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more about tournaments & Contests

Because they are competitive, games can bring out the best and worst in people. The more competitive a game is, the better the good and the worse the bad tends to be. Because of this, intensely competitive games can reveal much about the nature of the game, the nature of competition, and the character of those who participate. Games based on or related to the arts are no exception. Examples aboundScrabble, crossword puzzles, and spelling beesare three of many arts-related games.

Many games have developed variations down through the ages. Among these variations are a particular class of games characterized by the fact that they are more extreme, competitive, and complex than the game that gave them birth. Of course, the class of games which Electricka refers to here is the tournament; it includes all its brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, and aunts.

A tournament is a special kind or class of organized game, one that brings out and makes visible more of the good and bad than almost any other type of game. Why? Perhaps because the tournament and its relatives are organized trials of skill in which competitors play a series of contests managed by others. Tensions escalate as the series wears on; people let down their guard. Organization adds complexity, focuses attention on the rules, the game, and the process, and brings undercurrents out into the open.

Tournaments are always organized, less leisurely versions of some counterpart game that's normally played without benefit of much organization; a tournament is several such games rolled into one. For example, a crossword puzzle tournament is an organized version of the games one plays when solving a crossword puzzle over cocoa at the Sunday morning breakfast table, several Sundays in a row. A tennis tournament is version of the game one plays at the community park with a girlfriend over several weeks of sparking until she finally says yes.

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