Exploration versus orienteering

A favorite board game of mine is Betrayal at House on the Hill. It is made by Avalon Hill / Wizards of the Coast (which as I understand are the teams behind Dungeons and Dragons).

I have tried to get all of my friends, who have visited our home in the time since we bought this game, to play it at least once.

The goal of the first half of the game – Explore. Just go to any unexplored area, draw a card, and then follow the rules on the card (generally you will be instructed by the card to roll some dice).

However, the game gives you very little knowledge on whether you are on your way to winning or not – and many people found this frustrating.

What’s the point of playing a game when you don’t know if you’re winning or not? What’s the point of Calvinball?

I would argue that there is a point to Calvin Ball. It gives us a different perspective, the other person’s perspective. It lets us interact with them on their terms.

I think we spend most of our time in life orienteering – trying to get to a given point as fast as we can, and that we don’t spend enough time exploring – crossing the land to learn about it rather than to get across it.

Like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, standing in the train station while everyone passes by him, feeling the currents, we can intentionally quiet our short term desires and just listen to those around us.

When we interact with another human conciousness, we can choose to slow down, listen, and explore their world a little. It makes for a much richer relationship.

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