Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Geek squared

Okay I'm a geek. But answer me this: is it more geeky to have spent last Saturday night playing an intense 5-hour game of History of the World, or to make bad puns while playing? (Or to feel compelled to point out that I won?)

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History of the World is basically like the old classic Risk with a difference. Instead of an abstract undifferentiated mass of armies, each player is randomly assigned a real historical empire in each of seven rounds of historical epochs. So in one round you might be the Romans, and in a later one you might be the French under Napoleon.

The empires, which span the globe and a few thousand years of human history, include ones you may not have heard of. The Gupta Empire may not strike fear and awe into your heart, though if you lived in India between 200-500 A.D. you might feel differently.

When one of my opponents drew the card assigning him the Guptas, I quipped:
"Now we'll really see what sort of Guptatude you have."
This was typical of my many flashes of wit that evening. I think one of the things that makes puns so bad is that they sound canned, like I trot out the "guptatude" line every time I play this game (about once every six months). Well, as I assured my friends, my bon mots that evening may not have been funny, but they were fresh, and I will have to come up with entirely new ones the next time I play.

For a photo of geeks playing history of the world, click here. Please note: this is just a photo from the web. None of these people are me, nor do they look anything like me. Nor do know any of them, and I cannot vouch for their ability to make puns.


How many people do you need to play? I challenge you when next we meet! (sound of gauntlet being hurled). And I worked with a Gupta. How far have the mighty fallen, that she has to write manuals to feed her family. Also, it's advisable to have a Cranium game on site for the future, lest we have to schlep one on an airplane...
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