as a Laboratory of Life

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Attributed to Socrates is the saying "The unexamined life is not worth living." To me it means that one has to reflect and consider things in order to turn experiences into wisdom; otherwise things happen, but the meaning of them is lost (and then life usually brings the experiences around again and again until the lesson sinks in).

That might just be common sense. However, I've turned the saying around and found the reverse useful: the unlived life is not worth examining. That's my way of reminding myself not to spend too much time reflecting or ruminating, lest life pass me by.
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:52 pm
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Selective Minimalism

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I've been somewhat attracted to the concept of minimalism for years. If you're not sure what it is, you can click the above link or this one:
https://www.theminimalists.com/

Of course, with me (if not with everybody), there's always some tension. In this case, I'm spoiled by all the comforts and conveniences I've grown used to all my life, so I'm reluctant to give them up. Hence, it's hard for me to even think of going camping anymore, much less permanently simplifying my lifestyle.
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Sun Jun 3, 2018 5:31 pm
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What Is It with Me and Traditional Games?

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I've loved games all my life. And I've been saying that all my life. But what do I mean by it exactly?

I imagine the typical BGGeek would take it to mean I have tons of fun playing games--maybe games of all kinds, but probably with a preference for certain kinds--and want to keep on having fun playing them.

Nope.
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Fri May 11, 2018 6:14 pm
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Know Thyself

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I think "Know Thyself" (γνῶθι σεαυτόν) is an ancient Greek saying, found engraved on temples. It's also something I've been working on all my life, and I guess I've accidentally made some progress at it.

It shows up in the games I choose and also in the gaming conditions I set up or find myself in.
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Sat May 5, 2018 2:20 pm
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The Loner Life and Biting Off Too Much

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I've been reading comments in BGG lately about social gamers trying solo games. No surprise that they feel something important is missing. It all comes down to what one looks for in gaming--the topic of my first blog post.

What we want is thought, imagination, and interaction. But we differ in how much we want each of those things. A given individual is likely to want one more than the other two and one less than the other two. How do they stack up for you?
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Wed May 2, 2018 1:42 pm
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Reading Wargames

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I've been having a somewhat heated discussion with a longtime BGGeek (Samo) in one of the threads, and he brought up something that intrigues me--sheds new light on something I'd been only dimly aware of: I tend to read games rather than actually play them.
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Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:04 pm
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Preferences and Pet Peeves

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I've been playing games for many years, so I've nailed down some of the things I especially like or dislike. Thought I'd just muse on that for a while here.
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Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:25 pm
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