Friday, February 12, 2010

Game On

I don’t know if it is still true, but it used to be that the best ping pong players came from the military. I suppose the people in the military had a lot of down time and had a good opportunity to hone their motor skills. The skills were legendary. Jean Shepherd talked about it back in the 60’s and you may remember one of the fictional characters, Forest Gump had a mastery of the paddle. I don’t hear a lot about ping pong and I wonder if it is relevant any more. It is still part of the Summer Olympic Games, but do non-competitive people even play it these days.

When I was growing up some of my friends had ping pong tables in their basements, but most of the kids I knew ignored it, using the table for other projects.

Games have used differing amounts of real estate over the years. Golf for instance uses several acres. Polo, football, soccer, hockey and baseball, to name a few use good hunks of property. Then you get to tennis, handball, and racket ball that uses courts. After that it goes to table games like ping pong, billiards and cards. From there we head into board games. Recently most games can now be played with small hand held devices.

Some game characteristics are already lost especially if you play any games on a device. A big part of playing poker is your skill of detecting an opponent’s bluff or noticing an opponents’ “tell”, which is a tick or an emotion they expose through body language relating to their hand, strategy or anxiety level. I try to play internet Scrabble every day. I play against a robot at at the expert level. It’s good and all but the problem is that you cannot put down a word that isn’t a word. In real Scrabble, if someone puts down a questionable word you may challenge it, but this doesn’t come into play on-line.

I wonder if this will all transgress into mind games. You have to admit that this has already begun to some extent.


Blogger darev2005 said...

For many years I have wished I had room for a ping pong table. I haven't played in ages. There are places I could go find one to play on, but I dislike getting out among strangers now. Actually, I was always like that. I wish there were enough time and room for more games in my life.

6:56 AM  
Blogger dalia said...

used to be great at ping pong. my cousins had a table in their basement. i suck at monopoly, fairly decent at checkers, and couldn't win at poker on account of my very expressive face.

you kick ass at scrabble. would gladly take up another challenge... at least you don't cheat. unlike some of my other friends...

7:55 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, funny, I find myself hoping for less room.

Dalia, you are an excellent opponent. I'll have to start logging back on to Facebook again with more regularity.

4:08 PM  

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