Welcome to AAMindsports
What is AAMindsports, you ask?
Well, right now, it’s an unfinished web site, but at some point it will be a place to promote mindsports n the USA, and let people get together to participate in mindsports.
(Until the web site is finished, if you live in Detroit or its suburbs, check out mindsports at Gatekeeper Games in Berkley, Michigan.) http://aamindsports.com/gatekeeper.
What are mindsports?
In the largest sense, it refers to all sorts of intellectual competitions. To somewhat narrow the scope, it refers to challenging intellectual games, played seriously, at the same level of effort that people frequently put into regular sports, i.e athletic competitions.
There are some games that most Americans recognize as being in that category when played seriously. Chess is the most obvious. Scrabble is another. Bridge and Backgammon are others.
So are mindsports just another word for games? Pretty much, except that there’s an emphasis on competition and winning. For a lot of people, games are just a way for people to hang out with friends and have something do to between exchanging the latest gossip, talking about their favorite TV shows, or generally enjoying each other’s company. Calling them “mindsports” is just a way to emphasize that we’re talking about games where people might actually study and learn to play well, competing to win.
Can any game be a mindsport? I think the term can only be used for games where there is meaningful competition. On this site, it will refer to games where it’s possible, but difficult, to learn really good play, and where luck of the draw is not the most important element in determining a winner. Tic-Tac-Toe is too simple to be considered a mindsport. Yahtzee can be played well or played poorly, but a player playing perfectly will still frequently lose to someone who plays a weaker game, just because so much depends on the dice roll. By contrast, Backgammon has chance, but the better player will win a lot more often than the weaker player.
So what does this site have to do with all that? When I program it, it will include a calendar of events and a list of clubs, game stores, conventions, and other venues and opportunities to participate in mindsports, and, in time, more features to promote serious games in America. Until then, check out Gatekeeper Games (link above). We play Chess, other games, and there’s a bar.