On Tuesday night, we went to play Misspent Youth, but didn’t succeed. There were a number of lessons we drew from this.

The first was simply a logistical one. Game tasting needs a day of rest, somewhere in the itinerary. The prospect of 5 days of unbroken gaming is fine, but when you stay up until 1 or 2am afterwards, engaged in a thorough and extensive dissection of the game, it is both mentally and physically exhausting. Last time, we ended up not playing How We Came to Live Here, this time, Misspent Youth.

The second was a lesson about Misspent Youth particularly: the game has a structure that asks you to do one of the hardest parts on your own, at the beginning, with almost no scaffolding. It asks you to make a dystopia that enrages you, with only a few questions about it and some categories you need to be sure to answer.

That’s hard. That’s what none of us had the energy to do. But it’s not necessarily bad. It’s a kind of gatekeeper. If you don’t have the wherewithal to say “fuck yes, that makes me fucking angry” about something at the outset, you probably don’t have the wherewithal to play the game in the spirit intended. So, that’s kinda cool.

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