Anna Kazcorowska

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What games did you play as a child and how did they develop your skills, which skills or how did they affect your adult life?

Most of us have played either monopoly, chess, scrabble, risk, make-believe or play-pretend.
One of my favourite teen-games was a single-player where you create a character, chose a class and are released from prison on a mission to explore the world and in the end - get rid of Dagoth Ur, a deamon lurking in a cave. In this game you can join guilds (tradesmen, warriors etc), societies and Houses. You can join all the guilds, but not all houses, unless you download a modification that allows you to do that, and other things. You can also make your own modifications. I played the game for months, downloading mods, making my own, trying all combinations, testing them to see what the result would be.
In a game expansion that came later the character that you've created is taken to a new world to explore, but not before its strenght is tested by a secret society that represents this world.
It was a beautiful, though a bit crude game if you compare it to what is now available on the market.
Back to my question: what games did you play as a child or teen and how did they develop your skills, which skills or how did they affect or helped you in your adult life?

  • May 21 2013: Legend of Zelda taught me worldbuilding and storytelling. Same thing with D&D. Actually, oddly enough, because of gaming, I was already reading at a college level before I even reached fifth grade - understanding it too.

    Multiplayer games of various types do end up getting interesting, especially if you look at play from the philosophical standpoint of getting to know other. I believe it was Plato who said that you can learn more about a man in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
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      May 21 2013: I don't fully share, but understand your point of view, tell me more :)

      "I believe it was Plato who said that you can learn more about a man in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." - depends on the play, the game, and the (wo)man ;)
      • May 21 2013: Well in terms of the multiplayer games, they do require a certain amount of trust. For example, you're trusting others to play by the same rules as you. Now in terms of cheating and backstabbing, there actually are games that call directly for that, for example the card game Munchkin. But for the most part, you actually can figure out what brings out either the best or worst in a person through bringing in their competitive streak. You'll learn more about a person if their competitive streak leads to cheating when it isn't an actual part of the mechanics of a set game or bursts of anger.

        As for the whole advanced reading due to games, part of the reason was the fact that even the real simple messages like "The princess is in another castle" or "It's too dangerous to go alone, take this sword" made me wonder what was being said since games like Super Mario Bros and Legend of Zelda came out before I learned how to read, I can legitimately say that games taught me to read. But then there's the fact that after I started to read and started reading more and more advanced texts, I was able to understand them quicker because of the fact that a lot of games are based on other stories, some of which my teachers at the time hadn't even read until they got into graduate school. I found ways of time complex theories and stories to simplistic game experiences and it made it far more accessible.
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          May 21 2013: I prefer single-players for reasons I mentioned in a different conversation, I used to play storytelling-games with rules and some text-and-strategy games so I can't really see what you're getting at.
          Could you explain?

          Simplistic games are not always the best ones. It depends on personality, I guess.
  • May 7 2013: Just the act of playing with friends, getting along with different personalities, sharing, doing favors, honesty, decision making (oh yes, i still do the bubblegum, bubblegum song), language, and getting used to the fact that disagreements between friends and strangers should and are temporary, they should never escalate beyond an exchange of opinions or truths.
  • May 5 2013: Bruce lee wisdom for the way.
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    May 5 2013: The particular focus of play with siblings, cousins, and friends was less important than the processing of life together while playing.
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      May 5 2013: Hi Fritzie,

      I don't see your point to tell you the truth. Everything was important. I have more cousins than it is usual nowadays and still keep in touch with them when possible, remembering the early years. Everybody learns and processes all the time, that's natural and normal. What do you mean?
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        May 5 2013: You asked which games were particularly important. In my youth play was less orchestrated and more on-the-move than today. When we played with friends, kids would do things like hide out in the trees, ride bikes, make clubhouses - play was more like kids moving together through space while talking and laughing than anything else. Assuming roles might be involved or not. Stuffed animals, trucks, boxes, sheets, balls, and shovels might be involved. But no props might be just as common.

        This might be hard to explain, but there are others here who might be able to help- Edward, or Robert or Barry or Colleen or George. It was about doing things like this together and talking about and reacting to things together. It was more about the mix and interaction of kids than about what happened to be in their hands.

        In most of children's play, our thoughts and actions were not highly structured for us as games now do. There were not performance measures, typically, or score keeping in most of it.