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.