The kid is in bed. The chores are done (or at least the washer is washing and the Roomba is vacuuming, ain’t technology grand?). Looking at the wall, you see you have time. What time is it? Game time!
You’ve been jonesing to get a game in. Sure, online games and play-by-emails have been great, not to mention a great 2-player game over the weekend, but during these brief moments of seclusion the real nerdy games can come out. The solitaire-only games. The games that everyone else looks at and goes “and that’s fun?” Games like Bios: Genesis, wherein you play evolving bacteria. Games like Nightfighter playing German, um, Nightfighters trying to fend off British bombers over Berlin in a highly simulated way. Games like Fields of Fire, one of the west war games ever created, yet only playable by one person.
You live in a golden age.
So you go to your game closet. Oh to have a game closet! To go back in time and tell your younger self that you will have a game closet and actually have a wife who likes you! Heck, she loves you and loves games, too! Oh the tension that would flee from that younger self!
Back to the closet. You open the doors and hear the brief choir of angels sing as the multi-colors and shapes cascade before your eyes. From party-games that bring people together like Dixit, to friend-ruiners like Pax Porfiriana that cause fist-fights (if you play it right). Each calling out to you: “Pick me! Pick me!”
But tonight your eyes wander to the section of closet that houses the solitaire games. The Phil Ecklund games, the John Butterfields. The Solo-bots and the full co-ops. The dungeon crawls and disaster managements.
And you pause.
What do I want to play?
And your brain says:
I don’t know.
The hell, brain? You’ve been waiting all week for this moment! You’re here now! You have time now! (insert Twilight Zone voice) It’s not fair! Just go for your favorite game, High Frontier, how can that go wrong?
Brain: But that’s a lot of set up, and aren’t you worried about playing it too much? Wouldn’t you hate to get burnt out on it?
Um, okay, I guess that could be a thing. Well, if I’m worried about setup time, I’ll just grab Onirim and play a couple hands of that with different expansions mixed in.
Brain: But you don’t want to do that, you have all this time! Why play a game you could play if you only had fifteen minutes.
Okay, I guess that’s a good point. I could set up Fields of Fire in the basement and continue my Korean campaign.
Brain: But do you really want to be in the musty old basement tonight? Besides, you’d have to clean it off and have to accept the fact that you can’t fix the SpotBot that’s sitting on the table right now.
Hey! I told you! Don’t mention my inability to fix things!
Brain: Sorry. Back to games.
Right. Um. So if you’re so good at telling me what I don’t want to play, tell me what I want to play.
Brain: I don’t know. You tell me!
But you are me.
Brain: Maybe that’s just what I want you to think.
10 MINUTES LATER
Brain: I can’t believe you’re wasting a perfectly good evening watching old episodes of Dick Van Dyke on Netflix rather than playing a game like you wanted to.
Shut up brain.
It’s like having a million channels, but nothing’s on. What do you do when you have the time and a million games to play, but just can’t pick one?