Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

Parlour Gamer, or, The Blog for the Discerning Pleasure-Seeker

Penned upon the 6th of January, 2010

In past centuries, idle amusements were achieved with recourse to the rich tradition of parlour games; that is, games which could be played indoors, at a whim and with little need for set-up or heavy equipment. Such perennial favourites as Blind Man’s Bluff, Snap-Dragon, Fall-Over and Are These Your Drawers Vicar? are now largely consigned to schools and children’s parties, with only a few – chiefly those with adult appeal, like I’ve Never, Parson’s Pubis and Hide And Go Cabinet – remaining in common use. Like the penny-farthing and the matchlock pistol, they have disappeared because alternatives have appeared – namely, the profusion of electronic entertainment systems.

This is by no means a bad thing – video games are still in a relative infancy, but already they serve, not only as simple pastimes, but as means of storytelling, of artistic expression, and, with the rise of recent party games like Guitar Hero, as vessels of the collective musical tradition also. With evermore video game blockbusters reaching mass media saturation, I thought it high time to showcase some of those Exquisite Corpses among the Musical Chairs – those clever, beautiful titles which occasionally achieve the success the deserve, but all too often disappear into the mire of poor sales with naught but a quiet gasp of critical praise.

To that end, I have created Parlour Gamer, a blog of games of small renown but excellent quality – be it in concept, writing, art, or simply by offering the player something unique and admirable. Naturally, I can’t pretend to omniscience in the field – I can but select personal favourites, subjects of my own experience. Still, if you’re a fan of the practice yourself, I entreat you to have a peek, and make recommendations of your own – guest columns are welcome, as always!


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