Monday, June 9, 2014

Game Shame

I own a lot of board games that I rarely play. It is weird that I, an introvert, find the necessity to own games and, truth be told, I actually enjoy playing them. Through my childhood, I was encouraged to play games and when I look around at kids today, I see them with Smartphones, notebooks (electronic ones), and other devices that have them glued into games like Candy Crush, Temple Run 2, and Coin Dozer. Games are embedded in us. We have access to them whenever we please and it has me questioning if this is why we are all so screwed up when it comes to human interaction.

Now, this isn't a blog on how eye-contact seems to be fading and grammar is dwindling (even though I believe this to be true), but it is about relationships and human connection. Recently, my friend has been talking to a new guy and it seems he is playing games with her. He says certain things to get a certain response and when she began to show me his communication with her, I realized that we are all part of multiple games that we never agreed to play. 

This all led me to an inner dialogue of questions... What happened to romance? What happened to talking? Why do we feel the need to send out communication in the hopes of a specific response? I realize that I sound like the stereotypical female, "Let's just talk. Tell me what you are thinking." But, when I feel trapped into a game of charades (a game I am not particularly fond of), I get a little... (one word. ::annoyed face:: Sounds like, beer-a-rated) irritated. I have never been very good at charades. 

When I told my friend what she should say in response to the new guy, she told me, "It worked!" Of course it did. We have been so conditioned to move our pieces in the "right" direction. If we think about it, we have different outcomes; we may be able to take a shortcut up Gumdrop Pass, or we may end up stuck on one of Lord Licorice's spaces, for a time (he is kind of a jerk). However, the goal is set - reach Candy Castle. In our case, it's win another person's affection. What has come of us that we are so broken when it comes to relationships? 

I am not saying that it is wrong for people to seek out companionship, but maybe it is wrong to manipulate someone into following a certain path on the board game. Maybe it could be more fun to make our own rules, or throw the rules out once and for all. 

No relationship is going to make perfect sense. There are going to be tough parts and there are times we will want a "Get Out of Jail Free" card, but life and relationships really shouldn't work that way. They need to be messy, because people are not perfect. There are going to be things that annoy you about the other person; there are always going to be reasons why your relationship should not work, but what it really comes down to is how far you are willing to work with one another in order to get to the end of the game together and how apt are you at seeing the reasons why you should work out? You shouldn't be trying to one-up the other person, constantly. Instead, you should be working on trying to make it to the end together. If you find yourself treating your significant other as an opponent, there may be an issue that needs to be addressed. 

I got Jumanji for my boyfriend for his birthday. We ended up playing it a few times and each time, I got out of the jungle and he ended up stuck. I prefer the movie's course of the game, that it is meant to be played together, all in, in order to get everyone out. We can learn a lot from games, but that does not mean we need to mimic them in every aspect of our lives and play games with the emotions of those around us (I really don't think Hasbro intended for this to happen). But really, it is your turn to decide how you treat those around you. Tag, you're it. 

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