The Importance of Board Games

20 Dec

Politics seems to work on detachment and exclusion. A political narrative excludes anyone outside the political class. ‘We’ can’t comprehend the workings of ‘our’ representatives. How can ‘we’? ‘We’ understand ‘our’ specific roles but nothing more. Many of ‘us’ have accepted ‘our’ roles and now there seems to be little incentive to identify with others and find a common cause. Within our roles there seems to be very little need for relationships.

Rather than being an individual in an anonymous mass, wouldn’t it be better to build a small community around you? Don’t try to fight the political class. Let’s concentrate less on the ‘capital-R’ revolution and more on our relationships.  Our society is simply an expression of our relationships. Political discussion is often a contest of egos, disguised as a debate about theory. We can’t fight it with dissatisfaction. Concentrating on our insecurity and the uneven distribution of wealth and power is often irrelevant. Let’s step out of our inertia of resentment and work towards a fundamental change in our relationships.

We seem to believe that it’s easier to change the world around us than it is to change our own lives. We go to football games and cheer our teams. We buy bumper stickers and send links to petitions. We pursue a score line or a cause, which might make us feel successful if we win and maybe a little bit down if we lose. Is there nothing more we want? We talk to the fan next to us about injured defenders and hopeless managers. We become occupied in a world of media, seemingly engaged but immobile. We know more about the storylines on TV than we do about our neighbours. We are continuously involved in a spectacle. We use the word ‘they’ to talk about authorities that seem to control the landscape around us; ‘they are closing down the factory’ and we use ‘we’ to talk about sports teams; ‘we won last night’. We demonstrate more control over football matches than we do our cities, our jobs, our relationships, and our lives.

Let’s abandon political identity. Let’s stop watching Friday night games shows and start playing board games. Let’s stop watching sport and start playing it. Let’s stop talking about the ‘others’ and start looking after each other.

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One Response to “The Importance of Board Games”

  1. The Political Idealist December 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    I’d be lying if I said I agreed with the idea of abandoning political identity, but there’s a lot to be said for adopting a more human scale, proactive approach to improving our society. Interesting.

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