Some people say games are just for entertainment. I don’t think so.
To demonstrate my disagreement, I am going to talk about my two favorite games recently: OX and Reversi. For those who have no idea what these names mean, they are both strategy board games and require 2 players in each round.
First, you may have heard of OX under different names such as “Gomoku” (Japanese) or “Five in a row” (English). Actually today I was very surprised to find that this game originated in Japan from the Heian period. It has been my favorite thinking game for nearly 10 years already and just now I know its origin:) To play this game, one player is O and the other is X, the winner will be the first one who can have a continuous row of five O/X horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. A good thing here is that we can play this game by several means such as on a table, a board, a piece of paper or our own smartphones and computers. Just remember to bring your brain with you. That’s important.
For example, this is the “Go” (or “igo” in Japanese) table, but it’s just fine, now I even like to play OX in “Igo” style more than on paper (^.^).
The rules of the game are simple, but it’s not easy to win especially when playing with good players. They know all the easy ways. So usually we have to “beat around the bush” and create some 2-way, 3-way or even 4-way winning moves. The hardest part here is not to let the other player know your plan or else he will destroy it from the beginning.
The same situation happens in our real life. Not everybody is kind to us. Sometimes if they know what we are going to do next, they will try to slow us down or even to make us stop because of various reasons. So it’s better to keep our plan a secret and then surprise them later, right?
Now what about Reversi? Its Japanese name is “Osero” and I only knew about it when I came to Japan. The funny thing here is that at first I thought this game also originated in Japan because it seemed like all Japanese people know how to play it; however, the game was in deed invented and became popular in England at the end of the nineteenth century.
In Reversi, one player is Black and the other is White. There are 64 discs in total, each of which is black on one side and white on the other. The winner is the one who ends up with the most discs of his colour at the end of the game. Easy? Not sure.
My biggest lesson learnt from this game is that to never be happy too early because we cannot know what the future holds. You may have the advantage for about 80% of the game but then still lose. So who’s to blame here? And why? For example, Black thinks he is going to make a smart move and can flip 6 white discs over to black side, maybe he smiles and thinks of victory as well:) However, life is not a dream. Because after that Black just wants to hit his head against the wall when he realizes he has just created a good chance for White to flip more than 10 black discs over to white side and changes the situation. Well done Black!
So the point here is that if you want to win, you have to control your greed in short terms. Firm moves may not earn you many discs right at that moment but they will help you have a concrete foundation and avoid creating chances for the other player. And together with a bit of luck, you can win!^.^ This game attracted me because of its unpredictability and made me think about life in the same way.
To be honest, winning is not so important to me when I play these two games. Of course to win is better:) But even when I lose, believe it or not I still feel something good because usually failure teaches me more lessons than success. If I win, I want to play again. If if lose, I even want to play more and more to correct my mistakes. However, the feeling of playing itself is great already as it makes me feel my brain is working. And as everyone has their own work or maybe it’s just because they don’t like the games as much as I do, sometimes they cannot play with me. That’s why when someone accepts my invitation or invites me to play, I am always happy and ready for the games at anytime only except when I have carsickness:)
So if you are also interested in intellectual games, what are you waiting for? Let’s find a partner and try.
Hope you enjoy the games!^.^