For some years now, let’s say 40, give-or-take, I’ve been doing what I can to bring added recognition to the “well-made game.” It’s the other side of what I’ve been doing with my explorations of the well-played game. My most recent effort has been through the Major Fun site, where you will find a collection of more than 500 games that seem to me to be particularly well-made. Well-conceived, well-executed, durable, storable, easy to learn and teach, inviting, fun, generally light-hearted, often provoking laughter.
Major Fun is an awards program. The companies that produce games that I and my fellow “game tasters” have found to meet all the above criteria are awarded the right to add the Major Fun seal to their marketing and advertising.
Games are like anything else designed for fun – ultimately, it’s the players, and not the game, that makes the game fun. And players are as different as they want to be. Some times, they are even more different than that. They have moods. They have needs. They have worries and fears and proclivities and preferences that have nothing to do with what game they are playing.
So the Major Fun seal can’t be a guarantee that you, for example, will like any particular game at any particular time. It’s not just a question of taste. It’s, like I said, mood, and who you’re playing with, and how tired you are, and what went on at work that day.
On the other hand, a well-made game, no matter how or what or if you feel like playing, is something you can appreciate. The quality of the components, the elegance of the design, the clarity of its rules, the cleverness of the premis, the art, the humor, the relevance of the design to theme, the packaging, the integrity – all contribute to the promise of fun. Should you ever feel like playing it, it will be there for you – a well-thought out, well-executed play experience. A well-made tool for bringing more fun into your life and into the lives of your family and friends.
A playful path is the shortest road to happiness.
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