First day of METUcon Sat April 21

We got dressed and walked to the first day of METUcon. I got breakfast, found my tables and set up the game. Murat set up his illustrations on the walls and made himself a little

We got dressed and walked to the first day of METUcon. I got breakfast, found my tables and set up the game. Murat set up his illustrations on the walls and made himself a little workshop where he sat working on a small statue. Some comic guys came and took some tables for their comics. Some Warhammer guys came and took some tables for their miniatures. Some Magic – The Gathering guys came and took one room for their tournament. People who sold stuff took a lot of tables and put big swords and small statues on them. Publishers sold fantasy novels and the convention staff sold their own t-shirts.

People poured in, dressed up, fenced, played princes and princesses. But most of all they were sitting by tables playing role-playing games. And slowly, the big canteen filled up with geeks, the geek elite of Turkey. People streamed to my table, looking at the foreigner and at the even more foreign game. They talked to me, played with me or just took photos. A group of people from Cyprus who showed up and played and smoked said they’d arrange something for me in Cyprus.

I drank tea, ate manti and played and talked and played and talked all day long. It was very very fun. Could I live my life like this? Yes I could.

After dinner we walked through the cool night back to Bahadur’s apartment. I told Murat about a card game idea that I had in mind (perhaps number 15 of my list of games that will maybe or maybe not see the light of the day) and he was skeptic, saying that distribution would be a problem. Distribution, schmisschtrution, I hitchhike, no problem – everyone’s got Internet.

He was himself working on a strategy game about the Gallipolli battle in 1915. I assumed that one player would play Australia, one would play UK, one Turkey and so on, but he said: “No, these issues are a bit sensitive here, no one would want to play the foreigners, so everyone will play Turkish generals and the allies will be played by an AI”.

“Isn’t that a bit … over-sensitive?” I asked, “In Axis’N’Allies you can play Hitler and Stalin but no one minds doing that, it’s just a game”

“Well, you don’t make jokes about Auschwitz, do you?” he replied.

“No … ” I said and shut up for a while. “But … wouldn’t there be a trade-off between a smart AI and one that the players can administrate easily?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, the smarter AI, the more complicated board game.”

“Aha, I see. No problem, the allied moves will be decided by drawing cards from a deck.”

“But that sounds more like artificial stupidity than artificial intelligence” I said.

“Yes, but that reflects reality very well, the Allies made very stupid moves.”

“I see, haha”.

“You know, Kemal Ataturk did some maneuvers during that battle that were until then unknown in military history”

“I see, will it be possible to make those moves in the game?”

“Yes!”

I am looking forward to playing it.

We arrived at Bahadur’s place and I laid down on the bed to “rest” for a while.

Funny enough, this kind of 1 player versus the system war games have come out a lot following this year. Not the one mentioned above though.

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