Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fun is a Genre

Never let it be said I don't have a crackpot opinion for every occasion. Today's topic for discussion is that "fun" is a genre of board games, and that not all board games we might choose to play (a) are fun and (b) should be fun. What do I mean by fun? I mean games that make me laugh. I explicitly do not mean games that I have a good time playing - I contend that that is quite different to fun. Let me tell you some fun games: Mystery of the Abbey, Pick Picknic, Pirate's Cove, PitchCar, Ca$h'n'Gun$, Nobody But Us Chickens, Battle of the Bands, Munchkin. Bruno Faidutti has the magnificent ability to make games that are fun AND strategic, I guess Key Largo could be added in there. However most of the rest of the time fun games rate fairly lowly for me - they are ego and supergo games. Fun games make me laugh, but often I do not much care whether I win or not. Laughing is great, sometimes...

Do you like horror movies? I don't go out of my way to watch them, but I watched The Village and decided that it was a totally awesome movie. I loved it. Was it fun? Nup. Sometimes everyone likes to do stuff other than have fun, just like they like to eat things that aren't sweet. Fun games are like comedies - sometimes what you want, generally popular, but sometimes when you want to have the crap scared out of you or cry rivers of tears or be thrilled, a comedy is not what you want.

Using the movie analogy, I have come up with some new genres of board games:
* experience games - Arkham Horror, Shadows Over Camelot (corresponds to horror movies)
* fun games - Ca$h'n'Gun$, Munchkin, Bang! (corresponds to comedies)
* thinky games - GIPF, Tikal (corresponds to thrillers)
* crap games - Cranium, Pictionary (corresponds to chick flicks)
* kids' games - Goosebumps, Pokemon Master Trainer (corresponds to kids' movies)

I like experience games, I like thinky games, I will play fun games. I think the kid goes for experience games and fun games (and of course kids' games). I guess his thinky bits are not fully evolved yet... Come to think of it, he would probably even play crap games, if he could find an opponent.

So, opinions? I will probably expand on these ideas in a later article, particularly with relation to how the reason we play games affects the genre of games we choose. But right now, my back is hurting, the tokay has run out, and my bed is calling me. Goodnight.

1 comment:

Ozvortex said...

I like your movie analogy. BTW, I rented The Village on your recommendation. Great movie.