War games

Map segmentMy latest craze is Conquer Club, an online turns-based game improving on the Risk board game. I understand all the theoretical problems with taking a subject like war and trivializing it with game play. But to me, with all the various boards in this new game that aren’t even map based (the chinese checkers board, the crossword board, the university campus), the game takes on more a game of strategy like Chess or Backgammon and less a trivialization of war.

And how can something this fun (and free) be intellectually dishonest to play? Not to mention the sideline banter: I was in a game recently where conversation between players turned from comic books to quoting King Lear to debt relief roadblocks as a result of the Iraq war to jockstraps. And these weren’t even the players I knew. 

Maybe Kris will share his drawing for a game board that he and I thought up. But for that to make sense, I guess you have to give this game a try first at: www.conquerclub.com. If you see yammers1 out there, beware, he is a keen strategist, held back only by a vague twinge of enjoying himself too much.

4 Responses to War games

  1. Pulao says:

    You know, if we had to shun all games that had even a hint of intellectual doubt, all these games would have to go:

    a) Monopoly: because, really, no true lefty (or even liberal, for that matter) should be participating in encouraging people to privatize places everywhere, and then turning all them all into places for touristy consumerism. On the other hand, monopoly is such a boring game that we should shun it just on the basis of that.

    b) Chess: because even though the queen is such an awesome piece, her job is still defined in relationship to her husband.

    c) Life: because it insists on a heteronormative, capitalist purpose.

    d) Pool: because there’s something incredibly phallic about using a big, long rod to hit balls into holes.

    e) Apples to Apples: because it says we should conform, and should be rewarded for the popularity of our ideas, instead of the uniqueness of our word-associations.

    f) Scrabble, Wizard, and Pente: because I consistently lose, and I think that’s proof that they’re intellectually tainted.

  2. Kris says:

    I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but Wizard, I think, is an honest game. I’m sorry, some cards are just better than other cards. Don’t get me wrong — some of my best friends are Jesters — but a Wizard will beat a Jester any day, and that’s just the truth. It’s biological. This is just what I’ve seen from personal experience.

  3. Anirban says:

    Another reason to stick to cricket. A game invented in England, dominated by the West Indies (ex – cotton colonies) in the past and now by Australia (ex – prison colony) and most lucrative in India ( third world country) who just lost to Bangladesh (disaster country) and needs to beat Sri Lanka (home of Arthur C Clarke) to stay in the tournament.
    As for being politically correct…- Zimbabwe’s current squad and performance are enough to suggest that things aren’t nearly as fine back home.

    Does Ludo imply colour segregation? A red counter cannot enter the blue lane?

  4. duodecad says:

    Don’t forget all forms of gambling, where the masses contribute to a few elite winners.

    Or rummy, because I can never win it.

    And most of all, let’s not forget Sorry, where that wonderful popping-plastic-dice-dome bewilders you long enough not to notice that this game should be called “I like being a jerk…”

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