The new version of Monopoly is played with bank cards instead of paper money. The game’s still fun, and goes a lot faster than the original version, but it does away with our ability to fuck with the rules (because there’s a central card reader which keeps track of player cash balances and property holdings. No more free-wheeling land trades or desperate negotiations because you’re broke! In the old game, my specialty was piling up a lot of cash then going for a “night on the town” and blowing it all on expensive hotels (which I never owned). I was generally out first.
Playing the new Monopoly got me wondering about old games vs. modern games, and why I preferred some over others. I think it comes down to the same reason why my jiu jitsu instructor preferred grappling over striking. Jiu jitsu over boxing or muay thai.
“It’s rare, but an amateur can get lucky and knock out a professional with a wild punch. That just doesn’t happen in jiu jitsu. On the ground, the amateur loses every single time.”
There’s no luck jiu jitsu. The better guy wins every time. I like that.
That’s also why I like chess. Both players have exactly the same pieces. There’s next to zero room for luck. Chess just gets out of the way and lets two people compete in as fair and true a way as humans have yet devised.
The best games do that. They move aside and let the competitors clash directly. The shittiest games do all the playing and the opponents are just puppets, playing out the will of the rules, the luck, and the dice.
Slot machines are shitty games.
Roulette is a shitty game.
Poker is a great game.
Most sports are excellent games.
Mobile games are almost all shitty. Clash of clans, which I was addicted to but am now playing less and less because of Pokemon GO, balances complex strategy and totally unfair match ups. As players progress in the game, they cannot be beaten by newer players – not because of increased skill but because of flat out better troops and defences.
Pokemon GO is similar. Brand new players have absolutely no chance of winning battles. Their pokemon just suck way too much. Advanced players dominate entire towns, only because they’ve been playing for longer. The longer you play Pokemon GO or Clash of Clans, the more powerful you become in those games.
I’m not a big fan of that. Playing something for a length of time shouldn’t guarantee progress. And that’s why I think it will eventually peter out and die like every other mobile game. It has a lifespan. You progress through the game, maybe you make it to the end, and then you either finish the game or quit.
Chess will never die. The pieces in chess don’t get better or worse. The amount of time someone plays chess guarantees nothing. It’s on the player to get better. The game doesn’t help us along.
This is maybe a reflection of our times vs our ancestors. Our ancestors invented chess, we invented Pokemon GO. Our ancestors were ballsy enough to fight with the same weapon as the new guy, year after year. We seem to think that we deserve a better weapon if we’ve been around for a while, so we can utterly obliterate the new guy.
This is why we’re a bunch of pussies and why our grandparents are so much tougher than we are. It’s also why the next generation is 100% useless compared to us.
Humans, in North America anyway, are getting really god damn soft.
If the aliens come now, we’re fucked.