The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Games, Aging and Music

Driving my kids around during Spring Break, I marveled at parents afraid of kids with licenses. Admittedly dangerous, but convenient. My thoughts had turned to that course (as they inevitably do) based on the radio station. I can’t stand kids’ music. Actually, the TV Disney Prefab pop stars of the age aren’t so bad, just mindless fluff. It’s the newer dance/spoken word music. Never did I imagine I’d long for the melodic complexity of gangster rap.

Now, being scientifically well informed (Item #1), I’m not surprised I hate their music. But I got to thinking — does the same mechanism affect my taste in games? Or everyone’s?

I mean, it’s a standard tale you see played out repeatedly. Frank likes games as a kid, discovers the wider world as a teen or young adult, goes crazy with their first few real paychecks, builds up a nice collection over the years, then starts getting disgruntled (‘curmudgeonly’) over new titles, decides to trim out the terrible games, and just settles into playing great games.

More discerning tastes, or dopamine burnout?

My recent foray with L5R threatens to burst into a serious rekindling. and I’m pleased with it. It gives me an excuse to bring out slightly dusty boxes of cards and put them to use. I’m eager to play the ever-so-slightly-new Federation Commander. Last game night I took the TaoLing so I mainly played dimes, or games I’m surprised aren’t dimes. In general I thought it improved the evening considerably; but, so did playing games with my son.

But I look back on the last year and find my new found love of No Retreat; dabblings with Sekigahara or Rails of New England or Rolling Stock and I think “I’m still hip.” For nerdy definitions of “hip,” anyway.

The scariest thought isn’t one of getting old, it’s of being predictable, being just another face in the crowd. Not having control of my tastes, but flailing about wildly under the command of dopamine receptors. Is that happening to me? Perhaps I’ll listen to the terror management module of the brain and not think about it.


Written by taogaming

March 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

Posted in Misc

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  1. You know that No Retreat has 2nd edition rules out, right?

    Just sayin’

    Frederic Bush

    March 18, 2012 at 11:01 am

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