Solitaire

More Games

Every once in a while it’s time to play a game of solitaire. I watched my Dad play online solitaire and hearts as a way to pass the time and maybe take his brain off of focusing on programming problems. Or, maybe playing these games helped him with the programming problems. I never asked him.

Solitaire

This version of Solitaire is from https://www.solitaire.org/ which also has other games some of which I’ll talk about below. The game is what you’d expect – though you should know that to refresh the cards at the top right – you have to click on that space even though it’s not obvious that one would do that. But after 20 years of testing software, it only took me a second to figure that out. He says, patting self on back. Also, the sounds are a little cheesy – but you can turn them off if you want.

Also interesting is the history of solitaire which I did not know:

The History Of Solitaire

Solitaire emerged in the 1700s in northern Europe. 

In Germany, Sweden, France and Russia there were references in literature to a game called “Patience”, the earliest recorded name for Solitaire. Although English, the word “patience” is of French origin and indicates that the game required a patient temperament in order to play it well. 

By the mid-19th century, Solitaire was popular in French high society, whilst in England, Prince Albert was known to be an enthusiast. The game didn’t make its way across the Atlantic to the USA until 1870 where it became known as Solitaire. 

Solitaire grew in popularity amongst card players of all walks of life but was given an immense boost following the advent of desktop computers. Microsoft Windows, a leading operating system, included a free version of Solitaire in 1990. 

Many work hours were lost to this challenging game. Office workers the world overplayed the game, no doubt switching surreptitiously between active windows to hide their game playing from supervisors! (ed: oh yeah, I remember doing this!)

Fun fact. As the cards are laid out, you may notice a similarity to the way Fortune Tellers layout their Tarot cards, revealing hidden secrets with each turn. An early version of the Tarot emerged in Italy in 1425. Solitaire was most likely influenced by fortune-telling.

Well, after not winning a few games of solitaire, I thought I’d try out this site’s mahjong game. I’ve always had a sweet spot in my life for mahjong as my next-door neighbor, Barbara Goldberg, used to invite me to join a couple of women she’d invited over to play. I was in my teens and they were all in their 40s or 50s, I’d guess. I loved playing games and they were a hoot, so it was a fun experience for me. Plus, we had an old version of the game that passed through our cabin, Camp Smiley, in Sumneytown, PA when I was growing up. Sadly, I think the tiles all ended up all over the place, but who doesn’t love the look and feel of a mahjong tile?

mahjong

One thing I noticed right off the bat with both the mahjong and solitaire games is that there is a timer. I suppose this can help one see how quickly one can play the game. But it also might be a good reminder for oneself (hello, Albert) as to how much time has gone into playing a game.  I also play chess and usually I play 10 minutes per side so that the game moves along at a clip, and also to keep things competitive. If you’re looking for a game, btw, you can find and challenge me at chess.com.

Well, after 20 minutes I was able to mostly “win” at the mahjong game. And I know where to find it again if I choose to. As to whether online games are useful or not, I was really swayed by Jane McGonigal’s TED talks on the subject. Have a look and see if her insights sway you. I first learned about her research into the topic via Tim Ferris’s podcast interviews with her after she’d had a brain injury. She’s quite amazing. Play on!

 

 

Games

Online Games

Ever since I heard Tim Ferris interviewing Jane McGonigal on his podcast, I’ve been curious about online games. Ms. McGonigal is a brain scientist and she had a terrible head injury and ended up coming out of it SuperBetter! She created an app that helped her recover. She also talks a lot about how games can help us stay connected to our loved ones. That has led to me playing Words with Friends with family members and it’s true – I do feel more connected.

The other main online game I play is chess via chess.com. I’m always looking for new challenges and it’s also neat to play people I know – so, come find me @ https://www.chess.com/member/albertkaufman and we can play together. For 10-minute a-side games, I’m generally rated between 1350 and 1410 if that helps you decide whether or not you’d like to play.

There are many places to find new games, of course. Usually, I get recommendations from friends, but after playing a while I usually tire of the game, but some have stayed with me from my childhood. I grew up when pong first came out and I remember our family gathering around the TV to play and how amazed we were to be able to hit a ball back and forth and young children. I imagine even my parents were amazed and amused by pong.

A place I’ve gone looking for games is https://plays.org/games/. They have everything from silly games like one where you throw a banana at apes to lots more complex games. They also have games for children. I eventually have stumbled on a whole set of board games and found Battleship! It looks like you can find ways to play one another or against a computer opponent. I love the sound effects! I’ll have to go and see if they have some of my other childhood favorites like Risk, Stratego, and the Game of Real Life. So, if you’re headed out camping or to a beach house and are seeking ways to keep entertained but not through a TV, this looks like it could be a very useful site.

And now it’s time to get back to the game of my life! How to beat this 100-degree heat in Portland, Oregon. Part of me enjoys the loopy Summer heat, but I know I’ll have to figure out some ways to stay cool, too.  If you decide to jump in, enjoy the games – leave a comment if you find a game you want to play me in or even if you just find something interesting or notable.

Have a great Summer!

Albert

PS – Snakes and Ladders, anyone?

https://plays.org/battleship/

https://plays.org/battleship/

Cards

It’s in the Cards!

I’ve been playing cards since I was a kid. The game in my house was hearts. I also have a friend, Aaron Trotter, who has been sketching the world’s cities (starting with Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon) and turning the sketches into decks of cards. You can find Aaron every weekend at the Portland Saturday Market.

https://www.illustratedplayingcards.com/

At last year’s World Domination Summit I met Jan Keck from Toronto who has created a deck called Ask Deep Questions. Jan is an interesting guy who is trying to help people break their small talk diets. His use of the cards has opened my eyes and mind to a new tool for parties; family reunions; ice breakers at events; and just a way to go deeper with another person quickly. Science actually shows that people who have deeper conversations are happier. Jan has taken the cards to another level through a Facebook group called the Ask Deep Questions Movement. This has become a hangout spot for those who believe in Jan’s mission and for the sharing of tangential resources. Here is a conversation 4.24.19 between Jan and Erin (mentioned below)

Jan Keck Ask Deep Questions

Jan has also shown me how to run a successful Kickstarter – he had a team of people that he was building as the Kickstarter ran – and he’s also a wiz at using social media and his camera to capture what he’s up to.  His activity mostly takes place in person in Toronto, but he’s also developing tools to teach people his ideas online, as well.

Then, there’s Erin Hickok’s Cards for Connection. I learned about Erin’s work about 2 weeks ago and already I’ve learned a ton about what her decks are about. Erin has been sharing her decks with people all over the country and world for the past 5 years and she’s probably been transformed by the experience. I took part in an online Zoom session with 4 others where we answered questions together – the way this process allows people to share stories; get to know one another; and go deeper – is pretty remarkable.

Cards for Connection https://www.cardsforconnection.com/

Erin also has a Facebook group called Core Connectors which is where people who have been attracted to her work have gathered.  It’s also where some of the online games have happened as well as some interviewing she’s doing. This week she’s having Jan Keck on as a guest and I imagine they will have a very fun conversation! They also share a birthday! Take a look!

Last, but definitely not least, is my friend and local Portlander, Marc Polansky’s game The Higher Thought Cannabis Game. This game is also a series of questions – but they’re designed for taking the group on a journey to answers which build upon one another. It’s a little hard to describe, but it’s worthwhile, for sure. I’ve played the game about 4 times with groups of 4-11 people, and each time has been memorable and interesting.  Here’s a copy of their recent newsletter which comes out weekly and is worth signing up for. Here’s a short video that was made for the SPLIFF Film Festival.


Where are these cards taking me? I’m not positive yet, but I have to say they have led to some new, fun relationships and more of a desire to go deeper quicker with people. I think everyone’s lives can be improved through the use of deeper questions and time together with others to ponder them. I’m always open to feedback or suggestions. Do you know of another deck that I should check out?  And, give something in this post a try and let me know what you experience. Thanks!

Game on! Albert

https://higherthoughtcannabisgame.com/

Grab a Paddle!
and receive my marketing checklist. Click here to discover what's further downriver. 
Sign Me Up!
Not right now...
close-link