Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2014

At the Library

By Don Ruffenach | Nov 02, 2012

The Game Library, Pt. 2

In my first article, I introduced the Game Library to you. This week, I would like to talk more about the hobby of gaming.

Games are as old as human culture. The creation of our oldest-known games is lost in the mists of historical records with the exact origin of classics like Go and Chess virtually unknown. Examples of playing cards have been found which date back to at least the Roman Empire. It seems that mankind has always looked for ways to take a break from work and just have fun.

Part of the fun of games is spending time with friends. Party games, like Charades, have been played in living-rooms for hundreds of years. But many of the classics only have two single opponents. From Chess and Checkers to Go and Nine Men’s Morris, duels have raged through the centuries. More modern examples range from quality standards Battleship and Stratego to recent standouts Lost Cities and Ingenious.

While many games tell stories, some games, called abstracts, are all about the strategy. Everything boils down to where you place your pieces, like Blokus, or how you move them, like Sorry. Some of the newer abstracts involve building in three dimension, like Rumis. While some gamers see abstracts as dragged-out math problems, other gamers say they are games in their purest form.

When a game tells a story it is said to have theme. There are almost as many themes as there are games and each one tries to take the gamer to a different world. You can mine for gold in Gold Digger, stop a deadly disease in Pandemic, or escape a sinking island in Survive! Escape From Atlantis. Travel back to medieval Germany and build the first postal service in Thurn and Taxis. Or you can even conquer the world in Risk. Some games even change their theme and become more popular: Zooloretto, where you build your own zoo, started as a simple card game with colors and numbers called Coloretto.

One of the most popular themes in games is trains. Some gamers are so devoted they will only play games that involve railroads. The Empire Builder series, which uses similar rules on a variety of maps, which lets you build your own network of rails and then ship goods to a variety of cities, is a classic of this type. Recent varieties include the simpler TransAmerica and Ticket to Ride as well as the complex economic simulations Age of Steam and the 18xx series.

More next time.

The following new materials are available at the Washington Public Library.

Gifts & Memorials

Hiss & Hers (large print) by M. C. Beaton and Breaking News (large print) by Fern Michaels given in memory of Barb Woods by her friends and family

Adult Fiction

The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann, Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt, Looking for Yesterday by Marcia Muller, Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips

Large Print Fiction

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis, The Sins of the Mother by Danielle Steel

Adult Nonfiction

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish, Twilight of the Elites by Christopher Hayes, Beer, Food & Flavor by Schuyler Schultz, The Price of Inequality by Joseph E. Stiglitz, The Digest Diet by Liz Vaccariello, Smithsonian Military History, Taste of Home 2013

Young Adult Fiction

Death Sentence by Alexander Gordon Smith, Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith, Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith

Young Adult Nonfiction

Doctor Who Classics v. 8

Juvenile Nonfiction

We'll Always Have Paris by Geronimo Stilton

Easy Children's

Berenstain Bears We Love Our Mom! by Jan Berenstain, A Visit to the Doctor by Nora Gaydos, Reuben & the Fire by Merle Good, Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanbon, The Quiet Christmas Book by Deborah Underwood, The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf, So Much to See

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