Jun 9, 2004


Even if there are many types of games, there are two main types of serious players: generalist and specialist gamers. Specialists dedicate most of their free time to one game (even if they know and play other games) and dedicate large amounts of time learning openings, tactics and strategies about it. Generalists are meta-gamers curious with new rules, different ideas. Sometimes the former define the later as "people who failed to become good at one game", but this is an unfair critic. Most player are not generalists and so are bound to tradition and mainstream culture, playing games that society (sometimes just by historic reasons) maintains. In a sense, the same happen with religion, scientific models (at some extent), music... But it would be better for many obscure and excellent games if that was not so.

A generalist analysis a scenario with much less prejudice (and much less depth) than a specialist. Specialists are more uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. They like the assurance that practice and study provide. Even with enough intellectual skills, the generalist do not have the patience for the learning required. Performance is not the main goal. What matters are delight and surprise by unusual new thought processes.

There are two opposing problems. A specialist would think: "Why should I lose all my investment in game A to look at game B?". A generalist would think: "Why should I invest time in game A? Why not game B?". These questions do not have easy, general answers. I'm still not able to answer mine. [T.Sagme, Meditations]

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