There are the games that we play for themselves; their unmatched brightness operates as soon as we lay them on the table. They are brilliant, dazzling, exhilarating games. The lively, colorful experience they offer is uncommon, totally outside of our usual experiences. Those games fascinate, almost hypnotize us every time.
Just like fireworks.
Then there are the more discreet games, which reveal themselves with restraint. Little by little, as we get closer, as we engage with them. Historical games are of that sort. The light they offer is narrower, but constant. The lamp’s brightness is softer, indirect, reflected on and by its surroundings. The greatest appeal of such games doesn’t lie with themselves, but with the circumstances, characters, events—as well as the other players—that they highlight and reveal, to the point which, no matter how familiar to us they are, we sometimes feel we’re seeing them for the first time.
In front of the stunning sight of fireworks, we stop and look up. There is not much else to do… than be stunned.
We never stop next to a lamp to watch it shine. Immediately we look around, where darkness has receded, and find ourselves oriented, ready to act.
Games are like works of art, and like people: Some sparkle, others illuminate.
They are rarely the same.