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+2 votes
Games are a great way for us to play with our ideas as well as our tactics. Debord developed Kriegspiel, which I've never played. I have found benefit and enjoyment from capture the flag, sardines, murder, the new(ish) board game Bloc By Bloc, and from card games that require strategic thinking.

What games help you think more deeply or strategically about your anarchy?
by (22.1k points)

What's sardines and murder? Boardgames?

I enjoy playing Go and Settlers of Catan even though I'm not that good at them. Go helps me think about ways to go about confronting power.

The Battle of Seattle is an interesting strategical game where you play as protesters against the police set during the 1999 who protestsand it's a downloadable board game and I think there maybe a online version too. It helped me understand a bit on better on what was going on concerning those protests like 17 years ago.. I've wanted to play A Las Barricadas!  because the concept of it as a social conflict between the state and anti-authoritarians sounds interesting to me, so maybe one day I'll get my hands on it and play it, and perhaps learn new stuff.

i hesitate to give my game playing the respect that the word strategy deserves. RPGs don't do much for that kind of thinking, mostly. but chess and go are classics for learning how to fight, obviously. and just for the game nerds out there, besides the anarchist created games that have already been mentioned (bloc by bloc, battle of seattle, etc), there is a board game of bolo'bolo that's worth playing if you can find it.

i did get something out of LAN parties, playing various team-based games (started with counterstrike, and now games like insurgency). but just playing online isn't nearly as relevant. it's the team communication, team strengths and weaknesses kind of thinking that i got a gist of.

strawdog might have more to say on this if they ever come back...
The only game i really invest any time in now is League of Legends, which is a great game for figuring out to work with other people and work independently when your team mates aren't doing such a good job, which is something I think would be sufficient for an anarchist wanting to improve their strategic thinking.

However, I do find any screen-oriented activity to be alienating and depressing if you play too much of it, so face-to-face games and LAN parties are more fulfilling and fun anyways, unfortunately it's hard for me to set those types of things up a lot of the time.

Also, do any of you play any games that are easier on the competitive elements? Competition tends to make games exciting to play, but for example, the competitive element of League of Legends makes it extremely toxic, people trash talk because it's easy to blame their team mates for losing matches.
there are definitely coop board games (pandemic is a well known one). online it seems known that some games are better for less-toxic interactions than others. insurgency was pretty good for that when i was playing it, it's so fucking hard (and they changed it up enough that it stayed hard) that it didn't appeal to instant gratification much, leading to an older player crowd... maybe that wasn't the significant variable. i don't know. but players tended to be reasonable vs shit talkee.

but also playing with people you know, even if they're far away, is probably the best option for civil engagement. as usual with online interactions...
I looked up insurgency, it seems like an awesome game

i noticed as well that there is a tradeoff in video games between difficulty and instant gratification, i find that league of legends tows that line pretty well except a lot of the players don't appreciate the complexity behind the game mechanics and want winning to be easy. It's definetly not an easy game but it seems like it is to some people. The cool thing about it too is that paying money in it is optional and they set it up so that spending money on it doesn't give you an unfair advantage over other people (they make a lot of money off selling skins for champions and that doesn't have an effect on your abilities, spell effects, and mechanics), BUT, one of the things that people get rightly frustrated over is the programmers are constantly modifying the champions to make them more or less powerful, it's a constant experiment....and a pyramid scheme
human - Murder is more like a party game. I haven't played in a lot of years, but what I recall of the game is that there is a person who is the "murderer" and they kill individual each round. People need to figure out who the murderer is, by working together, but there is always the possibility that the person you are working with is the murderer and they are going to betray you. Interesting exercise in how much you trust others, but I don't recall all the mechanics.

Sardines is like reverse hide and seek - there is one person who hides, and everyone fans out to hunt them. If you find them, you have to hide with them (people end up packing in to the hiding place like sardines). The last person searching has to hide next round. This one is really kind of good for just practicing sneaking around places. Especially fun in either an abandoned building or a cemetery (at night, obvs).

I've never really played Go, but used to really like chess (not that I was good at it), and Catan is fun, even if the idea of settling land, domesticating animals, mining, farming, road and city building are generally not my preferred activities IRL.

"I've never really played Go, but used to really like chess (not that I was good at it), and Catan is fun, even if the idea of settling land, domesticating animals, mining, farming, road and city building are generally not my preferred activities IRL."

There's no substitute for the game of RL, and it's the hardest one too.

There's a real fun board game similar to how you describe "murder", it's called avalon, where there's the "good team" and the "evil team", the evil team has fewer members and get to know who each other are, while the good guys are left in the dark.

It is tacky to answer your own question, so this is a comment, but I recently had the opportunity to play the board game Cthulhu Wars with some comrades, and it was a fun exercise in knowing you were going to lose.

gdmt. it is not tacky to answer your own question, even more especially true if you leave lots of time for others to answer first.

@dot: i think the issue is that one must feel a certain amount of authority on a subject matter to answer any question on here :-( comments are for just "letting out some hot air" so to speak...

and another comment on settlers of catan: the real issue with civilization is that the people who feel like they are "playing a game" are the ones who own all of the land, and for everyone else the game mostly just super miserable and easy/hard...

is life really just a game?? sigh, i don't want to be one of those philosophers who wants to say "what life is", but sometimes it's just fun to speculate :-(

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