The fun thing about board games is not so much the games themselves, but how much it reveals about the people you're playing with. Who is most generous? Who is most competitive? Who is willing to take chances? Who is a sore loser? Etc, etc.
While online games allow you to interact with others, it's very different to see their faces as they contemplate their moves then to see some text they happen to decide to write. Board games allow for much more real conversation. Once everybody is familiar with a game, then the players are almost using the board game just as a way to allow them all to be comfortable and have an excuse to not be too involved in the conversation. This is also a great way to correspond with people you usually wouldn't have any other reason to talk to. It's like drinking for more intelligent people (although many people do both at the same time.) But for obvious reasons, drinking has draw backs, whereas board games only have benefits.
I've spent a lot of time thinking (in the past few years) about how the brain operates and what connections we make between activities, people, emotions, memories... For every activity you do throughout your day, there is a thought process. For every emotion you feel, there is a thought process. For every person you encounter, there are multitudes of thought processes that stem from their influence . And for each of these thought processes, a part of the brain is further developed.
There are ways in which this phenomena is obvious. For example, if you work as a programmer, you're likely to be more logical than most people; most systematic. You're likely to make references to, "if that were a string of code, it would ruin the entire program," and other such analogies.
If you're an artist, then you look at everything you see as a potential painting, drawing, 3D-model... You study the way the light falls on an object, and how different textures look in different lighting. You notice if the colors surrounding you work well together.
If you're into sports or martial arts then you pay more attention to body language and what it means. You understand people through their movements more than their words. You notice if someone is off-balanced in the way they move around. You are aware of physical confidence.
If you're a writer, then when you read a book you notice writing style, grammar, and the structure of the plot. Writer's also are more likely to be able to come up with the words they want when they're having a conversation. Writer's consider if a real-life situation they are having would be good in a book, or even, more specifically, in the book they are writing.
But what about the things that are less obvious? I've noticed that people who play video games are not always good at board games. It takes a different sort of logic; a different area of the brain. (Of course this partly depends on the video games. City builders and turn-based strategy video games are in many ways similar to many board games.)
What about the impact of the words we use? In many languages having a debate is referred to as a dance in it's most literal translation. In English however, we refer to it as a battle. To "win" an argument. To "defeat" someone's point. In many languages it is to "sidestep" or to "parry" or even simply to "dance." What effect does that have on our mentality?
I've noticed that I don't get along with people who don't do at least one of the following: play games, create. You know what I mean by play games, but what do I mean by create? Some create music, others create art. Some people create novels, others create websites... All that matters is that it's a craft where it starts with an idea, and then, through skill, is turned into some form of reality.
People without a craft have less of a sense of reality. They have less respect for people's creations. Sometimes they have no respect at all. How can someone respect someone's lifetime's work when they them self have no craft of their own?
People who don't play games seem to have no sense of adventure, spontaneity... Less fun overall. Also they can be very down on gaming and make it out to be some sort of useless thing... Like it's some worthless addiction. That always bugs me, because I've learned a lot from video games and board games alike.
Some games teach you about history, and about politics and economics through the setting and game engine. Some games teach you about yourself; your own tastes, daring and intelligence. Some games teach you about the people you're playing with, through activities, trivia, questions or strategy. All in all, all games teach you something. Although I believe that games are not created equal and that some teach much more than others.
What sort of books a person reads has a huge impact on how they think as well. And the higher their awareness of the input they're receiving, the more can be gained from each book. Some people are not nearly as intelligent as you would expect for someone so well-read because so much of what they've read they didn't have any life experience to relate it to. If you find nothing to latch on to, much of it will just wash over you without ever sinking in.
One of the most profound differences that happens in life is when someone falls in love... Most unfortunately, the most life-changing part of falling in love for the first time, is the heartbreak when it doesn't work out. The great majority of people are not yet mature enough when they first experience love to have any idea what they have, or how valuable it is, and they float on through life like business as usual and end up fucking it up (like I did when I was first in love.)
I find that love-virgins are much, much more naïve and hard to deal with than sex-virgins. Which brings me to a question I've thought about for years. Can someone whose never had sex truly love someone as deeply as someone whose has sex with the person they love? Well, they certainly can love someone they have not had sex with, I experienced that once. But just as much? I guess it's really a silly question. Because love, like everything, is not a liner thing. There are different forms of love.
One reason I wonder about this is because two of my closest friends are both virgins and dating. They've been going out for well over six months, and I'm sure they say “I love you” to each other. I know they kiss and cuddle, but I also know for sure that they are not having sex. They both agree fully that they're not ready, and don't want the risk of pregnancy to even be in the realm of possibility.
But to consummate... To consummate one's love is something so very dramatic; in a good way. I've come to the conclusion that sex is nothing without an emotion behind it. Jealousy, anger, envy, fear... These can create thrilling sex. But only love creates the sort of sex that makes you feel like the world is utterly complete. Can one really feel as deep a connection without? If it is possible, then what does that imply?
Also, I wonder a lot about the differences between first love and second love. The first time you may not even be aware is the first time. You may have dubbed your previous infatuations as love without really knowing that the full effects had never been upon you. But once heartbreak happens (for whatever reason), you know. Life completely loses it's luster for a time, and in that time, you grow into an adult (a transformation much more dramatic than puberty.) So when you fall in love the second time, you know to value what you have. But is it less pure the second time? Is it stronger because you value it more highly? Is it slightly bitter because you feel it's doomed to end just like the last?
I've been in love four times now, at the time that I'm editing this. And for each of those people there was a different set of activities. Each one told me their life story in the full richness of their emotion. For each of them it was like gaining another person's lifetime of experiences. Each doubled the stories I had to tell, and the reasons I had to value love, and relationships. I desire love because I desire learning, companionship, growth, affection... The pain one feels if and when it ends is perhaps the worst torture, and yet it's so very worth it.
With so many factors that affect how we think, and what we want... Wouldn't the odds say that absolutely nobody should be compatible with anybody? Or is it the other way around? With so much to be learned at any given moment, and with so many human experiences being so universal, shouldn't anyone (given the right time and place) be compatible with anybody? Shouldn't any two people be able to love one another... if shown to each other in the right light?