This Board Game Life Episode #021 – Africana (+ Solo Gaming Stigmas & More!)

//This Board Game Life Episode #021 – Africana (+ Solo Gaming Stigmas & More!)

This Board Game Life Episode #021 – Africana (+ Solo Gaming Stigmas & More!)

Africana is reviewed (2:52), plus updated thoughts on Smash-Up (24:13), Battle Beyond Space (27:12), Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom (28:36), Revolver (29:25), Netrunner (30:18), Seasons (34:31), Agricola All Creatures Big and Small (43:18), Rattus (48:19),  and Friday (50:50). All discussed are Lily Pad (51:53), the PC Game Faster Than Light (54:06), and the Angry Birds Space Board Game (57:02). Up for discussion are solo gaming stigmas (1:03:37) and a Blast from the past review of Liberte (1:18:05).  Gaming Lust for Clash of Cultures (1:29:10) and Revolver 2 (1:31:40) follows bringing the show to a close (1:38:04).

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By | 2013-09-11T21:08:44+00:00 September 23rd, 2012|1 Comment

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  1. CarlG October 4, 2012 at 7:30 AM - Reply

    Great show guys! Thought I would just drop a few comments concerning solo gaming stigmas. I think there are a few reasons that there are stigmas surrounding it.

    First of all there is the competitive angle. Like I've said to people when explaining this hobby, boardgaming lets me compete mentally in a similar way to how basketball lets me compete physically. Playing against yourself means you make the decisions 100% of the time, but none of that time is spent in meaningful(in regards to competition) decision making. No matter what you do you both win and lose. Sure, you can push yourself to play better, but at the end of the day you won't know how you stack up against other players. Now by practicing a game you can get better, honing your skills for competitive play(much like shooting hoops, or practicing dribbling), and if I had other competitive gamers to play against solo playing might be an option. My problem is that I play more games than anyone else I regularly play against. I already have an advantage, do I really need more practice? For me solo gaming holds 0% appeal as it is not competitive and would only widen the gap needlessly against my less experienced opponents.

    Secondly, there is the "how it is designed to be played" angle. Many video games are designed with the understanding that gamers will be playing solo. Many boardgames are not. Playing these multi-player games solo is equivalent to that guy playing chess by himself. Sure he's a nice enough guy, but that's just a little wierd! I think some people simply think it would be too "geeky" to play these games solo(I know I would). I embrace my hobby as a great way to inteligently compete with my friends, but I would be a little embarassed to have my friends pop over and see me playing one all by my lonesome. I guess this all has to do with categorization. There are things that are generally accepted as solo activities(reading, video games, watching tv, etc.) and things that are generally accepted as social activities. If you personally view boardgaming in the 2nd category you likely will have a negative reaction to solo gaming.

    Lastly, there is the aspect of time well spent. I am sure I am not the only one that has a spouse that thinks I spend too much time on BGG/boardgaming. While surfing BGG can seem like something I squeeze in, and boardgaming is enjoying this hobby of mine. I think my wife would percieve solo gaming as addictive behavior. As in, "seriously? you are actually going to dedicate a block of time to play a boardgame….with yourself?!?!?! If you have that big a block of free time why aren't you doing _____ instead?" I might be in the minority here, but I don't think I am;)

    On a side note, I have personally had 2 experiences with solo gaming. The first was a Bible School where I would deal out 4 hands of Rook and practice my bidding, seeing how things would likely play out. I did this because there was quite a competitive Rook community there and I wanted to be more competitive(or the best;)). But I did this in the privacy of my room and felt a little awkward if people found out. However, since there was such a hardcore Rook group, it wasn't too socially awkward as we were already too hardcore(ie. all of us always carried a Rook deck on our person and we would play at least 3 hours a day).

    The other experience was when I played 1 play of Flashpoint:Fire Rescue by myself. I felt a bit awkward playing it by myself, but since it is designed to be played by oneself, and the game system doesn't really change with more players, I was fine with it(though more players is preferred).

    Anyways, Just a few thoughts!

    Happy Gaming!

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