Other Wise

Please sir, I’d rather not have another

Sometimes gaming bring unexpected rewards. Sometimes you really don’t want the rewards.

Wednesday of last week I went to play games up at Endgame in Oakland (map). While we were there there was a riot a few blocks away around the Bart station. We were thankfully oblivious to this silliness as we played our games.

That video was shot all of about 3 blocks from the Endgame store.

Last Wednesday I went up to Endgame again and noticed that there was a lot of free parking. That was unusual as there’s a convention centre across the road from the store and the spill over parking swamps the street parking. Normally I have to hunt for a slot but this time where were rows of open slots on both roads by the store. Just as I drove by on 10th Street I saw a parking slot right in front of the door on the side street, Washington Street, but I had gone too far to turn back. There was also a slot open right beside the side door. For contrarian reasons I looped around the block and parked on the side street right beside the store door. It took a little longer but the ease of being right beside the store door appealed.

While we were playing (Confucius as happens) we heard yelling and loud booms from outside. A gang of yobos were running down 10th street smashing car windshields by jumping on them. Somewhere around twenty cars had their windshields smashed. The car in the slot right by the side door where I nearly parked lost its windshield. Four people that were playing games with us had their car windshields smashed. By simple foible of being on Washington Street rather than 10th Street my car was left untouched. I later saw the couple that owned the car that had parked where I’d nearly parked. They’d lost their windshield. They seemed bright, young, eager, potentially parents of small kids, and not at all keen on not having a windshield. I almost wanted to apologise for not taking the parking slot. It was so stupid.

One thing struck me as I walked back upstairs to our game: gamers wouldn’t have been so stupid. Not that gamers are so wonderful or smart or simply better, not at all, but gamers would have understood the incentive models that drive change and would thus have understood the rank stupidity of smashing windshields. That’s no way of effecting change, just of wasting your time and other’s, expensively.

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