The Gamurgist

I recently unearthed this photo of me, taken at age 4, and it neatly sums up everything you need to know about me and this website. I recently unearthed this photo of me, taken at age 4, and it neatly sums up everything you need to know about me and this website.

I was raised on Legos, Tinkertoys and Big Wheels, and yet I still believe to this day that I have never played a game more than a few times as it was originally intended.I was raised on Legos, Tinkertoys and Big Wheels, and yet I still believe to this day that I have never played a game more than a few times as it was originally intended.

I’m sure I went around the block a few dozen times for a few weeks, but I distinctly remember tiny me thinking “everyone else does it the way the instructions day, but that’s not good enough.”

I vividly remember the day in this photo, even though it was lost to me until I saw the picture again after many decades. I remember seeing the handlebars and noting their symmetry and how flat they were. In my mind I was already thinking that this would be a stable toy even upside down. So upside down it went.

I remember pushing it to see if it would topple too easily, which it did. So I had to make sure the handlebars stayed perpendicular to the frame. And of course I sat on it. I can remember how it felt on my rear: Painful. But who cares.

I remember thinking, “what do I do with it now?” The wheel had to spin, so I grabbed the pedals and spun them. I remember the smell of the wheel as it shook off the dust in my face. I remember spinning it as fast as I could and then stopping it using my chest, and how that burned, and how my mom hated having to clean my clothes afterward.

And I distinctly remember the game I made out of it. On its own, spinning a wheel isn’t really a game, per se. Something in my mind triggered a memory of milling devices. Probably something I saw a picture of in the Worldbook Encyclopedia. So I grabbed some dirt clods and slid them into the space beneath the wheel where it touches the orange frame. I had to spin backwards so that the wheel would “mill” the dirt away from me.

I recall milling “wheat” clod after clod that afternoon into dirt flour. I’m sure I had a song to go with it.

Gamurgy is dedicated to the spirit of changing, adapting, messing around with, and generally finding the game — or a new game — in anything.Gamurgy is dedicated to the spirit of changing, adapting, messing around with, and generally finding the game — or a new game — in anything.

Over the years, I’ve collected over 2000 games, puzzles, toys and devices and I still venture to say I’ve never played any of them as intended more than a handful of times.Over the years, I’ve collected over 2000 games, puzzles, toys and devices and I still venture to say I’ve never played any of them as intended more than a handful of times.