While I was writing one of my articles last week I got to pondering about what drew me to infinity and what brings us all to this community. This article has no strategy in it. If you want that check out my other posts. These are just the musings of a nerd on what we get out of playing tabletop games and why we keep coming back.
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Why We Play?
It seems like a simple question, but stopping to think about the answer leads us into introspection and finding ourselves is perhaps the goal for all of our lives.
While speaking with my wife just the other day we were discussing hobbies. I made the comment that mine have not changed since I was a young teenager. I’ve added a few new ones along the way, but I largely enjoy all of the same things. She made the comment that she felt I knew myself well enough to keep doing what makes me happy.
Many people set their life goals on being rich or famous. I just want to be happy. I work hard at my job so I can can live comfortably, but the rest of my time is spent hobbying, writing, and gaming.
At our core I beleive we all long to be a part of a communtiy. We all need friends and our interpersonal relationships bring us the most joy in life. My original draw to Dungeons and Dragons was the camaraderie of hanging out with friends and geeking out. I’ve played various table top games and by a long shot none has the caliber of community that Infinity the Game supports.
I played 40k as a teenager and it was fun, but there was no sportsmanship. Every opponent I played was just there to win. Not that the game itself is bad, but my local group was toxic. Nobody played to hang out as a communtiy. They would play to win then go home. The only exception was the shop owner of my local shop growing up Z games. Sean Zern may have forgotten my name after all of these years, but I ran into him a year ago and he remembered what army I played back in the day.
My initial draw to Infinity the Game almost six years ago now was immediate. I went into my local game shop and met John, one of the guys in my local crew. I asked to watch for a minute and he immediately explained the main differences between Infinity and the other games I had played in the past. I was intrigued by the game, but I was drawn in by the friendship of the players. I immediately bought the Nomad starter and began playing as regularly as possible. The Vancouver WA crew quickly became close friends.
In my experience any game I’ve played outside of a tournament is a friendly get together. When I’ve gotten beaten horribly, my opponents explain their strategy and give tips on what I could do differently. When there’s a rule question or concern about how something played out everyone helps or chimes in. It becomes more important to learn the complex rule system than to be right.
A huge shout out to Joe with Fate and Fury Games for making such an awesome atmosphere where as his slogan says, “The big kids come to play.” The infinity community as a whole is by a long shot the friendliest I’ve ever come across.
The last part I want to talk about is the hobby, both painting and assembly. Another important factor in finding joy in the craft is what writers call flow. It could be called a Zen moment as well. It’s the idea of losing the feeling of time while all the world vanishes around you. You get engrossed in the project the paint and the brush are all that exist.
My work life is very high stress and demanding. I often come home exhausted. Sleeping rarely helps relieve the stress of the day for me. I find that losing myself in a hobby does more for my mental happiness than any other remedy.
It’s in these moments of Zen that I described that I release all the tension and stress of life and my mind becomes clear enough to take on all the challenges of daily life. For me the hobby is essential to my mental stability.
This article was a bit different from normal, thanks for listening to my ramblings. Please comment and add to the discussion with your own experience with the game and why you play.
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