A while ago I wrote about how good players make good games and it recently occurred to me that the inverse is also true, even if it means something very different. So let’s see how good games make good players.
You can break games down into certain concepts and categories such as card game, or worker placement. The ideas that they embody don’t’ fundamentally change drastically from game to game. Before continuing I should point that I am framing this based upon card games primarily, but I believe the idea has a certain amount of universality. Now the thing is that not all games are created equally, there are some really good games, really terrible ones and most games that fall somewhere in between. As I established last week, part of the reason to play games at all in my opinion is the instinctual challenge they provide. This is not to say that every part of a game should be challenging however.
What exactly do I mean by fundamentals though? I mean something as broad and generic as the idea of looting, or decoupling the idea from Magic, card filtering. It’s the ability to replace what you have in your hand with the potential for something better. The idea on its surface can be unintuitive to some due to the cost of discarding but its value in general is well understood.
By understanding these fundamentals and recognizing them across games, you pick up on what works and what does not in general terms. There is another advantage to this, if you understand something well enough than you don’t have to actually think about it. Instead these fundamentals just become rote knowledge that you don’t have to spend time and energy actually processing these facts. Instead that time and energy can be spent on processing the finer points of each game. This in turn improves the quality of your game and makes you a better player.
Now why does it have be good games? Cause good games will definitely teach you these fundamentals. There are many things that make bad games bad and for the purpose of this blog post I’m defining them as games that don’t challenge you or require you to learn these fundamentals to succeed.
Unfortunately playing good games isn’t necessarily going to address the other part of being a better player. While playing good games can make someone more amicable to be around, that’s honestly cutting it close to being a good gamer.
Until next time, be a good gamer and play good games.