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The Slytherin Dungeons

Discussion Post: Learning from Losing


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As much as we may wish otherwise, we aren't going to win every single game we play:  experiencing losing, at least some of the time, is an inevitable part of the process of playing games.

That said, clouds may often have silver linings:  is there a time where you lost a game and were able to get something good out of that loss?  That could be something you learned for future reference... or even the simple enjoyment of the game itself despite losing.

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One of my more recent losses was when I played Ticket to Ride (Europe edition) with my sister and my partner this past summer. In hindsight I made my pathways much too obvious and approached my longest route from both ends, which started as a decent strategy, but as the game continued on made each of my moves unfortunately all too predictable. Though I tried to intersperse turns with different routes, since I gave away my longest route, I lost heartily.

Funnily enough, this loss also taught me about my own presentation when playing games. For something like Ticket to Ride, where the available pathways quickly narrow the longer play continues, drawing too much attention to my paths at the beginning was not in my best interest. However, I sometimes get so excited about actually having people to play a board game with that I don't always think about the way I am conducting my hand from the onset of the game. I feel like many people have a persona they get into when they play games, whether or not they are competitive. In my case, depending on the game I'm playing (and perhaps whether I'd actually like to win), I may at times need to combat that natural persona that apparently wants to make all my moves obvious.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Going into total Mom mode here; fair warning!  Just like her mother, my daughter loves board games.  I don't get the chance to play with her all that often, but recently we were able to grab enough time to play a game of Spy Alley.  The rules are simple enough; each player is a spy from another country, whose identity (of course) must be kept a secret.  The mission, if you will, is not only to discover your opponent's true identity, but also to gather the items you will need for your own 'job'.    

I don't make it a point of letting Ann (my daughter) win automatically as that would be quite unfair to her.  But on this day, she beat me fair and square.  Granted, I was tired from a double shift at work, but it was still rather impressive.  I think what I enjoyed most, (other than her obvious delight at besting Mom) was watching her thought process in action.  Methodical almost to a fault, she took her sweet time, which eventually paid off with a win.

I can say that this loss taught me several things, the first (and perhaps hardest) being that my little girl was not so little anymore.  But maybe even more importantly, it reminded me to check my own strategy of simply forging ahead and maybe taking a breath or two before delving into a situation.  Patience, after all, is not only a virtue.  It can be a real life skill.  So thank you, Ann, for making Mom thing-even if you did beat me!

 

 

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