Playing Games

This entry was posted by on Friday, 17 February, 2012 at

When I was young I frequently played games with a cousin who won at pretty much everything. It was very frustrating. The only game I could even sometimes win was “Sorry!”, presumably because there is a high element of chance involved.

As an adult, I found others who like games. It started casually, but as the group evolved and gravitated more toward heavy strategy games, there was one person who would win every time. Again I was frustrated. Eventually, he moved away, and while I would not say that I was happy to see a friend go… there was a shameful part of me that was relieved.

However, in his absence, I started to notice something. I win a lot. Certainly not every time, but I probably do win more often than not. I worry that others are developing the same frustration toward me that I used to feel.

Last weekend, some friends organized a tournament for a certain strategy card game. Along with a few people that I often see at game nights, there were a few people that I had not seen for several years and several that I had never met before. It made me think seriously about the person that I was, the person that I am, and the person that I really ought to have been by this point in life. It has been on my mind lately anyway, but it was really intensified in that environment.

There was also someone there who surprised me by quickly discerning that I was not a trustworthy person. That was painful, because it is an issue with which I struggle. At one point, she accused me of “playing games”, which I defended with, “It’s a game tournament. We’re ALL playing a game!” But she had stated that I was playing plural games. Of course I was.

Let me show you how easy it is to be deceitful. As I mentioned, there were a lot of people at this event who did not necessarily know each other. I was invited, because I am friends with one of the organizers. When asked how I know him, I reply that we were in a Bible study together. Simple question, simple answer, and it is 100% true. The problem is that person now knows basically one thing about me, and that one thing implies that I am a committed Christian; which I am not. Of course I could have answered, “Bible Study… but whoa now, JUST SO WE’RE CLEAR: I do not do or believe any of that stuff anymore.” I do not see that happening. Aside from being none of their business, it seems unnecessarily antagonistic in a room filled mostly, if not entirely, with Christians.

Then later, if someone wants to talk about christiany things… I was active in the church for a long time, and I even worked in ministry for about a year and a half. I have opinions on christiany things. Again it would be nice if I would preface my comments with, “I don’t actually believe the Bible, but if I did…” I do not lie out of malice. I say a lot of things that are not true as a joke, which people might not always realize. But I also say misleading things just to fit in. I am not proud of that. I spent so many years role-playing christian that even now I slip right back into it without even thinking.

I won the tournament by the way. I gave away the prize and I went home thoroughly disgusted with myself on multiple levels.

One Response to “Playing Games”

  1. goodbyetonto

    I feel ya. I prayed for the first time in a year the other night just to impress my fiancés mother. Had I said, “I do not pray…”, I would be causing a wealth of drama for her and myself and ultimately my fiancé. I empathize with your reaction. I do not feel you had malicious intentions by choosing the lesser of two unattractive options. Being honest for the sake of honesty is not always a wise choice.

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