I’ve always been a bit of a gamer. I can recall attempting (unsuccessfully) to sneak down the hall on weekend mornings as a teenager to try and get as much time playing TIE Fighter or C&C: Red Alert on the computer before my parents would kick me off for playing too much and telling me to “get some fresh air” or “clean my room”, both of which happened, but not without a lot of sulking.
Even before that, it was playing Kings Quest V on my dad’s laptop, which had black and orange screen, a 2 foot power cord, and required a boot disk. My sister and I would struggle our way through, trying to remember the exact pattern you needed to take to get through the dessert without forgetting any of the random items that you’d need 4 hours later, like a tambourine to scare a snake, or a fishhook so you could grab a piece of cheese from a mouse hole.
Gaming has evolved so much over the years, with single player games now offer hundreds of hours of content and the feeling that you’re playing a movie, or multiplayer games taking the form of jobs for a lot of young players, making thousands of dollars a month streaming online or competing in tournaments.
Despite the glitz and glamour that these titles offer, I’ve found myself recently intrigued by a 1500 year old game: chess.
I don’t know what it is about it, but it holds my attention more than any other game at the moment. It could be the fact that almost no two games are the same, it could be the numerous strategies, or it could be the fact that I’m absolutely terrible at it, but currently I love it.
The problem with starting chess is that it’s hard to find someone to play with as a beginner. I’m worried that some of my friends will call me a nerd (which they already do, but that’s beside the point) or I’ll find someone who wants to play and they’ll absolutely mop the floor with me, breaking my chess-loving spirit. I did manage to get a couple games in against my good friend Matt recently, but ended up going 0-1-1, so I’m still searching for my first chess win that isn’t against a computer.
If you’re ever up for a game, let me know. I’d love to play more of what I find to be an incredibly fun, challenging and intellectual game.