Lessons From Board Games – Intro & Fluxx (and changing plans)


So I had a series of blog posts that I was writing in the past: I called them “Games that Teach”, and I intended to use them as examples of how common board games can teach or aid in teaching or increase understanding of various events, problems, and/or theories in life. However, I discovered after writing a few posts that I was discouraged when writing them. This was because I soon didn’t feel the title accurately reflected what I wanted to discuss. It sounded like something that should go in a school, and what I was talking about wasn’t school stuff. Still, I wrote a few more. I ran out of ideas for a while and then came back. And now I’ve decided that the old name has to go, and will be replaced with the much more open ended title “Lessons from Board Games”, which I think will allow me to discuss a much broader range of more interesting topics without feeling like I’m getting sidetracked. I hope you enjoy.

Fluxx and Changing Plans

Fluxx is a fun game, though strategy doesn’t play a big part. Most times, people win by accident. I’ve certainly never been in a game where that hasn’t happened. In a game where the rules and goals can change five (or so) times before the game comes back to you (even longer, if the turn order is reversed) there is little room for a plan. The game might be different with two players in that regard. I’ve never played that way. And it’s the wackiness of many players that makes it fun. The game could even be played with a few more than the box recommends (in theory a ton more, but it tops out to be unwinnable eventually). It’s a game that can expand with your plans a little bit, as you’re forced to do a lot in the game.


It could be a metaphor for life or something, but I wouldn’t go that far. But it does help one to understand that they should always be changing strategies as the need arises. Getting closer to victory is better than sticking to a plan. Fluxx is a game that forces you to do that if you are at all attempting to win. And sure, you can win without trying at all, and you can just try to have fun, hoping a win will result (my strategy, and much preferable to the former if you’re bad at games). But for the most part, some understanding of the game is required to win. And prior knowledge of the cards can shape strategy (in a mostly ineffective way). The best thing about Fluxx is that it teaches you to be adaptable in such a low-stakes manner. It’d be terrible to be in a five-hour euro game, when suddenly you realize that you’ve put all of your production into coal, and iron is what you need to win the game, because of some card that just came up. Fluxx lets you adapt and be flexible, without the pressure there of being in a long game of blood, toil, tears, and sweat. And it’s quite a welcome filler game, especially before longer games that require adaptation, for that reason.

A Youtube Problem

I’m going to quickly take you through a scenario I went through last night. I watch a lot of videos, right, and I post a lot of videos on the internet. Youtube is one of the places I visit most. I was going to watch some videos from the people I subscribed to. I loaded up the homepage and clicked on the first video I saw that was interesting in my feed. At which point I was greeted with this:

So after that I did the perfectly logical thing of panicking. I immediately thought about all the places I could have visited that would have given me a virus. All of the ads I may have clicked on, all the pop-ups I would have gotten from clicking on said ads. Then I shut down my computer and restarted it. I booted Safari back up and was treated with the ability to watch videos… for five minutes. After that I was given the same screen as last time (though it does change everytime you reload). At this point I was near hyperventilation. I shut the system down again and even installed all the updates I have been neglecting. Do you know what that takes for me?

I went crazy, like I need Youtube or something? I then went to sleep because for some reason I was watching videos at midnight. The next morning I still couldn’t watch videos. so I frantically searched around the internet, even going so far as to copy paste some of the gibberish into Google (which found nothing). Until I eventually found a post on a forum that was about the same problem as mine. It turns out that it kind of worked itself out for some people and it appeared to be a problem with Youtube and not my computer. I could also watch videos right after looking at this post, almost as if by magic.

My reason for writing this really is to warn you about the internet. Think about a site that you would panic if it went down (it didn’t help that Tumblr was down at the same time). See if you could go a day without it. And then begin coordinating your panic procedure, because you can’t, you know you can’t, I know you can’t, and no one else has to get hurt because of your panicking.