It has been hot since Friday. Hot and bright. Glaringly bright. The kind of brightness that gives you a smirk and goes “Hah, don’t you wish you had your camera so you could capture the flowers, the clouds, the sunsets, the breath taking beauty of it all?” To scorn the glare and enjoy the sun I checked a volume of P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories out of the library. They are petty little works, I suppose, with none of the lasting importance of Shakespeare or Pope, but they are amusing. And they have had a impact on us, you know. Though it is dying out, there is still the “Ask Jeeves” search engine to be traced back to that perfect essence of a gentleman’s man. There is charm in Wooster’s absurd slang, in Jeeves obvious superiority, in the insecurity of their bachelorhood. There is also a quaint sort of charm in the utter stupidity of all the characters, excluding Jeeves of course. Jeeves is rather like Sherlock Holmes. Your first impulse is to sourly wish a woman into his life to show him what’s what, but you come to your senses in time. Neither of these men could be themselves if they were not bachelors. Whatever makes a man go down that road, these two men have it in spades. Perhaps it is an unfortunately accurate perception of their own superiority.
- It Engages the Player: this is why goldfish is not usually regarded as a fun game. There is neither strategy or action, just repetition. Unless you know some really groovy people to play with you will be bored out of your skull. Which brings me to the next point
- It Creates an Avenue for Interaction: This nixes out solitary and most computer games, which are engaging but rather unfulfilling unless you regularly discuss them with other players. Don’t get me wrong, even if you don’t say a word to your chess opponent you are still interacting. Playing games does not have to be just another way of being social, but it should allow you react to outside stimuli.
- It is Challenging: This is not an absolute criteria. Some games are perfect but not challenging at all. However, the best games make you feel as if you are doing something, even if it isn’t super hard. Better games leave the difficulty up to the skill of your opponent. Thus, chess is better than trivial pursuit, which is better than Sorry.