Taking skills like strategy and sportsmanship from the board into the real world
The core concept of Besieged, what I hope people will take away from the experience, is a battle of wits and strategy. Underneath the historical fantasy aesthetic and relatively simple rule set, the game gets its longevity and social utility from its encouragement of lateral thinking and reading your opponent to achieve success. For that reason, I think it is similar to Chess. While Chess has relatively simple rules on paper, the main takeaways from the game are exercising the brain, healthy competition, and management skills. There is a huge difference between knowing the rules, and mastering the strategy.
As a game with such a strong emphasis on strategy, there is the notion that some of the stricter rules in games like Chess can be overlooked for the sake of a better gaming experience. For example, there is a rule that once you touch a piece you must commit to the play. While this is an official rule, it can sometimes be neglected to inspire learning the game and having a more fulfilling experience playing the game. Robert Graber, in his journal article on learning business lessons from Chess, suggests Chess has important social utility encouraging ethical and sportsmanlike behaviour, succeeding honourably rather than getting cheap victories by exploiting the errors of the opponent. He states ‘it makes for a more interesting game if one can win as a result of superior strategy, rather than by taking advantage of the other person’s careless mistake.’ According to Graber, the opportunities Chess offers for learning sportsmanship and how it rewards winning honourably directly influences the application of those skills in the real world.
I feel my game would also benefit from this attitude as it is an experience that aims to make players feel a sense of accomplishment when they manage to outwit their opponent. Obviously the rules are important. The mechanics of the game wouldn’t function without rules. But I believe some digression from the players over semantics can massively improve not only the replayability and diversity in experience, but also the rewarding feeling a player can get from being victorious.
Graber, R 2009, ‘BUSINESS LESSONS FROM CHESS: A DISCUSSION OF PARALLELS BETWEEN CHESS STRATEGY AND BUSINESS STRATEGY, AND HOW CHESS CAN HAVE APPLICATIONS FOR BUSINESS EDUCATION’, Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 79-85