Let me share with you part of an e-mail I sent some friends. It was sent to invite them to gaming one weekday, and possibly get some material for the site. It became something… more.
Any game good. It’s a twitter feed. A soon to be catalog blog (catablog) of board game sessions and musings. A philosophical statement on the importance of play. It’s a purposeful grammatical oddity that encompasses the simultaneous importance and delightful stillness that comes with loving a hobby so much.
And Josh and I want you to be part of it.
Everyone loved it. Everyone also thought it was ridiculous. “Shatner-esque” was the common descriptor. And yes, for an e-mail meant simply to invite people over for gaming it’s a bit ostentatious. But just because it’s a little grandiose doesn’t mean it’s not sincere.
Let’s break it down.
Any game good. It’s a twitter feed.
@Anygamegood is my personal Twitter handle. When I made it I hadn’t thought about using it much; it was just so I could contribute to a tech-themed improv show called Twitterprov. But I wanted to make a name that contained a sentiment I hold dear, while not being too long. When Josh came to me with the idea of co-writing a blog about our board games and our thoughts on them, I was immediately attracted to the idea. And I agreed with him that my Twitter handle was the perfect name for it.
A soon to be catalog blog (catablog) of board game sessions and musings.
Right, well, you’re reading it now. So this one’s obvious. And no, we won’t be calling it a “catablog.”
A philosophical statement on the importance of play.
Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga wrote a book called Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. I must confess I haven’t read the whole thing, but it does talk about the importance of play and games in the development of modern culture. The book is dense, and quite academic. So am I, at times. But I like my philosophy streamlined, and I take the marshaling of my words very seriously. Life is good, when you’re playing a game. Things are good, as long as you’re playing a game. Any game. Any game good.
It’s a purposeful grammatical oddity that encompasses the simultaneous importance and delightful stillness that comes with loving a hobby so much.
It took a long time to write this one sentence. It’s a heavy statement and, admittedly, a little obtuse when I realized that people don’t think the exact way I do. So let me elaborate.
It’s a purposeful grammatical oddity…
“Any Game Good” did come out of a search for a meaningful yet succinct Twitter name, yes, but it was also chosen with a degree of specificity. It’s not “any game is good,” “games are good,” or “any good game,” even though those were all (probably) available. “AnyGameGood” was chosen because it’s quirky, and because it encompasses all the previous sentiments.
…that encompasses the simultaneous importance and delightful stillness…
As adults, sometimes we forget that we’re allowed to love silly things. We’re allowed to have an adult sentiment for things that even children know are silly. Imagine an infant, adamantly gurgling and spouting the adorable babble-speak that infants do, over something as simple as a red ball. The color, the newness, the triumphant feeling of success of throwing it 2 feet. Now imagine that you could have that same passion for something, anything, as an adult. You can. And you can be as serious as you want, and it can be as trivial and ridiculous as others tell you it is. Games can be simultaneously frivolous and fantastic, like a seemingly nonsensical statement delivered with the same gravity and purpose as the Emancipation Proclamation.
… that comes with loving a hobby so much.
Board games are incredible. Video games, pencil-and-paper RPGs, sports, lawn games, and frickin’ I-Spy are all wonderful (though out of the scope of this site). And really, loving anything as much as I love games is a tad ridiculous. So be it. Games are good. Gaming is good. Any gaming is good. And I’ll play any game, good or bad, and it will be good. And I give thanks for all games. Any game. For it is good. Any game good.
And Josh and I want you to be part of it.
And this line was written at the height of my hubris. It sort of implies that I’m looking to bring new people on to the team. My friends assumed they were adjunct editors of the site.
My point was that I wanted them to come over to play games. Gaming makes you a part of something. Gathering around a table with friends, making decisions in what everyone is treating as a matter of great importance, while knowing that it’s “just a game” (a phrase I hate, incidentally), makes for something wonderful, something good that can be found in any game. Gaming makes you a part of AnyGameGood, a philosophy, a silly wonderful thing.
Good gaming, to any and all.