Thursday, September 10, 2015

006. Playing the Anachronistic Social Game with the Director

The Director is here, smiling, nodding.

"Hello men!"

"Hello there."

We wait.

The director looks at the dogeared papers, the battered books, the map, the small lead figures, the small rocks we are using to keep everything from blowing away. "And what are you men doing today here?"

"We are playing a game."


"Yes, a game from our youth."


We wait.

"And how is it? How is it done?" asks the Director, blissfully unaware.

“It is a game based of social interactions while playing a persona in an anachronistic period of time, related somewhat to the Middle of the 1200s AD.”

“Oh! Using papers.”


"And those small things?"

"Metal figures on a map simulation."

"And those things?"


"Manual random number generators!" yells Terry, starting the Director. Nick shushes at him.

"How intriguing!"

We sit there for minute, but he does not leave. I see Terry is wanting to say something, possibly explode into profanity, but he does not. 

“Everyone has their own unique persona, based off a series of statistics.” 

“Interesting! In the interest of the community, for understanding, to be connected, I shall participate." the Director sits down.

He remains, smiling, utterly content. Terry is holding back profanity, his face a bit purple. 

“Then .... I will assign you a persona!" I shuffle papers. "You will be playing a rouge”

“Oh! How fascinating. What is a “rouge”?”

Nick sighs and looks at the sky.

“A rouge is – never mind.” I look though the old papers. “You will be playing a priest.”


“Yes a religious authority. Someone who dispenses a religion.”


“Isn’t it!”

"Can I be a monotheist? A monotheistic Priest?

"Absolutely. So now you are in the wilderness.”

"Wait!" says Terry. "I think he has to be a pagan priest."

"Aw." says the Director.

"OK -- we are in the WILDERNESS!" I shout. 

“And why are we there?” 

“You are part of a party of several adventurers who have traveled many weeks to get to this place.” growls Terry.

“And why are we here?”

“Rumored nearby is a magnificent tomb, filled with treasure, and also peril.”

“And why are we here, exactly?”

“To find the treasure.”

“And whose treasure is this, lawfully?” he gets very serious. 

“Nobodies! I mean, the person who this treasure is, is dead. And their family is dead. And the local municipality and governing authorities in the area immediate and adjacent have no interest in it. It is not part of the meta economy, nor the macro algorithmic projections for the “good of all”.”

“So strange!” 

“It is a game.”


“So shall we continue?”

He rubs his hand together, “Please do! I think I am getting the Nag of this.”


“Getting the Nag, yes.”

“You mean getting the HANG of this. Anyways, your party breaks camp and proceeds down the valley.” I pretend to roll a dice behind the screen.  “There you encounter five brigands.”


“Socially irresponsible young people who take things from others without permission.” Growls Nick. 


We sit there for a bit, the Director smiling, the sun shining.

“So now you choose to do something, to interact with them.”

“Well! I give them a – a --- a stern lecture!” 

I have never seen the Director so excited. He is beside himself, bouncing up and down just a bit, and he plants his elbows on the table. A few of the figures fall over, but he does not notice


The Director waves his arms in the air. “I lecture them to convince them of the harmfulness to themselves, and others, by using those actions that take things from others without permission! I tell them about the greater social good!”

Terry stares. Even Nick is taken aback. 

I pretend to roll a dice again.

“The brigands are moved by your oration and decide to give up their life of crime. They depart.”

I start packing up the board and game pieces. 

“Well, that’s it!”


“Oh, yes! You won.”

“Fastest we’ve ever seen!” says Terry. 

“All done! Thanks!”

The director gets up, still a bit giddy. “Well, I do have to say, that was very enjoyable.”

“Well done!”

“My, I will have to come back and play the anachronistic social game again some other time.”

“Aw shucks!” says Terry, turning purple. 

“Well, then, I will see you later.”

Off the Director goes, sufficed with goodwill and joy to all.

"It's like he just got banged really good for the first time in his life." says Nick.

We wait until he is out of sight. I take the map and the dice out again. 

"OK -- where were we?"

"Brigands" says Terry. "I take put my bow and fire two arrows."

"I cast "fireball" at the biggest brigand and back up between the two fighters."

"Men at arms advance." says Montesquieu. 

Rengszal Retirement Village
formerly Palo Alto, CA
August, 2055

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