Café Games: Go and game culture

Yesterday’s café games were quite minimal, as only one person attended them in addition to me. So, off went the plan to play Dia de los Muertos; we focused purely on Go. That wasn’t a bad thing, as Ari was an interesting opponent. We played three games on 13×13 board, with me giving handicaps of five, four and three stones. Ari won with the two bigger handicaps, while I won the last game. He might be 3.5 stones weaker than me on 13×13, then. I’m not sure, but I think he hasn’t played much outside our games, in which case he was playing really well, making very good moves. We had some rather interesting life and death situations in our games.

Large part of the session was, however, dedicated on discussion about games as a cultural form. I’m currently reading Rules of Play — Game Design Fundamentals which is a very interesting theoretical work on games. It leans towards computer games, but discusses also board games. The book includes, for example, an essay by Reiner Knizia about the designing of the Lord of the Rings and some interesting small games. I think the book’s highly recommended, but I warn you: it’s a rather academical book, so prepare for Saussure, semiotics and loads of theory.

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