Yesterday I was writing a couple of paragraphs about the writing of my story "The Game" for Fictitious Force (they ask for that rather than a bio), and it occurred to me that games appear in several of my stories--"City of Games" in Sporty Spec, "Hope Games" in The Sword Review, "A Game of Words" and probably some others that are currently unpublished. Not only that, but I just remembered this morning that one of the first real poems I wrote (at age 16, I believe) was called "This LifeGame"--"Throughout this crazy / tornado-sped twist and tumble / the chaos kisses purpose / only at the final buzzer." (I feel a bit silly sharing something I wrote nearly half my life ago, but...there it is.)
I'm certain a part of this comes from experiential education. Games form a central piece of most programs I ran--games as a way to break down barriers between people, games as metaphor, games as simple fun. I'm sure it also comes from my interest in sports--I don't follow sports too much, but I always loved to play just about anything. I have a definite preference for sports that reward hustle over finesse (though that reward both--not only hustle), and especially for sports that can be enjoyed without a ridiculous investment in gear. Anyone can run (financially, I mean), anyone can find something to kick around on the ground, almost anyone can get their hands on a ball to shoot around at the local park, or a disk for Ultimate, and even a net and a volleyball can be found pretty easily without spending tons of money to buy your own. Golf, on the other hand...
I actually discovered the fun of hacky-sack (which gets more finesse-oriented) in large part because of a story someone in a creative writing class wrote. He made it into such a cooperative, new-games kind of activity that I decided I wanted to be a part of such a community. When I was teaching PE tried to create such an atmosphere around hacky-sack...but it often became fiercely competitive. (I love competition too, but in other contexts--it wrecks what I like about hacky-sack.)
I think I've lost myself in that ramble. Anyway...games. Yeah. There's something in them, some power that keeps drawing me back.