The Simple Things
I spent the last of my holiday weekend with my daughter sitting on the floor playing War, teaching her how to build houses out of cards, and performing the most rudimentary “is this your card” magic tricks I’ve picked up along the years. I’m not sure what drew me to this instead of our usual Catan Jr. games or something else less “pedestrian” but it felt nice. It felt nostalgic even, I remember the first time I learned some of these things and I remember the possibilities expanding in my mind of exactly what could be done with a deck of cards.
Obviously I wasn’t the only one, as there are thousands of games to play with a deck of cards, and even some RPGs use a deck of cards for their mechanics – one of my favorites being Savage Worlds. While there’s a lot to be said about cards that is good and positive, but what about the “darker” side of cards. No not tarot cards or any other form of divination, but what about gambling? It’s not a topic I’ve covered very often here but I think it’s worth visiting now and again.
Gambling itself isn’t inherently bad, like anything else people can become addicted and fixated up on it. I’ve never been to a casino, but when I was younger I had big plans to go to one when I turned 21. I think I wound up buying a scratch off instead. I’m not a gambling person really, but I honestly think most of the time gambling gets a bad wrap. When was the last time you saw a character archetype of “the gambler” in a book, movie, or TV show that wasn’t someone down on his luck that had a whole bevvy of undesirable traits?
While not many of us may be itching to go to a local casino, or even have that as an option, if you don’t have a local poker group to play with there’s is always the possibility of gambling online. Just like any other type of game that’s moved into the digital realm, you can play lots of exciting online casino games from the comfort of your couch or computer chair. I’ve done it a time or two with a spare $10 I had left over from birthday money or some other completely unexpected/expendable form of cash I’ve had. Though rare for me, it was enjoyable, the thrill of potentially winning some earnings from the comfort of your living room is not a bad one.
Online gambling has a bit of a sordid history, and to this day gets a bad name mainly due to the legal implications of the internet and local laws concerning gambling. The gamut of online casinos range from your standard poker games all the way to betting on horses, and playing bingo. You can virtually put your money where your mouth is, anytime, anywhere. It’s funny to think
What’s In the Cards?
Gambling aside, card games aside, what I’m really kind of getting at here are the basic tools that have inspired so many games for centuries now. My son received some blank dice in his stocking this year and since then he has taken his Star Wars Command plastic figures (basically Star Wars army men) and created his own wargame out of it. Complete with jenga blocks as cover, rules for measurement, and even went as far to create his own rulebook. Simple cubes, cardboard, and dice have sparked the imaginations of countless people and undeniably brought immeasurable amounts of joy into the world because of it.
2016 is going to be a new year here at TDG, with me freelancing more I have a lot more to talk about, which should hopefully result in more blogging. Of course, some of those posts will be to promote new projects of mine but I don’t think that’s a problem. I’m going to be venturing further into game design this year than I have previously before and I may also be livestreaming some of it, in which case, I hope you’ll join me.
Until next time, game excellently with one another!