Saturday, December 1, 2012

The General

So I guess there's some sort of blogging challenge floating around the interwebs this month? I think it's in the style of NaNoWriMo or Movember or Toyotathon or something. Anyway, I was asked recently if I do any blogging and, since I started writing for TVLatest, I admitted I haven't done much "pleasure blogging." So let's try this.

I'm in the process of de-cluttering my surroundings. No, I'm not a Hoarder – not a capital-H one, at least – but trying to live more simply involves getting rid of the little pieces of paper that I only look at whenever I go through a cleaning kick. Pieces of paper such as this:

REVENNNNNNNNGE! Okay, so some backstory is in order. In my 11th grade history class we had this semester-long program simply known as The Game. The class was divided up into teams that formed countries. These countries would develop land, cultivate resources, and amass wealth throughout the semester. Grades earned on tests would generate revenue, but most of the action took place during a weekly Game Day. After 15 minutes of "World Bank Time" – the opportunity for teams to purchase land, buildings and military pieces – we would go into the Q&A round. Each team would send someone up to The Panel to answer a question related to material covered in class since the previous Game Day (or material we were about to be tested on if an exam was coming up). A correct answer would allow teams to collect money, place acquired land and pieces on the giant world map game board, or move a piece already on the board. Oh yeah, the world was not just limited to our class: LB taught 5 classes a day, each with its own set of countries competing to amass the most wealth. The top three countries in the world at the end of the semester got to go to a pizza party.

Now would be a good time to mention that I took the game VERY seriously. LB started calling me The General, though looking back I think it would be safe to elongate that nickname to General Asshole. For example: each non-resource game piece a team possesses needs to have the country's logo on it in ink. Otherwise, other teams could swoop in and erase the logo and place their own branding on it, claiming it as their own. Oh, and you better make sure farms are on plains and not mountains, otherwise some guy with a little too much time on his hands may pull the piece off the board. Rules are rules.

Along with the psychotic auditing of game pieces, I really got into the idea of pitting teams against each other. It should be noted, Survivor didn't premiere until the end of this school year. One time I wrote a fake note about one team plotting to go after another and had one of my friends in a class earlier in the day drop it so that the second team would find it and get distracted. It worked for about 30 seconds before they decided to declare war on us. Don't worry! They spelled "missile" wrong on their war declaration, making it invalid. I actually cackled like a Bond villain after I pulled down the failed declaration from its bulletin board.

I'm trying to remember the circumstances leading to the war declaration above. The cackling incident happened in Fall Semester, while the image was from Spring Semester (different games; same churlish behavior). The problem second semester was that all five of the people on my team had opinions and loved digging in heels at the first hint of a disagreement. I was friends with all three members of MCA, but their territory was positioned in such a way that attacking them regularly was fairly easy. Both they and I made things personal when it really should have just been business. Unfortunately, I did not win those disagreements within my team, so the "revenge" felt more directed towards me than the team as a whole.

On the last Game Day of the semester, MCA was successful in nuking us. Unfortunately, we had a Superchance (a bonus card with awesome powers) that nullified up to 3 successful attacks. While they groused about my general awfulness ("General Awfulness"?) we successfully attacked a country that had acquired, but failed to secure, the wealth of one or two other countries. We managed to secure our haul by the end of the day, and we ended up winning despite ourselves.

This is the Cliff's Notes version of The Game, but feel free to mention it at any gathering of my friends from high school. The stories are fantastic.