Meandering Monday about Playing Games

Hi. I’m Bill, and I’m a game-player.

I’ve played games all my life. I remember playing all sorts of card games and board games as a child. I bet a priest a quarter once that I would win at Monopoly (to the humiliation of my family – you just don’t bet with priests.) (I won, but don’t worry – that didn’t herald a GODless life of gambling – just more game-playing.

My grandfather taught me a few varieties of solitaire – something he seemed to spend most of his time doing when he visited (this was with REAL, PHYSICAL PLAYING CARDS in the days when there were no computers and game consoles – YES, when dinosaurs ruled the earth.) A great game to play when you don’t have anyone to play with.

I learned to play canasta with my grandparents, and earned the moniker “Sneaky Pete” due to my strategy of holding cards that should have already been played in order to take the entire discard pile near the end of the game.

I played chess for years. I remember playing Vinnie DeAngelo in the high school library every morning with a group of guys watching us. Vinnie and I would tap n the table and sing pop songs while we played, to the annoyance of at least one spectator who complained that they couldn’t concentrate on our game.

I got into wargaming – roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, and Traveler, or really detailed games on hex-grids. Miniatures battles simulating the Napoleonic period, or fantasy battles with my Dwarven Hordes that took hours to set up, and then less than an hour to play.

I earned another moniker – “The Threat.” Many of the games I played had multiple players, and quite often it seemed that the other players would choose to gang up on me first and wipe me out before they went after each other. One friend told me the reason for the ganging-up and the nickname were because I was so hard to defeat; there was some truth to that – I did win more than my share, but another friend told me it was because I was so annoyingly cocky – no matter how badly things were going for me, I always gave the impression that I had a trick up my sleeve, something I knew that they couldn’t see, so they needed to make sure I was dead. I never give up, no matter how bad the game looks to be lost – I feel that if you can put yourself in a bad place, you can also get yourself out of it.

I don’t have much time for games now, although I am a Words with Friends addict.

People play games for different reasons, and even though they’re playing the same game, have different objectives. Take Words with Friends. Some people play to score as many points as possible, while some play to win (those are not the same thing – you can play strong defense on WwF.) (and YES, I play to win.) Some play to improve their vocabulary. Some play to socialize with others (they may REALLY KNOW their opponents, or like to pretend they do.) Others are playing for badges, or earning some other special game awards. You might even want to just see how many times you can use all your letters.

There are probably as many reasons (or at least combinations of reasons) to play the game as there are people who are playing it. Life is that way too. We’re all playing the same game; you just need to figure out the rules, understand what you want to get out of it, and then go for it.

Play the game your in in the way that makes YOU happy. Just saying


catsoutofthebag2coverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Cats Out of the Bag” – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:

• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s