Friday, January 21, 2011

Games That Make You Giddy

I'm going back and forth between listening to Glee volume 4 songs (specifically their version of Valerie which originally inspired this post) and watching episodes from the first disc of The Middleman thanks to Netflix, and it got me thinking: these things make me feel really good. Like good on an intellectual level. Glee, whether or not it's your cup of tea, warms me up in the way that good musicals tend to do, and The Middleman is just pure comic book conspiracy theory other-worldly happiness... unfiltered (it doesn't hurt that the main actress is just a bit adorable and they have talking gorillas, one of which has downloaded the personalities of pretty much every mobster movie out there... just sayin').

This got me thinking about my main hobby - tabletop gaming. When I think of what feelings I associate with gaming, there's a lot that comes up. Tension, thrills, horror, outright comedy, the excitement over a challenge - these are all things that come about when a game gets real good. HOWEVER, one thing I don't associate with gaming is pure happiness. I'm not talking about going-out-on-a-really-good-date kind of inappropriate happiness for a blog about gaming. I'm talking that kind of really good feeling you get when you kick ass at work or make an impossible, bad ass play in your sport of choice. The kind of happiness you get when it's 10 minutes before you get off of work on Friday and you suddenly realize it. That kind of pure happiness.

So what's wrong? Am I nuts, am I alone? Am I just not playing the right games? The closest I've gotten was actually just recently as both of the Dragon Age sessions I've run have gone incredibly well and successfully. That was more like a feeling of achievement combined with anticipation for the upcoming final act. I wouldn't say it was a giddy, carefree kind of happy. So my Friday question to all of you is this: have you had a gaming experience or do you know of a game system which makes you genuinely giddy? This is totally subjective (I hear some people hate Glee where it just makes me happy), so I'm open to crazy answers. I would accept the fact that Call of Cthulhu makes you feel giddy (but I don't want to hear how it makes you gibbery), I just want to know why. There's a lot of discussion about whether video games are art, and no discussion at all whether tabletop games are art. Well I think they are gosh darnit! And if that's so, there's got to be something that moves me the way good music, movies, tv shows, and books move me.


1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean. For the most part, I can't see how gaming could give you that kind of happiness, which in my view is about things going your way in a freeform flow. Games are about conflict and rules.

    Though I remember leaving old 15-hour D&D sessions in high school, discussing the world with the friends. The feeling was there :) But it was not strictly about gaming, it was about fun, cameraderie and such things.


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