Not So Grand Master
A friend got me to play this iOS game Mindfeud. It’s pretty much scrabble with symbols and colours or something. It’s fine as games go, distracting, vaguely compulsive. It’s another one of those asynchronous games, too, so you take your turn and then at some point in the (sometimes distance, sometimes very near) future, your opponent moves. This has led to one of the only things I find genuinely interesting (from an intellectual perspective) about the game, something I might call “The Grand Master Effect”. It is this: in a game where your turns are extremely short and asynchronous, and in which you have easy access to random opponents through the matchmaking service, you’re very likely to start a lot of games at the same time. I ended up with about 10 running concurrently, I’m sure many people have more. This means that quite frequently I turn on my iPod (I know, retro) and there are 10 turns for me to take all at once. It reminds me very strongly of the scene of a master chess player in those one-versus-many games where they walk from board to board rapidly making (devastating) moves. It’s all the more hilarious because I’m not all that good at the game and usually have the novel and vaguely refreshing experience of being devastated ten times in a row instead!
Games: bringing us new and strange experiences since forever.