Thursday, 20 April 2017

Play up, play up and play the game

LittleBear has invented a new game. He's often doing that, and they're generally games involving some form of make-believe, and invariably require me to crawl around the floor and/or be surprisingly stupid. I'm getting pretty good at both of those things. Now, however, he's invented a game with rules for us to play. The first set of rules resulted in an unwinnable game, so they had to be modified. The second set of rules resulted in a game that was not biased heavily enough in LittleBear's favour, so they had to be modified. The third set of rules are just right. And quite complicated.

Essentially it's a game of chase. Involving an extinct crocodilian. And a football.

Look, I said it was complicated, OK?

How to Play:
Player 1 attempts to get from one end of the garden to the other, without being bitten by the Sarcosuchus. Player 2 is holding the Sarcosuchus.

If Player 1 is bitten by the Sarcosuchus, his or her feet are instantly stuck to the ground, and can only be released by Player 1 catching a football. The ball is kicked by Player 2.

If Player 1 does not catch the football, Player 2 receives 1 point.

If Player 1 catches the football, and is bitten on the next "run", his or her feet do not have to remain in one place when attempting to catch the football.

If Player 1 successfully reaches the end of the garden, he or she "steals" 1 point from Player 2.

How to Win:
Player 1 wins if he or she catches the ball on three consecutive attempts.


Player 1 wins if he or she reaches 5 points.

Player 2 wins if he or she reaches 10 points.

The keen students of Game Theory will have spotted the point in this game at which it is impossible for Player 2 to lose. Player 2 can, and does, kick the football in any direction. Player 1's feet are "stuck" to the ground. Player 1, unsurprisingly, despite comedic and valiant attempts to hurl herself on the ground without moving her feet, is unable to catch the football. Player 2 receives a point.

The absence of any defining rules for the starting positions for Players 1 and 2 allow Player 2 (and the Sarcosuchus) to start approximately half an arm's length away from Player 1, thus rendering escape well nigh impossible.

Unfortunately, this game was so much fun that Player 1 and Player 2 were forced to swap roles, requiring muggins here to occasionally catch LittleBear, in a manner that wasn't deemed "unfair" and then kick a football in such a way as to be just hard enough to catch that LittleBear didn't feel I wasn't trying, but not so hard that he actually couldn't catch it. And I can assure you that my footballing skills fall well short of that targeting nirvana.

It all ended in tears.

But apparently we have to play again after school tonight.

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