Why Go? What about it?

So the question is this:

Why did you start playing? What is it about Go that keeps you coming back? Why are you putting yourself through stress about a game, only to become good at it if it ultimatly does not matter?

These are questions i have asked myself more than once. And being the person i am i have thought about my answers for a long time and have developed a reasonably good answer for these things.

I may have been brought in to the go world by a manga/ anime (Hikaru No Go), but it wasnt the anime that fosted within me a love for the game that can overcome any of the bad times when playing go.

When i started playing as you can imagin i didnt have the faintest idea how to play other than the snippets of information casuly placed in the manga. I also had notions of becoming a pro player because my thought was, ‘how hard could ot be? Its just a game right?’.

The funny thing about that is having my idea of what go fundamentaly is, being destroyed several times over in the 7+ years i have played.

Recognising that im a smaller fish than i though in an ocean of players that looked in comparrison to me, like giant, fish eating sharks.

So why continue, why do i bother with trying to reach shodan, knowing that when i do, im essentially just opening myself up to being destroyed by far superior beings in that deep dark ocean of players that had previously been hidden.

Why go through the stress of it? Even if its fun why bother doing something that is ultimatly an exersize in futility.

My reasoning is simple.

Go, has taught me more about myself than any single thing ive ever encountered. I feel that the more i know of the game the more i know of myself. Call this some pycho-mumble-crap all you want… its my personal truth.

I feel like my continuing to play is teaching me more about myself, but further than that i can begin to see how other people think by the way they play and the game teaches me about the real world.

The philosophies of go alone has been enlightening to a mind so shuttered in the dark.

The games complexity and the way it demands more and more from you as a player draws me in in a way that i simply cant refuse or even begin to explain. Its more than just a like or love for the game. In it are deep analitical, philosophical, strategical, psycholohical lessons that can be learned. And the mystery of the game itself keeps me wanting more… even on days where im playing badly and dont want anything to do with go.

Further than that, there is one more thing that keeps me coming back to the game. And that is the community.

Go players are a special breed of players. Both competative, and friendly. Willing to teach, willing to learn. Willing to get smashed by a person so much stronger than them, just to learn a valuable lesson. But also friendly to players who are simply placing stones on a board hoping that soon they might understand what this game is all about. The community of go players is a unique one, and one that comes together to help… banding together to help come to a deeper understanding of the game as a collective of people. That, in and of itself is fascinating.

Go… even though it makes me very unhappy from time to time, is something that i will keep coming back to for the rest of my life. Its truley special to me.

So what about Go, other than crushing an opponant with the raw strength of your minds processing power, keeps you wanting to play? And why Go, over other games?

Thanks for reading.


I’ve been charmed by this game when I was a kid. I had a book with games from all over the world, I managed to play many of them, sometimes building myself boards and pieces, but I couldn’t with Go. But the image of two “sort of samurai” :wink:playing Go from the book was haunting me and many years later I was able to play it, first on my smartphone and then against people online and eventually in real life.

I think you well explained the reasons to stay involved with this game: the challenge, the philosophy, the people, the relationship with other complex systems.
It can be painful sometimes, but it’s rewarding too.


Go just fits my style. It’s all about efficiency. :smirk:


I totally wish that i knew about thid game as a child. I think i would have nagged my folks about it to get me a training board or something.

It was a pleasjre reading your reply.

@smurph i cant dossagree with you there. The aspect of efficiency is always an interesting one to me too.

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:herb: I did marry weiqi some years ago. :herb:
I still have confidence it was the right choice and that we will stay together forever.
But please, don’t ask me why!


Good enough answer for me XD

Go became my second favorite game (next to Chinese checkers) as soon as I discovered it at age 11. Got a go board on my 12th birthday. I instantly thought it was fascinating because of the great complexity that arises from the simplest rules.


I never played chinese checkers to be honest. But again im envipus that you learnwd to play go from such a comparitivly young age compared to me.

I started learning the rules of this game in November 2016. I played a tiny bit of chess since childhood, but really just a tiny bit. The constant moving of the pieces is tough on my brain.
With Go, the stones are calm on the board. I like that far more.

I always liked Martial Arts, “eastern” movies and anime and did some Jiu Jitsu as a child (yellow belt)

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in february 2011. So playing fast paced live action games became quite tough, even impossible at times.
Go became my long term game. Even if i should be only able to move my eyes one day, they could make me a device to surf the web and also play online go and other simple input games.
But I doubt it will get that bad.

I also like that it is such an old game.


O I feel you were so unlucky on that. I hope go will give you a lot to fight it and a long and happy life too


I’m moved by this. I’m glad you found go, and i hope it brings you lots of respite.

I too find chess too hard, for the same sort of reason. I feel that go is more tractable, I can understand at least beginner theory and apply it.


Its hard to know what to say in response other than im moved by your bravery and strength to fight.

I hope you will be able to play go for many many many years to come. Reguardless of how that might be.


The answer to go is the same as to rock climbing. “Because it’s there”

It’s fun. If your idea of fun is agony and frustration dotted with successes sometimes.


Because of flow, beauty and aesthetics. Because of black and white stones making patterns on a wooden board. Because of ancient. Because of meditation. Because of concentration and pure and simple sensory experience


… because of the elegance of placing the stones with two fingers, like with chopsticks :smiley:
… because of the exciting tingling in the brain :slight_smile:
… because of the pain, because of the joy :yin_yang:

OMG … wanted to order the latest edition :open_mouth: too much … going with a 9th ed. for now. Thx for the pointer.

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