Why do you play Go? (Question for long term/senior players)

I have played Othello/Reversi for years and have dabbled in Go,Chess and others. One day I just stopped as I realised that it no longer gave me anything. It didn’t bring me skills, time, money or relaxation but it was fun. However for some reason I have a bit of urge to get back into it and this time I would only focus on Go. So to give me some extra boost I thought I would ask you more seasoned players the following…

Why do you play?

Why did you start?

Do you still study the game?

What is the main gift/joy you get from the game?

Ten years from now do you still think you will play? Why/why not?

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I think this answers some of your questions, as far as I am concerned:

For the rest:

Do you still study the game?
Not currently due to other Go related projects and real life obligations, but I will resume soon.

What is the main gift/joy you get from the game?
It is fun, it is a challenge, every game is different, every opponent is different and leaves an imprint of their style and their psyche on the board.

Ten years from now do you still think you will play? Why/why not?
Yes, I will. For the same reason I still do most of my hobbies. I take them up because I like them and enjoy them and I am loath to give them up. As long as my feet can keep me up I will use my bike and I will play basketball. As long as my mind can keep up I will play Go and so forth for the rest of my hobbies…

“Once you leave something, it leaves you as well” goes a local saying. And I do not want my feet, nor my mind to abandon me. :slight_smile:

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  1. Because go is endlessly fascinating and profound, due to the complexity that arises from simplicity.

  2. I was 12 (56 years ago). It was the era of board games, and I played most of them. I had also learned virtually all the games in the Official Rules of Card Games (Albert Morehead, ed., 1963). When I ran across Lasker’s Go and Go-Moku, in my father’s library, it was only natural that I should read it. I played for some years whenever an opponent could be found, and set it aside when life and a lack of players moved me in other directions. Took it up again when I bumped into a go club at my library in 2016.

  3. Off and on. Sporadically, I do tsumego for a few months, then lose steam. I watch Dwyrin and BenKyo regularly. Will get back to book study when I retire (if we ever get out of the jaws of inflation).

  4. As I have said before, definitely not fun, but enjoyment from intellectual stimulation. I also find it quite meditatively revealing, as it highlights polarities of personality: patience/impatience, audacity/timidity, focus/carelessness, and anger/calm.

  5. Absolutely yes, because I don’t think the fascination will fade. But only if I am still alive.

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Why do you play?

Because i have nothing better to do

Why did you start?

Because i was lucky, not everyone knew about that game.

Do you still study the game?

I still ask myself why this and that, well sometimes, but not sure i should call it study, i am not that serious.
More seriously speaking each move you play is a piece of study by itself.

What is the main gift/joy you get from the game?

I don’t think the game gift me anything with exclusivity but it contributes to some like balance, focus, mental sanity, respect of people. I surely forget something important here.

Joy: to still be able to practice the art of sharing, to have a communication with someone very similar to love.

Ten years from now do you still think you will play? Why/why not?

If i can still see self atari and snapback should be ok. Easier to be an old weiqi player as, say an athlete or a F1 driver.
Although we know that intuition is an important part of the game, all is backed by reading so i may well become an annoying blind player on this side excluded to play by others or even by myself. Who knows.

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Could you mention the book reference? Great citation anyway.

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So you’re brave, not afraid to lose your abilities to play the game.

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No, I am more afraid to lose my sight or mobility. I am already much more forgetful about people’s names, but I find that lots of people my age experience the same thing, specifically with names. I primarily play correspondence, so the memory issue is not as important.

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I knew someone who commit suicide when he learned about having Alzheimer.

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That is rather precipitous. One can often live a several years in some comfort before Alzheimer’s becomes particularly debilitating. However, that is consistent with a study some years ago that found that it is better for people not to know they have Alzheimer’s.

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Glad you liked it. It is from my own beginner’s Go book, which if free to download, and that’s why I was certain that I agree with it 100% :stuck_out_tongue:

What’s the worst that can happen? You might lose ranking, some skill or something, but the game would still be fun. Something that a lot of people do not consider is that in the cases/activities where we didn’t get to our full potential when we were young, that means that there is still a lot of room to grow, despite our age. :wink:

For example, I never put any real time in basketball training when I was young, so even though I played A LOT, I was horrible at it. Now that I am much older, heavier and les agile, I actually got to train instead of playing the game, due to the pandemic. Within one year not only I improved drastically, but I even fixed my shooting mechanics ( which are notoriously hard to alter and improve ) and now I have an actual, mechanically sound, jumpshot after 25 years of not having one.

So, you can actually improve at something while you age, even as your mental and physical faculties decline. :slight_smile:

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  1. I’m not sure I can say that I play Go. For me, it’s more like a kind of meditation (which is why some of my opponents don’t have the patience to wait for the return move and they leave the game in annoyance). :wink:
  2. I started Go in an effort to get rid of the addiction to computer games that I suffered from for 20 years. And it was a wonderful coincidence, because I didn’t even think that there was a Go club in my city, but it turned out to be literally in a neighboring yard.
  3. It depends on what is meant by “study”. I don’t read books, I almost never solve problems, but I always study my own completed games, trying to understand how good the moves of both sides were (and I rarely use computer programs such as KataGo, etc.).
  4. Purification of thoughts and refreshment of the mind.
  5. Most likely, I will continue to practice Go in ten years.

For reference: I have been practicing Go since 2014. I’ve been on the OGS since 2014 too (don’t pay attention to my account, I just lost access to my previous accounts and started this one).

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Absolutly. Although i never practiced /studied any kind of meditation, but i have that feeling that it is a bit what is happening when i play.

Maybe you can elaborate more on this? I mean beyond common things we know on go? Do you give to yourself some posture, way to breathe, guidelines… ?

I am a hardcore computer games addict. Many years and i m still like that today. But i started playing go much before that. So I am curious, did you lose your addiction by playing go?

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Se você tentar responder porquê, deixará de se reconhecer por jogador.

There was a similar discussion in this other thread:

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One concrete reason (though by no means the primary one) is that you have to keep using your brain or it will deteriorate. At my age, pastimes like Go are part of insurance against this…

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Well, I really follow the posture. “The back should be straight,” my Master used to say. I pay the most attention to the control of thinking, to how thoughts flow. I strive to achieve a calm, but not relaxed flow of thoughts. Breathing in this process is a great indicator of the emotional background and helps to control emotions, so I carefully observe it during the game.

Yes, with the help of Go I was able to cope with my addiction to computer games (I devoted 4-8 hours a day to computer games). Moreover, with the help of Go I quit smoking after 20 years of smoking (about 12-14 cigarettes a day, if my memory serves me).

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Why do you play?
Because I like it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Why did you start?
It really popped up for me when I watched the “Shut Up & Sit Down” review where they talked about the layers of complexity. As a gamer who enjoys complex games, that appealed to me. Also, the game’s pretty. And it’s sort of like a code that seems inscrutable until you know the rules (and then it’s just the tactical decisions that are inscrutable).

But beyond just learning of the game, I got hooked because I found it fascinating that such a seemingly simple game could have nuances that not only take a lifetime to master but also reflect on universal states of mind like the way it punishes greed and aggression.

Do you still study the game?
Sometimes. I bought a couple of books but I’ve found my subscription to Guo Juan’s Internet Go School to be by far my best investment in my Go education. I haven’t kept up with it in recent weeks because I’ve had other things going on, but I’ll probably pick it back up soonish.

What is the main gift/joy you get from the game?
I find it really satisfying to see lines of play my opponent doesn’t, personally. I also hope at some point to help someone learn to see those lines, but so far people seem to mostly get confused and frustrated. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ten years from now do you still think you will play? Why/why not?
I hope so. I don’t even have kids yet but if I do at some point I would want to teach it to them because I see it as teaching valuable character lessons as well as encouraging development of analytical decision-making.

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Why did you start?

First of all, I play Go for about 4 years now. Not sure that is senior enough :smile:
I learned about the game of Go from my parents when I was about 16 I guess. But my parents didn’t really know how to play and I lost interest soon.
About 4 years ago, already in my 30ies, I looked into Go again after I have seen the Lee Sedol versus AlphaGo games. I had played a bit of Chess before, but those AlphaGo games made me very curious.

Why do you play and what is the main joy for you?

I still play, because I love strategy games and Go is the mother of all strategy games for sure. Also the way this game reflects the mood and personality of the player who plays it is something, that baffles me again every day. That’s probably hard to understand, if you didn’t play a lot of Go yet. But you will get there. At some point a Go game is like a discussion, like a universal language that players use to express their intention, their greed, fear, bluffs and many other subtile things you can catch up when you undestood the game to a certain level. And that is absolutly beautifull and addicting to me.

Do you study still?

Well, my progress is kinda stalling for years now, because I don’t really find the time and concentration to study and play a lot. But I try to keep it up as much as possible.

In 10 years from now…?

At this very moment I am convinced I will play Go as long as my brain is capable to do so. I love this game.

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Why do you play?

I enjoy the creativity: each player creates situations/reacts to them in a way that reflects his abilities and personality. It is a fight, but also a dialogue and an encounter between two persons. It always creates great excitement for me, sometimes even a bit too much.

Why did you start?

I got the playing material as a birthday gift when I was a youngster. Nobody knew the game, so we taught ourselves just by playing.

Do you still study the game?

If that counts: I watch other people play online regularly.

What is the main gift/joy you get from the game?

Emotional and intellectual stimulation, an incentive to improve and to understand.

Ten years from now do you still think you will play? Why/why not?

Yes. The more I understand the more interesting it gets.

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For me it’s plain and simple: intellectual entertainment. That’s about it.

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