Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Game Koans

An aspiring game designer came to see Knizia to learn how to design games. Knizia brought out a blank deck of cards, some plain wooden cubes, and a pair of faceless dice. The designer waited, but nothing else happened. "Why are you not teaching me how to design a game?" asked the designer. Answered Knizia, "I have given you everything you need to design the game. I cannot also give you the game."

Andreas was playing Puerto Rico with two students. One student took the Craftsman. "Why did you do that?" asked Andreas. "If he takes Trader, I will trade my coffee," answered the student. Andreas went to the games closet and took out a wheat card from a game of Settlers of Catan. "Why did you get that wheat card?" asked the student. "If he takes Trader, I will trade my wheat," answered Andreas. The student was then enlightened.

Knizia and Kramer were playing Tigris and Euphrates. Kramer removed his leader from one kingdom and moved it to another kingdom. "That is no longer my kingdom," said Kramer. Knizia slapped Kramer on his face. "That is no longer my face," said Knizia.

Richard Garfield came upon a student who was looking through all of her magic cards. "What are you looking for?" asked Richard. "I am looking for the best card," answered the student. Richard's eyes began darting around the room. "What are you looking for?" asked the student. "I am looking for the best air," answered Richard.

Several students were playing El Grande with Kramer. One student was agonizing over which card to take. "How shall I know what is the right thing to do?" asked the student. "I can tell you what is the right thing to do," answered Kramer. "Please do," begged the student. Kramer answered, "You must take a card."

Moon was setting up a game of Ticket to Ride in order to teach some disciples how to play. "You start the game with no claimed routes on the board," said Moon. "In order to have no claimed routes on the board, you must give to me all of your claimed routes." "But you haven't yet given us any trains," said one of the disciples. "Then you must give to me all of the claimed routes from your mind," answered Moon. "How can we give you claimed routes from our mind?" asked the disciple. "Very well, you may throw them out, if you prefer."

Sheinwold was once playing bridge when he made a risky finesse. The finesse worked, and Sheinwold made his contract. His partner remained silent. Later in the evening his partner scolded him for making the play. Sheinwold answered, "I played the finesse several hours ago. Are you still playing it?"

Olotka was once singing to himself in a field when it began to rain. One his students ran up to him and said that he should come inside before he got wet. Olotka looked at the water dripping off of the head of his student and replied, "I am not wet. I am playing Cosmic Encounter. You are wet."

Teuber was laying out the board for a game of Settlers of Catan with his students. The first student said, "I hope I get to place my first settlement first." The second student said, "I hope I get to place my settlements in good locations." The third student said, "I hope I win." Teuber said "I hope I play."

Yehuda

15 comments:

Seth Ben-Ezra said...

Excellent!

Gerald McD said...

Excellent!

{No clever rejoinders from me.}

Shannon Appelcline said...

Wonderful.

Coldfoot said...

Master Yehuda, how do I write a good blog article?

GROGnads said...

I'd be "happy" JUST to be able to 'complete' an entire "article" without this MOFO 'blog' doing its "lockup" upon myself! I'm going to figure out HOW to "beat this 'beotch like a 'red-headed step-child'!" if I need to!

geas said...

good one!
the Ticket to ride/Moon one seemed a bit too fuzzy though

Friendless said...

Very good.

Yehuda said...

geas: For the Moon reference, see

http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/41joshuszen.html

Yehuda

Freakatronic said...

I understand none of this, nor do I pretend to...

Coldfoot said...

Freakatronic,

You win!!!!

This is actually a non-sensical article designed to mock people who claim to understand it. Knizia Kramer, Teuber, etc. aren't real people, neither are the games mentioned.

To claim your prize go to www.andgames.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Nice Koans, Yehuda. I particularly like the Wheat Card one, if I understand it.

][-][ELLSAXE said...

@ coldfoot
uhm i recognise several of the games you say dont exist, and know one of the people who you say arent real....

denise said...

Im not sure what games fall under the "do not exsist" catagory, but I have personally hosted settlers of cattan tounaments with way to many loud men for also way to many hours so it has to exsist or I was irritated too long for nothing.

Asmor said...

the Ticket to ride/Moon one seemed a bit too fuzzy though

Actually, I think that one was the most sensical among them.

All too often in T2R we go into it with a plan, we know which routes we're going to start off taking to try and complete our first couple destination tickets. The trick is, though, that this is wrong. We must remove from our minds these pre-determined routes and, as they say, play the cards we're dealt.

happyseaurchin said...

love it :) especially the air one :)