Part of the reason we don’t play much Risk and Monopoly as adults is that those are actually poorly designed games, at least in the German sense. Derk Solko, a garrulous former Wall Streeter who cofounded the Web site BoardGameGeek.com in 2000 after discovering Settlers, explains it this way: “Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It’s a very negative experience. It’s all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money.” . . . Monopoly also fails with many adults because it requires almost no strategy.
German-style games, on the other hand, avoid direct conflict. Violence in particular is taboo in Germany’s gaming culture, a holdover from decades of post-World War II soul-searching. In fact, when Parker Brothers tried to introduce Risk there in 1982, the government threatened to ban it on the grounds that it might encourage imperialist and militaristic impulses in the nation’s youth. (The German rules for Risk were hastily rewritten so players could “liberate” their opponents’ territories, and censors let it slide.)
Instead of direct conflict, German-style games tend to let players win without having to undercut or destroy their friends. . . . Designed with busy parents in mind, German games also tend to be fast, requiring anywhere from 15 minutes to a little more than an hour to complete. They are balanced, preventing one person from running away with the game while the others painfully play out their eventual defeat.
All this points to the nature of every real story. It contains, openly or covertly, something useful. The usefulness may, in one case, consist in a moral; in another, in some practical advice; in a third, in a proverb or maxim. In every case the storyteller is a man who has counsel for his readers. But if today “having counsel” is beginning to have an old-fashioned ring, this is because the communicability of experience is decreasing. In consequence we have no counsel either for ourselves or for others. After all, counsel is less an answer to a question than a proposal concerning the continuation of a story which is just unfolding. To seek this counsel one would first have to be able to tell the story. (Quite apart from the fact that a man is receptive to counsel only to the extent that he allows his situation to speak.) Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom.
Nicoladis and colleagues studied one and two-hand counting gestures and cultural differences between Germans and French and English Canadians. While the majority of Germans use their thumb to begin to sequentially count, the majority of Canadians, both French and English, use their index finger as the numerical kick-off point when counting with their hands.
However, Nicoladis noted that some French Canadians also displayed anomalous differences from their Canadian or even their German counterparts.
“They show a lot more variation in what they are willing to use in terms of gestures, suggesting there might be some influence from the European French manner of gesturing (whose gestures are identical to the Germans’), or possibly other cultures too,” she said. “This association suggests that there are some cultural artifacts left over from these older French gestures and that they have been replaced because of the cultural contact with English Canadians.”
Ich steh’ auf Jeans und Country Music
Wenn es Nacht wird in Old Tuscon
Der wilde, wilde Westen
Hier spricht der Truck
Ich und mein Diesel
Sturm und Drang
Trucker, Cowboy, Mann
Mama steht auf Jesus
Die Cowboys der Nation
Banditos der Liebe
Komm her du bist mein Cowboy
Ich bin CB-Funker
Cisco, Lucius, Erich, Uwe, Teddy und ich
Cowboys küssen besser
Keine Angst (die Nacht ist warm)
Blue Jeans, Rock ‘n’ Roll und Elvis
Mit dem Hammer in der Hand
Der Trabbi und der Truck
Darf mein Hund in die Himmel?
Cowboys und Texasboots
Danke, Johnny Cash
Hallo John Wayne
Hinnerk, der Supertrucker
Deine Freiheit heisst Whiskey
Ich hab’ den Honky Tonk Blues
Mit dem Jeep durch den Canyon
1000 und 1 Nacht (Zoom!)
Anyone who has visited the Oktoberfest and seen hundreds of revellers dancing on the wooden tables, holding up their beer glasses and chanting along to DJ Ötzi’s cover version of “Hey! Baby” knows how merry the atmosphere can get.
For those who haven’t, a look at the lost and found register evokes the raucous celebrations.
Members of staff found 680 identity cards and passports, 410 wallets, 360 keys, 265 spectacles, 280 mobile phones and 80 cameras, one set of diving goggles, one set of angel’s wings, a superman costume and four wedding rings. A long-haired Dachshund was also found roaming the festival ground, but was later reclaimed by its owner.
“For the first time, no dentures were found,” the Munich city press department said with a mixture of surprise and disappointment. “Is this a sign of demographic change, good dental hygiene or a higher rate of tooth implants?”
What I went to last night was not the full-blown Passion play - that won’t happen until 2010 (they’re working on it now). I attended instead a play called JEREMIAS, written by the Jewish pacifist Stefan Zweig in 1933, which featured a relatively modest cast of 500, ranging in age from 3 to 80. The criterion for being in a play is that you should be born in Oberammergau or have lived there for 20 years. The current director is Christian Stückl, a local man who directed his first Passion at the tender age of 28 (making him the youngest director in the long history of the play). Stückl told us that, in the 2000 Passion, a group of Muslim inhabitants of the town asked if they could be included: they’d by that time fulfilled the 20 year residency criterion. After enormous discussion during which the Muslim folk elucidated the parallels between the Koran and the Bible, they were included.