Ludo, ergo sum.

Here’s a few words I said to kick off BoardGameCamp this morning. It was 9:30 and some people had been traveling a long way.

Hi Everyone.

Early start today eh?

Let’s see who was up the earliest. Seven o’clock? [many hands] Six o’clock? [a couple fewer] Five o’clock? [a handful of people] How about four o’clock? [three people keep their hands up. Applause.]

That’s crazy, right?

Why do we do this?

I’ll tell you why I do it. It’s because games are important. They’re as important as stories.

Stories unite us and move us. Stories are the thread of civilization. Our myths, our legends, our histories define who we are.

So too our games.

We are clever animals. We are the animals who do things together. We are endlessly creative in devising new ways to interact with each other. Games encourage us and delight us as we discover more about each other. Games allow us to see each other in a new light. When we’re playing together we see how we react to challenge, to threat. We see how we make decisions. We test each other. We learn about each other.

In the endless moment of flow, refracted through countless meaningful decisions, we see deeply into our friends.

When we are gaming, like when we are telling stories, we are most deeply human.

That is why we are here: to go back to the source. To rediscover the timeless foundation on which we’ve built this culture of high-definition multi-console gaming. Gaming is high technology and big business these days, but it all starts right here with something as simple as the dice you have in your hands and in your pockets.

So play on.

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