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Why Winning at Board Games Isn't Important!

Mar 22, 2019


Jane David

Being competitive by nature, I didn't believe that winning at board games was the most important thing, but I always played like it was. My thinking has changed throughout the years. I now believe that enjoying the to and fro of the game and the people with whom you're playing are more important factors… sometimes.

Of course, winning is still desirable. Nobody wants to lose. Yet, losing gives you an important insight into your inner self. And while I do try to win at games and in business, if I lose, I’m not crushed. It’s how I played the game that’s the point.

In the words of Reiner Knizia, a prolific German game designer, 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.’

I'm reminded of a great book, 'The Wise Man's Fear' by Patrick Rothfuss. In it two players are discussing a game...

“I am trying to make you understand the game,” he said. “The entire game, not just the fiddling about with stones. The point is not to play as tight as you can. The point is to be bold. To be dangerous. Be elegant.”

What a wonderful metaphor for life and business!

FGA’s Mathable® games are ideal examples. The game is similar to Scrabble but uses numbers instead of words and can played alone or with others.

The goal of Mathable® is to create mathematical equations using the squares on a board. Some of the squares have restrictions and awards, while some are normal. The player with the most points is the winner.

Mathable® is a great way to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. You need to employ analytical thinking, and, of course, hopefully a bit of luck. And remember, even if you don’t win you’ll have fun and sharpen your math skills at the same time.

You can check out our other versions of Mathable®  here. 

The Scottish athlete, W.H. Murray also said it well: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”.

In 'The Wise Man's Fear', one player goes on to say: "It (the game) is a mirror we hold to life. No one wins a dance... the point of dancing is the motion that a body makes... the moving of a mind."

We believe that winning isn't everything. In fact, it might actually be the least important thing. Feel free to comment below and start a discussion. In the meantime, take a look at the rest of our site to see a wide selection of board games and puzzles, all designed to get your mind in gear!

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