August 12, 2012

A good turn

I'm an iPad owner, and I've gotten hooked on the Ticket to Ride app, the app version of Days of Wonder's popular boardgame. If you haven't checked it out, you should—it's a perfect example of a boardgame port, done right. In fact, I enjoy it more than the boardgame because all the score-keeping is done for me and I can square off from opponents from all over the world.

I once played this train game onboard an actual train headed for Washington DC, my opponents being from Berlin, England, and Chicago! I still can't wrap my head completely around that. But I digress!

Recently I downloaded the Carcassonne app. I've been a meeple mover for some years, so I thought it was time to give that port a try. It's another well done app, though it wasn't completely intuitive in all respects.

My first opponent was patient as I blundered through the system, and I soon confessed it was my first online game. My opponent beat me soundly and fairly—not just a beating but a thrashing. And then, after a game of quick responses, after the last turn, when my fate was obvious, my opponent left the game even though that granted the victory to me by default (something my obviously experienced opponent had to know). My experience with these online games is that winning players rarely bail unless life intervenes, and never on the last turn. Was I so bad I drove him or her away? And then it struck me: My opponent, knowing it was my first game, handed me a victory rather than sour my first experience with a sound drubbing. 

I'm a big boy, and a drubbing (probably my first of many) wouldn't dissuade me from playing future online games. But this act of kindness touched me. So thank you, my anonymous opponent. I hope we meet again so I can thank you and perhaps give you more challenge the next time around.
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