I just came across the most mind-blowing concept ever: Cooperative gaming. Seriously. Maybe it was invented ages ago, but I only recently learned about games like Pandemic or Forbidden Island where the players actually work together to beat the game, instead of the usual “every wo/man for her/himself!” attitude we all degrade to when playing a simple board game.
It’s not for everyone (*cough*competitive people*cough*), of course. Some people just take pleasure in curb-stomping everyone else. Please refer to the word “schadenfreude”. And winning over others gives you a sense of superiority, I suppose. But I’ve always felt that it was kind of sad, to have to have winners and losers in everything we do in life. So cooperative games introduces a whole other side to playing with other people, because you work together to fight against the ‘imaginary bad guys’, thus promoting teamwork and an appreciation for each person’s contribution (unless they make stupid moves…then I guess it would be counter-productive).
For example, in Pandemic, players are working to find cures to four spreading diseases, and each one has a specific skill to help defeat the nasty bacterias. According to reviews, the great thing about this game is the unpredictability and the changeability, because although it seems like the game would get old fast, it actually doesn’t because the players get different characters each time, plus the cards are drawn randomly so the bacterias spread differently as well.
Regardless of what anyone says about an “everyone wins or everyone loses” game, I’m still putting this board game on my Christmas wish list!