WisCon 37, part V: Actual gaming

WisCon isn’t a gaming-heavy con; it’s primarily about programming and conversations. Still, I managed to get in a bit of gaming, all of it on Sunday:

  • Dominion. We played one nice session of this. As usual, this was a combination of cards I’ve never played with; I haven’t played it enough to start seeing the same cards come up much. I think there were one or two player-interactive cards, which made it nice. I’m not a fan of high-powered attacks in Dominion, but some interaction is good; otherwise, it feels too much like synchronized solitaire. The mystery victory point count is definitely a big feature; it keeps everyone guessing as to what’s going on, makes people feel like they’re still in the game even when they objectively might not be, and adds that little extra bit of interactivity.
  • Charades. Does that count? Well, it was fun anyway, shouting out guesses. A friend of mine got an amazingly fast time on one of the clues; he did nothing more than hold up his fingers to indicate “three words” and the audience got it! Turns out a kid in the front row had been waiting for the right combination of three words all night. Still, everyone in the audience was stunned when it happened.
  • Zar. Popular among a certain segment of Twin Cities gamers, and spread to WisCon. Zar is, as we so often call it, Uno for Jerks. Fast-paced, entirely and viciously PvP, totally meaningless… but it manages to be fun and addictive. I’m still not entirely sure why, but I think it’s probably because a) the hands are so fast that it’s hard to feel like you’re really behind, and b) it is addictive, so you keep playing in spite of better judgment. Still, a terrible game to meet new people over. 🙂

No RPGs in there, you may note. A lot of people at WisCon play RPGs, but scheduling is always a hassle at cons where the focus isn’t primarily on gaming. But maybe some year.


WisCon 37, part V: Actual gaming — 2 Comments

  1. I’m not sure if I agree that Zar is a terrible game to meet people over. It lets you get to know them very fast in at least one aspect — whether they can maturely handle being told they’re wrong repeatedly and receive the prescribed penalty for it without getting grumpy. Maybe forcing them to reveal that about themselves very rapidly is not kind, but I’m not sure if it is obviously outside of the social norms. I mean, I have never tried to get someone I don’t know to play Zar as a test of their character (a bit sociopathic that’d be, yah?), but nevertheless, as long as I want to play anyway, I think that there’s a side benefit to be had.

    • I was mostly joking. (Note the smiley!) But I’m also not sure it’s appropriate to test someone’s personality in that way immediately upon meeting them. It’s not a job interview! Plus, it leaves them with an impression that the Zar players are jerks. Or it can, anyway.

Leave a Reply to Matt Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *