“Once upon a time there was…”
And after that there will probably be something about evil princesses and beautiful dragons (right!?).
We read books, watch movies: Fairytales, thrillers, historical dramas. We crawl into the skin of the protagonist, hoping she will be ok after that horrible encounter with the bad guys. We turn page after page, are glued to our seats, with just one question on our minds: “What happens next?!”
Which is almost the same question we have when we play a board-game: “What happens after I do this?”
Going to the movies (or, why we like stories)
The heroine is hanging by the tip of one finger, struggling not to fall off of the cliff, blood streaming off her face. We are at the edge of our seat, hoping fervently that somehow she survives. Then when that finger (inevitably) starts to slip, a hand reaches down, pulling her up. We let out our breaths in a collective sigh of relief…
Hollywood is great it making us feel, building up tension until it becomes unbearable and then releasing it (only to do it again, but worse!)
As humans we crave emotions, the stronger the better! Any form of entertainment is meant to give the audience / participants that rush of feeling. Think about it: Horror movies engender fear, amusement parks bring excitement and thrill, historical dramas make you bored (sorry, I couldn’t resist… 🙂 ).
And board-games…? We want to feel our board-games as well!
The structure of a board-game
All board-games have a very simple structure: The player wants to achieve victory, with the rules of the game and the other players forming obstacles. And in the end she either won or did not. Time for a new game.