I’ve been sent an advanced copy of Oliver Roeder’s book Seven Games, and of course I’m delighted both by the premise and its execution. Roeder, a game theorist, puzzle fan and keen game player, dives deep into the world of high-level play of seven classic games: Checkers, Chess, Go, Backgammon, Poker, Scrabble and Bridge.
There’s lots to enjoy here: Roeder writes effortlessly, vividly portrays what it’s like to compete with the world’s best Scrabble players – or in the increasingly niche world of championship Bridge. He meets the best players, explores the appeal of these games, their distinct subcultures, and the influence of computers. Lots of good ideas. (I was slightly sad not to see Dungeons and Dragons in there, but I suppose it’s such a radically different gaming experience that it wouldn’t really have made sense…)
The book is out tomorrow in the US – not for a few more weeks in the UK I think. But worth a look.
“One of the most wonderful collections of stories that I have read in a long time… fascinating.”- Steve Levitt (Freakonomics)
“If you aren’t in love with stats before reading this book, you will be by the time you’re done.”- Caroline Criado Perez (Invisible Women)
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