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You win!

[Photo: board games on a rainy day by LizMarie]

So, hi. :) I'm Loki, guest-posting today. :)

Growing up, I used to play board games constantly with my friends. Each of us had "our game".. the one that the strong majority of the time, we'd tend to win more often. But we'd still play each others' games, day after day, even though we knew what the outcome would be. Why?

On a much grander scale, there are wars being fought right now, in countries scattered across the globe. Wars between nations that have played the same games with each other (and themselves?) for countless generations. Each mostly understands the strengths and weaknesses, tactics and blunders, of their enemy. But they still fight, just the same. For what?

The board games were pretty clear. They had objectives that were laid out on an easy to understand, single slab of cardboard. There were rules (if we bothered to read them), but more often than not, the formula for success was the same: get your piece from here to there, first. How you got there was what made each game unique; different questions, different strategies.. but always a definable goal to reach.

These wars that go on for decades just boggle me... does either side know what their goal is? Is it even defined? Is our (US) spin on each truly legitimate, or have we gotten so used a certain winner that we justify our choice through selective truth-telling?

Anyway, that said: Two questions for this small talk post:

1. What game were you good at? Did you play because you liked to win, or because it was fun to play the game?

2. Is a world not at war realistic? Do you think folks are fighting for a defined reason/goal, or just continuing to fight because they haven't won yet?

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Loki, thanks for the thought provoking post!

The games that most stick out in my mind from childhood really aren't board games -- Red Light/Green Light, Mother May I, Hopscotch, Red Rover, Whiffle Ball, Hide and Seek, basketball. The perfectionist in me always needs to win, so I am sure that I quite enjoyed winning when I did. Althought, I don't recall that being the motivation to play. However, knowing me, I probably shyed away from games which I felt that I wasn't that good at.

As far as a world without war, I really don't believe that that is a realistic vision within the framework of current world thought. The basis of most, if not all, wars past and present is religion. To live in a world without war, we must stop believing that differences in these intangible concepts justify killing others. Our actions in this world must also be guided by reason and ethical groundings (yes, ethics can differ from culture to culture, but again in many cases the ethics of cultures are based on (corrupted by?) religious teachings) instead of beliefs and concepts which cannot be proved or disproved.

Loki, I played a lot of board games as a child. 2 of my favorite games that I still love to play today are cribbage and backgammon. I remember watching my Mom and Dad playing cribbage when I was young and they taught my brother and I how to play. To this day I still enjoy playing and teaching others to play. Same with backgammon. My Mom and Dad's friends taught them to play backgammon and in turn, taught us to play as well. I love both of these games so much and I will continue to play them and teach others to play if they are interested.

In my opinion, world without war (sorry to say) will never happen. I agree with Angela's post. Most or all wars are based on religion. If people would get past the bureaucracy of religion and it's extremist ideals and let everyone believe in what they want, this will ease a lot of the world's pain and bring people closer. I don't like when people try to push their religious beliefs on me. Let me believe in what I believe in and accept it.

I was good at TROUBLE (could pop a 6 in my sleep) and my mild case OCD prevented me from having the patience for most others.

Wars cannot be won anymore because that would entail HUGE armed forces totally annihilating their opponents.This is nearly impossible since resistance fighters have learned to hide in amongst civilian populations to bolster their PR campaigns. We just witnessed how that works in Lebanon. Not to mention the spectre of the NUKES adding some closure.It was once enough of a deterent. Unfortunately every day we get closer to some psychotic ass detonating a low grade Nuke in the middle of a city.

I agree with Tony that our bizarre addiction to religions will keep us fighting each other for the rest of our tenure. I am perplexed at the lack of progress in educating the children of the world and thereby limiting the influence of any religion but people in power want to stay there and the best way to do that is to keep the great unwashed uninformed.

We wer a board game family - I guess Scrabble would come top, closely followed by Monopoly and Cluedo. Later we played Trivial Pursuit and Risk.

Board games... that's a hard question because we played a lot of card games instead. Oh-Wah-Ree was a favorite family board game, but I was never very good at it. We had a board game version of twenty questions that I liked to play.

I'm going against the grain here, but I think a world of peace is realistic. Just because it's not been reached yet doesn't mean it's not possible. We live in an infinite universe; what's a war over a couple thousand years to the Iron Age? (Yeah, that was rhetorical.)

I think that everybody has a reason they want to fight, and it's easy to stamp a group of people with a general "reason" or "lack of reason", but the need for resolve through conflict will always revert back to an individual's motivations. Unfortunately, the voice of the one is usually drowned out by the misrepresentation of the "reason" or "lack of reason" of the many.

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