This week we played two board games in class. The first one is a classic game called Can’t Stop, with very simple rules. You roll dice and advance on the board based on the sum of the dice you roll. After each roll, you can choose to stop and secure your progress or roll again. If you roll but have nowhere to advance to, you lose all progress for that round.
The second game this week was Incan Gold. It was a similar risk/reward type of game, but in an entirely different style. Incan Gold relies heavily on the narrative and aesthetics of explorers plundering an Incan temple for riches. Cards are drawn from a deck to determine whether your explorer finds treasure or dangerous hazards. Find too many hazards, and you lose all your collected treasure. The first explorer to leave gets to take an extra share of the treasure that has been discovered up to that point, but they miss out on any future discoveries.
Of the two games, I vastly preferred Can’t Stop. The turn-based gameplay went much more smoothly over the internet, and was quick enough to be fun and engaging. Incan Gold had more complex rules and timing that was difficult to adequately recreate on Tabletop Simulator. Even aside from the colonialist narrative that it perpetuates, the gameplay just wasn’t as interesting or fun for me.
The one thing that both of these games had in common was the concept of chance. It was impossible to win or even play either without taking some amount of risk. I know myself to be very risk-averse, so I was not particularly looking forward to this week. However, the low stakes and controlled atmosphere of these games gave me a chance to step out of my comfort zone slightly, and I really enjoyed it! Taking risks is an essential aspect of leadership, and activities like these can help get new leaders comfortable with small risks so that they’re prepared to face much bigger ones.